A CANI Customer Street Developer

18 07 2007

Stuart Laverick is developing the next release of our site building software Customer Street Sites also known as Rapid Site. In a recent blog post When Less is More, Stuart demonstrates beautifully how the concept of CANI widely permeates the sub-concious at Customer Street. Talking about reducing the amount of code it takes to do something he says:

“I suppose it’s a kind of Zen thing, it’s about achieving your goal with a simplicity and minimality of movement. Its the same thing that appeals to me in Japanese Woodcuts or Haiku and, when I had the time for such things, was one of the pleasures I gained from long and middle distance running.

It’s just a general feeling of the code being ‘right’ when it takes 3 steps to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’ rather than 7.”

For me being able to only take 3 steps to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’ isn’t just Zen it’s Nirvana. That said we are taking steps every day toward getting our systems, people and processes to be more efficient and effective. Every day we find one or two more small things to improve. Over weeks and months these add up to some significant changes.

Just to give you some idea I will tell you a little about my day and then let you assess if it contributes to progress:

  • Dealing with Thus for an internet connection upgrade to double our line capacity. This will give us greater internet capacity and will mean less waiting time for our Contact Centre Agents when working on our distributed systems.
  • Consultation to better understand a customer’s needs for Premium Design Search Engineering. As well as making sure the customer gets what they need this also helps me to understand the processes involved and identify strengths and weaknesses in the work flow.
  • Documentation. For the past few weeks much of my time has been spent on working with our developers to improve the way documents are created. Once we can make them better then we will start working on ensuring that they are as useful as they can be for the recipient.
  • Working with our Accountants to look assess billing methods to ensure that the collection of bills runs smoothly for us and our customers.
  • Assessing new ways of using information we have in the business to ensure we are targeting some of the simple human errors that can be made in a busy working environment.
  • Announcements. We aim to answer all our telephone queues within 30 seconds, and if we don’t we want the caller to hear some useful information while they wait. So today I have been working with one of my colleaugues to produce a useful set of information for customers waiting on the phone.

There has been all sorts of other tweeks and fixes to sort out but this is my average day. To be honest I love what I do and I love where I work. People often talk about wanting to make a difference, most of them mean that they want to do great charitable works. Charity is for my free time but at work I feel I make a positive difference every day to the customers and staff of Customer Street just by helping us to take these CANI steps.

Tomorrow I will introduce another Customer Street philosophy – QaD, introduce my boss and tell you about a special person who keeps us honest.

P.S. Customer Street staff raised over £3,000 recently to help a local school gain Specialist School status and unlock £30,000 of government money.

Letter of thanks from The Loyne School