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Author Topic: Reflections on (re)building for the future. 2nd and 3rd June 2018. WsM?  (Read 504 times)
grahame
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« on: April 04, 2018, 06:13:26 am »

The first 90% of the work takes the first 90% of the time ... and the last 10% takes the second 90% of the time (or should that be 900%).

The Coffee Shop is basically back up and running.  HOWEVER I have applied "key route strategy" on our server and there's lots of sidings and branch lines that aren't available, and even on the main line there's a lot more staff needed on hand to sort out icky stuff.   I think the server answers for about 100 domains and I have three or four sort-of running; most of the background work done for those three or four will help the other 96 ... but users should be aware that we're in for a period of bedding in.

"Shouldn't you have had a hot swap machine?", "Shouldn't you have had a disc image?".   Maybe. But then should users be paying for the coffee shop, or should we be taking advertising or selling your details to Cambridge Analytica?   "Steady as she goes" was the message I got at the forum meet on 7th January and for the restorative moment, that's the plan.



I have learned over the years that there's little point in hiding things.  I have been asked "what shall we tell the customers" at times, and my answer has to be "what's wrong with telling them the truth".  For sure, I am not about to reveal passwords or spam user filter algorithms, but saying it as it is work well for me.   The good news is that my personal reward comes for the warm and fuzzy feeling of actually being helpful - and that makes my commitment to TransWilts and to the Coffee Shop too a rock of my direction.   Bad news is that I'm awful at paperwork, tend to take over meetings, and flit like a butterfly from one topic to another so it's really hard to get me to follow up ... and an apology is owed to - well - certain member here - for aspirations made and stated that came across a promises. You will know who you are if you're reading this.  That's the bad news - astonishingly good news is that I look around and I'm not alone in some of those tendencies, and indeed I have a lot of background and experience such that I can do a lot on the forum (for example) in a few keystrokes.  Youth has the power of energy, age has the power of experience!

We are at a time of great change in the rail industry and with rail services in the South West of England, the Thames Valley and South Wales. And a time of great change is a time of great opportunity to change things for the future good, and also a great opportunity (or risk) to get things wrong.   Even the industry is learning as it goes. "We have discovered that the cost of electrification of the network is very expensive" ... words that jumped off the rear cover of RailWatch which I was reading yesterday as I waited for an upload to complete ... and they jumped because they were quoting Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail.  We are all learning and we have great opportunities.

I'm privileged to have been able to speak with quite a few very well informed and very influential people. One of the lost posts from last weekend asked "but why are YOU telling us this, Graham", and it's a good question.  Perhaps it's because deep in the minds of some of those people at the top is a fear of the reactions of the customers; just because you are superb at organising a timetable (for example) doesn't mean that you're good at explaining it in layman's terms, nor that you are good at (or enjoy) explaining the compromises and reasons to John Doe who's aggressively concerned at a change that takes out a bus that used to carry one passenger - him.   Nor is it necessarily good use of skilled people's time to be explaining time after time - best for them to be getting on and using their skills, and letting the "why" and "how" message be passed out through a series of layers - if I tell 4 people, each of them tells 4, and then each of those a further 4.   Sure, not many have heard it from the horse's mouth, but I make that 85 people in the know. 

There are other elements to a lack of feedback and reaction to community inputs.  And it mixes in with the whole consultation question ("is it effective / is it box ticking") that we had here recently.   Thems "at the top" really do want to help you.  They want to provide a product that people love, just as I want to do at the coffee shop.  But they're afraid of a disparate array of incompatible requests, and they're worried about impractical requests gathering credence, so they can tend to go into "we know best" mode.   And that's where we can - as a community - really help by coming up (after discussion) with sensible and understood suggestions that are widely supported.  Cloud cuckoo land? - sometimes it feels like that where campaigner are needlessly aggressive in forcing their views / agenda (protest not partner) but I can also point you to successes ...

I have a long day ahead - meeting in Bristol Temple Meads for a TransWilts review including engineering, reliability, marketing, future timetables, fares, buses, Pewsey, reports for various people I should have written yesterday ... so I will leave this thread now as a seed for discussion.

Oh - and a date for your diary.   Please hold 2nd and 3rd June in your diary.  Just one day if you can't manage both.  If partners won't let you out, negotiate and partner - offer them a walk along the pier at Weston and a change to meet up with other campaign widows and widowers.    Can't say much more - I'm negotiating and (sure) it's an aspiration not a promise at the moment. Mighty trees from little acorns grow.  Look at TransWilts.  Look at the Coffee Shop.  Look perhaps at Sewweb (!). Look at Discover (you will discover later this month!).
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 01:22:43 pm by grahame » Logged

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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 09:30:20 am »


Oh - and a date for your diary.   Please hold 2nd and 3rd June in your diary.  Just one day if you can't manage both ...


In true rail industry fashion, I'm afraid that 2nd and 3rd June have had to be postponed until either 30th June or 14th July due to issues such as the availability of a speaker.    I do hope to firm up by the end of this week ... at which point I'll adjust the calendar.

On second thoughts - does anyone fancy a social on 2nd / 3rd June weekend - there's branch lines to choose from - from a weekend in Greenford or Severn Beach to a trip to Weymouth or Looe!
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bobm
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 01:46:11 pm »

Noting there is a Newbury blockade starting on the 2nd June which will affect (stopping) services through Melksham but might be up for a trip somewhere.
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 01:53:08 pm »


Oh - and a date for your diary.   Please hold 2nd and 3rd June in your diary.  Just one day if you can't manage both ...


In true rail industry fashion, I'm afraid that 2nd and 3rd June have had to be postponed until either 30th June or 14th July due to issues such as the availability of a speaker.    I do hope to firm up by the end of this week ... at which point I'll adjust the calendar.

On second thoughts - does anyone fancy a social on 2nd / 3rd June weekend - there's branch lines to choose from - from a weekend in Greenford or Severn Beach to a trip to Weymouth or Looe!
Could always catch a train from Pilning on the Saturday!.
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