Now that you just passed your 12th birthday, you are ready for a well-deserved retirement. In IT terms, 12 years is like an eternity and I cannot believe you made it this long. You are, at times, painfully slow. I knew you were getting old when you started to display the dreaded "deadlock" error more and more.
You really turned out much different that I ever expected. After all, when Jim Cain and I were sitting in the Pittsburgh office one day in January 2006, all we wanted was something to make our lives easier. We created you so we could help our team navigate through the challenging transition to SAP. We thought that if we just dump a few reports into an Access database and use it to correlate information from multiple sources, it would save us time. And, boy, did it ever. We could answer questions in minutes instead of first having to do 45 minutes of research.
It is not that you were particularly attractive, but extremely easy to use. Part of it came from my constant quest to improve my personal efficiency. If I could figure out how to do something with one click instead of three, I spent the time doing it. If I spent 4 hours saving me 1 hour a week, it was a no brainer. And then multiply the time savings across our project management community, you really improved our efficiency in small (agile) increments.
But you had to be greedy. You asked for more and more data. I had to scrape around our systems just to feed you every day. And the more data I fed you, the more people were screaming for more. You provided an incredible opportunity to view the data that drives CA Services in so many ways.
You were not just a faithful servant to me. Anybody who heard about you wanted to be able to get access to you as well. First you served the EAST, then North America and finally the world. You grew into a monster! People wanted to use you, even when there were so many other tools available. Whenever there was a management initiative, we added specialized reports so you could address the current top concerns.
In your heydays, you became the hub of collaboration for CA Services management. You allowed us to to do away with communicating via spreadsheets. Instead of passing outdated files around we could put comments about our projects right with the financial and other data. You presented and corrolated data from all our most-used systems in Services, such as SAP, Clarity, Medalian, Project Workspace on Demand, Project Closure Library, Salesforce, Field comments application (anyone remember that) and more. And, yes, you were even providing us with a better way to forecast (better than Excel, anyway). Oh, and you even told me when I was making stupid mistakes (not that I ever would, but thanks anyway).
So, now, it is finally time to retire. Yes, you are displaced with a fresh face. Your replacement offers capabilities we used to dream about (I cannot count some of the special requests that PowerBI does with ease). And with that, I no longer have to feed you data every day. I get to spend more time on what I do best. Thank you for making my life easier for a while. Yes, you will be missed but soon we will embrace the new tools and, I hate to admit it, within a short period of time, you will be nothing more than a distant memory.
PS: FSD stands for Field Services Dashboard