If you have been following my blog, I am telling you a little bit about myself, my husband, my marriage, my son and my career. I have had an interesting life and I thought I would share a slice of it. If you want to start from the beginning please read my post called Another story begins . . .
So just as a brief review, within a few years after getting my Master’s degree, my husband and I moved to Dallas, Texas. I started out doing some temporary work, and within five months had a permanent job at a bank. This bank gave me many opportunities to learn new skills. I had a knack for technology and applications. As a result of this I was put on many special projects such as converting a system to a new system, enhancing the systems, being a supervisor which led to being a manager, and managing financials and budgets.
After Dallas, we moved to Chicago and I once again worked for a bank in their technology department. My main responsibilities were business analysis and project management. My stay there was short before I moved into contract employment with a consulting company. While being a contract employee I specialized in technology quality engineering, business analysis, and project management. Besides testing an application, I defined their project management procedures, and set up a technology help desk system.
After about four years I left the consulting business and my husband and I started our own company. I ran a processing plant which prepared, packaged and shipped products to West Africa. This experience was very exciting and I got a glimpse of a new perspective of business. It gave me an opportunity to be in charge of most facets of a business. Unfortunately, the business did not go so well, and I got a chance to experience a crushing failure too.
That brings us to where I left off in a previous post. As you know if you have been following my posts, I was contacted by a bank in Ohio and they wanted to hire me as an independent consultant. This was a pretty good offer because by being independent, there was no third-party taking their share of the payment. In this situation I was making 100% of the fee paid by the bank.
My husband was finally out of the hospital and we were no longer quarantined. I could finally begin work and my husband could take care of our son.
I have always been nervous about starting a new job. That is probably true for most people. I don’t think it is due to lack of confidence in my skills, but I think it may be because of the uncertainty of everything. New people. New boss. New location. New software application. New procedures.
This time the situation was a little different. I knew the VP who hired me and I knew a little about the company’s software applications. I am not sure if that knowledge gave me any comfort. All I cared about is that it was a great way to bring in money for our family.
For this job I reported to a project manager. I also worked closely with a couple of developers and several team leads from the mortgage default department. The application I was going to work on, which was owned by a third-party company, was designed to assist with the servicing activities once mortgage loans went into default. The project consisted of getting the application installed, setting it up to automate workflows, and converting data from the old application for the new application. The biggest aspect of the project was setting up its configuration and all of the templates that drove business processes for servicing delinquent mortgage loans. It involved working with four departments: Loss Mitigation, Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, and Real Estate Owned. This company had one of the biggest portfolios of mortgage loans in the U.S. It serviced loans for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA and other investors. Each processing template was differentiated by the investor’s guidelines, the type of loan, and what state it was in. Due to these differences it meant a couple of thousand templates.
Within about six months I had a pretty good perspective of what we needed to accomplish. Your probably thinking, “Six months, and you’re not done yet?” That is correct. It was a big project. It also had to be right or there would be huge losses. What made it complicated was that we had to set up all the procedures prescribed by all of the investors, all of the loan types and all of the states. These templates needed to cover every possible ‘if/then’ scenario for a loan to go. We also had to ensure all of the handoffs between each of the departments were perfect. One missed step in the process, or a wrong duration would result in penalties to the bank. The goal was to implement this system which would, if used properly, tremendously reduce or eliminate the penalties the bank had been paying had been paying. We were talking about millions of dollars.
After about six months it was pretty obvious that the project manager did not have a clue. He didn’t understand the project and he didn’t know how to be a project manager. Normally as a contractor I would not get involved with this situation. I would do my job as instructed and what happens, just happens. Obviously I was not a typical contractor. Since this bank had reached out to me and offered me this opportunity, I felt obligated to make sure they got what they needed.
I decided to escalate the issue. Luckily I was not doing this alone. I had been keeping the VP who hired me apprised of all the issues. The lead developer was also in agreement with me. Finally we had an audience with the Executive Vice President. He listened to the issues we were having and he came to the same conclusion that we had, which was to get rid of this project manager, and replace him with one that at least could handle project management activities. The Executive VP was glad we had brought this to his attention. He knew this project could not fail, and if it did he probably would not be the Executive VP any more.
Well that was six months of misguided work, resulting in one bad project manager eliminated. After straightening this out you would expect more forward progress. Well this assumption was proven to be wrong.
To be continued . . .
Back again . . .
Swallow my pride and move on . . .
Worst fears were coming true . . .
A new business can be rough . . .
It’s a different world . . .
Change in career, another move, and starting something new . . .
Good-bye Chicago, Hello Columbus . . .
Chicago and a time of crisis . . .
A place of prosperity . . .
There are good people in the world . . .
Hard times: a need to relocate . . .
And another story begins .