One of the most common queries (and, dare I say, criticisms) we get with Grouper is about why a new member of staff is not yet in Grouper*. Expectations of our IT systems and services are so high that everyone expects everything to be set up and available ready for new staff the moment they walk through the door on their first day.
Previously, due to the timing that we receive ‘current’ staff data from SAP HR**, we weren’t loading new staff into Grouper until the night after their first day.
Well, not any more!
I’ve rewritten the way we consume SAP HR data so we now identify ‘current’ staff through a different mechanism, without the need to refer to our previous source of this information. This means that we now know, from midnight each night, who is a current member of staff for the forthcoming day. This also applies to internal staff moves; we should always have the correct, current data relating to department, job title, etc. This data is now available to any new data feeds that need up to date information on current staff***.
I’ve rewritten the job to load subjects into Grouper to take advantage of this so now any new members of staff should be in Grouper before they arrive, raring to go, on their first morning. The impact of this can be quite impressive if they happen to be in a department which really takes advantage of the power of Grouper. For example, if you use corporate data to control access to team mailing lists, shared filestores and internal websites (or anything else) then any new staff member will be able to access all of that information from the moment they log in to their shiny new PC.
(And, by the way, let’s not forget that we were already pretty hot here! Getting access to all your resources on your second day is not to be sniffed at; when a certain ex-colleague turned up for his new job at a well-known multinational software company providing open-source software products to the enterprise community, he was asked to bring in a book to read for the rest of the week!)
* I’ve just realised that we’ve never actually documented this “issue”, despite having told many, many people about it many, many times. We did, however, cover it in our ‘Getting to Grips with Grouper’ session.
** Each evening we get the details of staff whose contracts are active that day.
*** I’ll get around to reimplementing the definition of ‘current’ for People Search and NU Service, in due course. They are both also using day old definitions of ‘current’ at the moment. UPDATE: Both People Search and NU Service are now taking advantage of this development.