Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Transitioning To The New System


Now that things seemed to have settled down at least a little bit, I have been circling back to try and figure out the new website launched by Grand Lodge late last year. While there are many quirks to the old system it is something that I had gotten used to and knew exactly where to go if I needed anything. This new site is something completely different and I am finding that it is taking much longer than I anticipated to find the information and functions that I need. It isn’t that there is anything wrong with it, it is simply new and unfamiliar which takes time to figure out.

However, there are a few things that I have noticed that are both incredibly helpful and also lacking in comparison to the legacy system. While I enjoy having access to the names and lodges of brothers from across the commonwealth, I don’t need that information all of the time. In fact, 99% of the time I just want to see the members of my own lodge, read and respond to emails, and update and input records when needed. That is the bulk of the work that I do on the website and all of these other things just seem like unnecessary bells and whistles to me right now. Of course, that could change over time but that is what I am finding at the moment.

And this speaks to the larger issue at hand… simplicity. I make my living distilling and simplifying complicated concepts into easily digestible text and quotes… it is a necessity of the industry in which I work and partly why companies pay for my services. However, this should not be something that is needed when trying to update records and input data. There is an overly complicated nature to the new process that will undoubtedly keep some brothers from serving as Secretaries in the future… especially those brothers who may be a few years older than the rest.

But the main issue that I have had with the new system is that I didn’t start using it earlier. After all, this could all simply be a matter of unfamiliarity. Because I continued to use the legacy system for so long I am finding myself having to reenter the same information again into the new system… I could have avoided this extra work. Like many things in life, sometimes the biggest obstacle lies in the person sitting at the computer. This is something that we all learn in our lives and especially during our time in the fraternity. The biggest hurdle to get something done can sometimes be in the individual(s). In the end, in order to keep moving forward and moving this fraternity forward, we can’t be afraid to point the finger at ourselves. It really is that simple.