John Q. Todd Sr. Business Consultant, PMP
One of the areas of constant puzzlement by Maximo users is how to, “find my data.” Quite a few people struggle in this area and end up with the belief that their data has been, “lost.” I have received many calls from clients in regards to lost data, only to find out the user’s query had been changed to a filter they were not expecting.
With the more recent versions of Maximo the user has been enabled with a number of methods to not only locate their records, but be able to create rather sophisticated reports on their own, as well.
How are your users doing with queries, advanced searches, and ad-hoc reporting? Have you asked recently?
While many of us IT folks have experience with doing SQL queries and the like… some longer than we care to admit… the average Maximo user most likely does not. We cannot assume that our user communities even have a clue what “query,” means. You’d be surprised.
- Have you provided hands-on training and quick guides to get the party started?
- Are you sending out, “Did you know…” tips and tricks emails when you field a particularly interesting IT support desk call?
- Are you all over new users of Maximo, teaching them the ropes, queries being a critical skill?
- Are your users adept at using wild cards? (Do they know there is/can be more than one?)
- Do they understand the syntax for multiple search parameters? (=WAPPR,=WSCH…)
For your more advanced users, the concept and syntax of the Where clause can open even more capability for them. While not always so easy to get just right, knowing how to manipulate this part of the query directly is a powerful tool in the hands of an advanced user.
Time spent with users showing them the ins and outs of finding data via List view queries and Advanced Search, as well as saving those queries for future use, can go a long way towards reducing IT Help Desk calls and increasing user acceptance. Oh, and have you added your custom fields to the Advanced Search screen where appropriate?
Showing them the ability to download their results sets into a spreadsheet can also greatly reduce the need for custom reports, whether for regular or one-off use. Speaking of reports…
Ad-hoc reporting has been refined in recent versions of Maximo. It has become a very powerful reporting function in the hands of the average user. With the exception of complex or specific format reports, ad-hoc reporting can deliver most reporting needs. Users can even prototype or pilot a report to see if it suits their needs. They can toss it, use it, refine it, or realize they need something more sophisticated and then turn to IT for custom report development. This can greatly reduce the effort of report writing for the IT organization.
I was at a client recently where the user community had no idea that ad-hoc was available since the IT shop had not granted access. Hoo-boy, that was a lively conversation to observe!
A final suggestion is providing a forum of sorts for users to share their query and reporting discoveries with the rest of the user community. Folks enjoy showing others the tricks they come up with. It is always amazing to watch that quiet person in the corner show a room full of people some neat trick. “Wow, that’s cool! How did you learn that?”