Excitement is at an all-time high this week. The biggest football event in the world started last week. Yes, the excitement is about football and not as much about our project… I am talking about the real football, the game played with the round ball and what the United States calls soccer. The FIFA Women’s World Cup™ commenced this week! My friends and I are in the minority in the United States, we schedule our life during these four weeks around this beautiful game. Good thing the tournament is being played in Canada. The games are in the evening and I can concentrate on our project during the day and the games at night.

ABS is scheduled to go live in approximately six weeks and employees continue to validate data and test the software. I am pleased with the status of the ABS data conversion; we have relatively few data issues with the first data cut.

Last week, we saw the first cut of the CC&B data and our employees began data validation. We kicked off the week meeting with our employees to discuss the changes between our current system and iVUE®, data we will and will not convert and how to report issues. We provided employees with a list of accounts to validate and instructed them to select random accounts to validate in addition to the ones assigned.

We asked each department to verify the data they work with in their daily job. Data validation serves two purposes; first to expose any data conversion issues and second users are becoming familiar with navigating in iVUE® and the information contained on each screen. Issues are reported in our help desk system and are reviewed by one person before being sent to NISC for correction.

Data validation includes verifying the legacy amounts and counts balance to iVUE®. Nothing beats a set of eyes on your data and using queries to complement the visual review is advantageous.

This week Ryan is onsite for the first week of CC&B scenario training. Half of our call center representatives and billing personnel are participating in the training this week and the other half will participate next week. The employees are learning the features of iVUE®, including inquiry, daily entry scenarios, running reports, creating service orders, entering payments, etc. Ryan varied the training each day, demonstrating features of the software, allowing personnel to practice the functions and having them instruct as well.

A dilemma did occur on Wednesday. Fortunately, for our project, the dilemma faced only impacted me. The U.S. Men’s soccer team kicked off in a friendly game against Germany and I was sitting in scenario training. The U.S. men had a brilliant 4-3 win over the Netherlands last Friday and fans anticipated a victory over the German team. Since I couldn’t watch the game live I had to cut myself off from all social media and radio communication so I didn’t learn the outcome of the game. Thankfully no issues with my DVR and I watched the U.S. beat Germany with a score of 2 – 1.

The employees were happy to learn the software will eliminate some of their current manual procedures. They learned a great deal during the week and excitement peaked when they successfully posted payments, created service orders and ran reports. Consensus from the group is “practice makes perfect” and they will need to practice what they learned this week and are willing to come in on Saturdays to continue to practice. Ryan, aka the Muffin Man, instilled parting wisdom: “Stay positive, continue using the software practicing what you learned in training and you will become confident in the use of the software”.

Not everyone is excited about the beautiful game of soccer but enthusiasm and excitement is building in regards to our project. There is plenty of time to get excited about soccer. Games started this week and will continue through July 5th.