Fragmentation of Social Sharing Environments

Progress requires innovation, success spawns imitation, competition requires differentiation - and after 7+ years of “Web 2.0”, there are multiple sharing environments vying for our attention (and participation). Content Creation Blogging has morphed beyond it’s “personal diary” origins; Blogger, Wordpress, and the various CMS platforms have moved to become a long-format publishing platforms that continue to evolve. My own experience with this blog (cazh1) and internal blogs at work has shown that “posts” are more essays, articles, documentation on what…

Read More ...

Chargebacks vs. Allocations – Defining IT’s Relationship with the Business

Some IT departments prefer chargebacks, while others do not. My own preference is to allocate IT costs to the business units, based on some reasonable balance of simplicity and accuracy. General services could be allocated by headcount, COGs, or revenues, with each business unit taking their proportional share. Some easily identifiable items might be allocated more directly - maintenance costs for specialized engineering, warehouse management, or financial systems, for example, could be allocated more directly to those departments. I've written…

Read More ...

External Radiance Projection 2010: A Christmas / Upgrade Story

No, I'm not a Christmas fanatic - but when you live in Chicago, you learn to look for nice weather in the weeks approaching Thanksgiving, to put up the lights before the wind and cold conspire to make it a painful experience. Basically, I gotta burn a vacation day - but why not? It's an opportunity to get away from the hassles of work in Corporate IT ... ... except this year, I finally had to deal with my outdated…

Read More ...

Quantifying Business Benefit of Collaboration Tools (or, What Is This Meeting Costing Me?)

This post started off as an excuse to experiment with Google Docs, and this really neat feature I discovered - embedding a spreadsheet in a web page as a sharing method. However, it struck me as a potential way to cost justify the time, effort, and expense of implementing collaboration systems with the Most Cynical Among Us. We've all been in large meetings, with tens of people from the project team, along with the expensive consultants, sitting around a table…

Read More ...

IT Budget Hacking (w$$t)

Some block-and-tackle IT management stuff for today - taking a long, hard look at the IT budget, a task that is less-than-pleasant for many. Most of my peers have already cut any and all low hanging fruit - it's time to start thinking aggressively. Software Maintenance for the Small Stuff Most have concentrated on their ERP and other large, strategic vendors - but what about all of those little invoices that come every year? I'm talking about development tools, management…

Read More ...

Notes from SAPPHIRE 09

Yesterday at work was "catch-up day" from a week at SAPPHIRE 2009, the annual user conference for SAP. As with the JDA/Manugistics conference earlier this year, there were concerns that attendance was going to be low, because so many companies are limiting travel expense. At the conference, I did hear that attendance was only was 60% lower than last year. Conferences like this are great opportunities for IT to do a ton of learning - about the specific technology, of…

Read More ...

Business Benefits of Social Networks Exist, but …

When I see / read articles like this, or hear the breathless claims of vendors, pundits, and True Believers, I'll privately chuckle to myself. All of this stuff - social networking, collaboration, and innovation - are 21st century takes on good old Knowledge Management (KM), circa 1998. Do these sound like presentations from your recent Enterprise 2.0 conference? Managing Cultural Change to Create a Knowledge Sharing Environment Effectively Managing Information Overload in the Information Age Information Content and Security in…

Read More ...

PMO Nirvana is a Conversation, not a Schedule

We continue to iterate on our PMO processes - managing too few resources and too many project requests, an environment I have consistently seen in every IT group I have ever worked with. Our latest discussion concerned the concept of FIFO work on projects ... ... when presented with five things to do, I will only [emphasis added] work on them in the order received. This is an exceedingly poor assumption for your personal run-rules, and a short-sighted objective for…

Read More ...