One of the more interesting things to land in my feed this week was Basecamp‘s new Guide To Internal Communications. As early proponents of agile project management, I have a lot of respect for the company, but I’m was not a happy camper when I read this. In short, the 30 principles of internal communication listed seem somewhat antagonistic toward interpersonal communication. Take principle 3: “Internal communication based on long-form writing, rather than a verbal tradition of meetings, speaking, and chatting, leads to a welcomed reduction in meetings, video conferences, calls, or other real-time opportunities to interrupt and be interrupted.” and principle 5: ” Meetings… Read More »Basecamp Is Off-Base On Internal Communications
This post was originally published on the NTEN Blog on December 24th, 2015. As years go, 2015 was a significant one in my career. The work of a CIO, or IT Director, or whatever title you give the person primarily responsible for IT strategy and implementation, is (ideally) two parts planning and one part doing. So in 2015—my third year at Legal Services Corporation—we did a couple of the big things that we’d been planning in 2013 and 2014. First and foremost, we (and I do mean we—I play my part, but I get things done with an awesome staff and coworkers) rolled out the… Read More »Year-end Reflections
This article was originally published in NTEN Change Magazine in June of 2015. What kind of challenge does your organization have supporting technology? Below are several scenarios to choose from: Little or no tech staff or tech leadership: We buy inexpensive computers and software and rely on consultants to set it up. Our IT support is outsourced: there is no technology plan or any staff training. We have a tech on staff who does their best to keep things running: no staff training, no technology planning. We have a tech on staff and an IT Director, but no technology plan: IT is swamped and not… Read More »Creating A Tech-Savvy Nonprofit Culture
…is the name of the track that I am co-facilitating at NTEN’s Leading Change Summit. I’m a late addition, there to support Tracy Kronzak and Tanya Tarr. Unlike the popular Nonprofit Technology Conference, LCS (not to be confused with LSC, as the company I work for is commonly called, or LSC, my wife’s initials) is a smaller, more focused affair with three tracks: Impact Leadership, Digital Strategy, and The Future of Technology. The expectation is that attendees will pick a track and stick with it. Nine hours of interactive sessions on each topic will be followed by a day spent at the Idea Accelerator, a workshop… Read More »The Future Of Technology
This post also appeared on the Cloud for Good Blog in April of 2014. Buying a new fundraising CRM or replacing your finance and HR systems are big investments with critical outcomes. These are the types of projects can have a huge impact on your ability to accomplish your mission. Poorly planned, chosen and deployed, they will do the opposite. If you’re grasping for a cautionary tale, just look at the recent Healthcare.gov rollout, or the worse related stories in Maryland and Oregon. But successful implementations happen every day as well, they just don’t grab as many headlines. How can you make sure that big software… Read More »Three Ways To Make Sure that Your Next Big Software Project Is A Success
I owe somebody an apology. Last night, a nice woman that I’ve never met sent me an email relaying (not proposing) an idea that others had pitched. Colleagues of mine who serve in communications roles in the nonprofit sector were suggesting a talk on “Why CIOs/CTOs should be transitioned into Chief Digital and Data Officers”. And, man, did that line get me going.
The technology trend that defines this decade is the movement towards open, pervasive computing. The Internet is at our jobs, in our homes, on our phones, TVs, gaming devices. We email and message everyone from our partners to our clients to our vendors to our kids. For technology managers, the real challenges are less in deploying the systems and software than they are in managing the overlap, be it the security issues all of this openness engenders, or the limitations of our legacy systems that don’t interact well enough. But the toughest integration is not one between software or hardware systems, but, instead, the intersection of strategic computing and organizational culture.
Iâ€™ve been pretty fascinated by the news reports about how the Obama staff reacted to the technology in place at the White House. If you havenâ€™t been tracking this, you can read the full story, but the short story is this: the Mac/Blackberry/Facebook-savvy Obama staffers were shocked to find ancient systems and technology in use at the White House â€“ Windows XP, MS Office 2003, traditional phone lines, and web filtering in place â€“ in other words, the same stuff my org uses. I found myself both sympathetic and skeptical regarding their plight
We’ve come a long way since the Pony Express. It’s hard to imagine living in a time when your options for communication were limited to face-to-face, sllooowww mail, and, perhaps, carrier pigeon. Today, we have the opposite problem: there are so many mediums to choose from that a key communication skill is to gleam the method that the person you want to reach prefers.