Cats, Dogs, and Information Management


Coleen Head ShotThe lady in the picture is my wife. I love her. I have loved her for many, many years. My wife is, shall we say, less than proficient with modern communications technology (i.e.: she’s tech-feeble). Despite how I make my living I decided I’d put up with her technical short-comings, ‘cause, love. One of the reasons for her lack of technical prowess is that she actually hates, hates, HATES social media. She’s seen some of the negative impacts that it can have, and really doesn’t have a need for it in her personal life. Well, that kinda changed recently.

For our anniversary last year I surprised her with her first smart phone (she used to have a crappy little LG thing that she could simply talk and text with). Anyways, in addition to the texting and talking, she was into using her phone for email and the camera. For most anything else internet related she used her laptop. Until last week …

I’m not really sure how or why, but she decided to sign up for Google + last week. So Google + isn’t the world’s #1 social network, but hey, she’s getting with the program. Now I should mention that we have pets; 3 dogs and 5 cats. We also have 3 kids. My wife has many, many, many pictures on her phone. Very few of them, percentage wise, are of humans. So as any slightly crazy cat lady would do, she joins some cat and dog related communities. And so begins my consternation …

I’ve been on Google + for a few years, though I haven’t really been engaged on it. I also recently killed off one of my profiles and just started to pay attention to my other one. At last count I have a staggering 1,325 profile views; the content I post is almost exclusively related to information management. She has 11,889 views over the last week+. Her content is almost exclusively cats, with the occasional dog pic thrown in. I think she’s also posted a couple pictures of her human family members. She takes a pic with her phone and posts to Google + with the app. And because she wears glasses (shhh!) and her phone is an iPhone 5C, she finds the process a little cumbersome. So I set up Box for her on her phone and laptop and I got all her pictures synced for her. She can now post as much as she wants, more easily than a few days ago. And I have inadvertently contributed to the growing proliferation of friggin’ cat pics on the internet.

Hey, I’m happy my wife is finding this stuff fun and all, but my Google + feed (or whatever it’s called) is filling up with cat pics because I follow my wife. I know there wasn’t anything about social media reciprocity included in the vows when we got married in 1988, but there probably is now and I’m not going to jeopardize things by un-following or blocking her. So I will put up with the good natured jibes about her stuff be more popular than mine (I think I’m being out +1’d to the order of 7,347:1), and with seeing cats in my feed.

It’s cool that she’s using social media and content management (though she doesn’t really know it) as a way to entertain herself. But what she and the rest of the cat-loving hoards don’t understand is that without information management, those places where they hang out and go all gaga over their cat pics would not be possible. Ironic, isn’t it? Without information architecture and metadata, all those cat pictures and videos would be mixed in with, heaven forfend, dog pictures and videos.

Oh, and I’m learning more about Google + than I really wanted to.

140404115510-crappy-taxidermy-cat-horizontal-gallery

Case Study: Managing Information – How and Why


PHIGs Graphic B

This is the second case study type thing I’m trying. It’ll likely be the last for a while as I have nothing left that I can publish without getting sued. Ah, the joys of being an independent consultant. Anyways …

This case study has to do with the project referenced in the two posts linked below. You may want to read them to get a better overall view of the project :

  1. Don’t Blame SharePoint;
  2. Guerrilla Tactics – IG Whether or not They Want It.

The document I’m sharing is part of a set of four docs that were delivered to the client. The purpose of each document is explained in the case study document.

The client in the case study builds electricity infrastructure; they are heavily regulated. They took the decision a while back to use SharePoint as their ECM pillar (though they don’t really know what ECM is). They also don’t have an Information Management strategy, nor any type of dedicated information governance structure. Though they rely heavily on information, and generate tons of intellectual property, they don’t do much about treating information as an asset. As far as they are concerned, information is IT’s problem and the business is just a client.

I was working as a subcontractor with ARC Business Solutions on this project. One of the key contributors to the project and the document was Chris Riley. You can follow Chris on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HoardingInfo. We knew early on in the project that the client was in ECM trouble and needed help. Though not part of the project mandate we wrote the docs up anyway (No. We didn’t bill the client extra.).

Without further ado … click the link and check it out: Managing Information at client name.

Feedback is appreciated.

The image in this post is my first attempt at visually representing the Principles of Holistic Information Governance. Click on it for the original PHIGs post and a larger version of the image.

Chris Riley, along with Shadrach White, is a co-author of Enterprise Content Management with Microsoft SharePoint.

PHIGs Graphics


I’m working on a graphic to represent the PHIGs. Which do you prefer?

Grahic A

PHIGs Graphic

Graphic B

PHIGs Graphic B

Graphic C

PHIGs Graphic C

 

Adopting ECM – A Case Study in Failure


Head in HandsEarlier this year I completed an assessment of Alfresco for a university client. The university licensed Alfresco several years ago and did not have much success. They hired me to find out why, and what to do about it. The options they wanted to look at were to continue on with Alfresco or switch to SharePoint. An option they weren’t willing to consider was a cloud based option. I gave them one anyways, based on Box. Unfortunately I was asked to remove that option from the final report. Oh well.

While the platform in question was Alfresco, I can’t stress enough that the failure had nothing to do with the platform. Under the circumstance nothing would have succeeded. You can read a bit about it in an earlier post here.

I’m trying something a little different; because of my altruistic nature I am making the final report available as a downloadable PDF. I figure there’s stuff in it that many could use, and perhaps critique that would be helpful.

I want to thank Laurence Hart for his contribution to the report and the overall project. Thanks, Laurence. You can follow Laurence on twitter at https://twitter.com/piewords and check out his blog at http://wordofpie.com/.

Anyways, just follow the link and you ought to get to the report (no fees, no signup, no tracking). Feel free to provide feedback.

University ECM Assessment – I’m using Box to share this content. Please let me know if you have any issues.

Image: “Paris Tuileries Garden Facepalm statue” by Alex E. Proimos – http://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/4199675334/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Today I Earned My CIP


CertInfoProfI wrote AIIM’s Certified Information Professional (CIP) exam in March 2015. Two hours to answer 100 multiple choice questions across six knowledge areas. I finished in 41 minutes. Frankly, I suggest that anyone who needs the entire two hours should probably not be working in any area related to managing information.

I wrote the exam not because I wanted the certificate for any particular reason, but because I wanted to assess my competence across the various domains. In preparation for the exam I did absolutely nothing other than what I do on a regular basis. I worked on my projects, I engaged with the information management community, I read, I wrote, and I attended the annual AIIM conference. I admit to a certain amount of trepidation in my approach as I may have found out I’m not as “expert” as I had initially thought.

As it turned out, I missed my target score by 0.9% overall, but I passed the exam and in a few weeks I’ll get an email, a certificate, and a pin (apparently I’m on my own to get the tattoo). I’m pretty pleased, not because I passed, but because the score breakdown shows me where I need to put in some additional effort in my professional development (not that anyone should ever consider not putting in effort). My breakdown is as follows:

  • Access / Use – I scored about what I expected and I’m happy with that.
  • Capture / Manage – I scored a little higher than I expected. I’m a bit “meh” about that one as the capture part isn’t really where I put a lot of focus, but I do spend a fair bit of time dealing with the manage piece.
  • Collaborate / Deliver – I scored lower than I expected. I’ll need to put some additional effort in here.
  • Secure / Preserve – I scored way higher than I expected. This one scares me as it may indicate that I ought to get into Records Management or something.
  • Architecture / Systems – I scored about what I expected. I would have been seriously bummed if I’d scored lower than expected as this is where I make most of my living.
  • Plan / Implement – See above.

I’d love to get a question-by-question breakdown of what my scores were; I’ll bet money that there are some AIIM and I could debate. Having taken some AIIM training in the past, I know that sometimes the answers on the exams are based on the course content rather than what happens in the real world. I’m cool with that as there are just too many possible right answers to account for them all in an exam.

Assuming the course goes ahead, I’ll likely continue with some professional development in May by taking AIIM’s ECM course in Calgary. I already have the ECM Master certificate (along with ERM and EMM), but I’m not after the certificate. I’m after what I can learn by attending the sessions and leveraging the discussions with the instructor (Jesse Wilkins) and the other attendees. I know that there are some who attend training for the piece of paper, and that’s cool in an academic setting. In real life, the take away has to be the experience and the knowledge. The paper is, maybe, a good piece of personal marketing.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the pat down and scan upon entering the exam facility; the TSA and CATSA could learn a thing or two.