Archive for June, 2009
I had something happen to me today that is really causing me to reflect on how lucky I am to have met wonderful people throughout my life. This is going to be an uncharacteristically cathartic post for me.
A phase of a relationship that was very important to me has ended but regardless of whether it continues in a platonic capacity or fades away I am better for having experienced it. Everyone has a story and if you are open-minded enough you can learn something from pretty much anyone. I confess that I am not always as open-minded that way as I would like to be but I, like most people, try.
I met someone that had a lot to teach me and although bullet points don’t do it justice, a long and rambling overview that no one will read wouldn’t cut it either. She taught and reminded me how to:
- Be an incredible parent despite facing adversity that most of us will never have to deal with
- Be kind
- Listen with an open mind
- Be there when the other needs to talk and to be astute enough to realize when input is necessary or when listening is what’s needed
- Be funny and smart and well-informed
- Realize the importance of friends and family
- How being a douche bag can actually be a positive characteristic.
We’ve all met people like this and some of us have probably taken it for granted. Don’t. And if things take an unexpected turn be enough of an adult to focus on all the good that you derived from the relationship and use it to help you move forward. I will.
As stated previously I want to post about SharePoint governance and what we are learning as we go through the process. We’ve had SharePoint (2003 and then MOSS 2007) at our organization for about 4 years now and it, along with our organization, has been consistently evolving to reach the current state. In order to illustrate my point I want to talk about governance and also about how the potential implementation of the SharePoint Podcasting Kit will work vis-a-vis this model.
To provide some context here’s a quick overview of where things currently stand.
- Approximately 8000 users globally and being implemented as the mandatory home page for all Active Directory members in the organization
- Approximately 18,000 home page hits per day with 500,000+ for the entire portal per month
- A public area and a secure area. The public area is primarily used for communication purposes while the secure area is more collaborative.
- 500+ sites, with a legacy mess of site collections and sites with a fairly incoherent taxonomy.
- More SharePoint groups than I can even begin to count.
- Divisions (manufacturing facilities) are beginning to come on board and replacing their divisional intranets with site collections on our central implementation.
- A very poor level of overall user training.
- Exectives are blogging reguarly
- Integration with some LOB systems through the BDC
- One farm, located in Toronto with:
- 2 load balanced front end web servers
- 1 application server
- 2 clustered SQL servers
- A very, very lean IT organization to support the platform.
I’m sure our implementation and the current state with its strengths and weaknesses is not uncommon for many organizations. One of the areas we currently are lacking in is a governance model that works for our organization. A lot of research has been done on the various approaches to tackling this monster and there is a lot of conflicting information. We have decided to create 5 times, each with their own specific areas of responsibility. Somehow I got stuck on most of these teams but that’s a story for another day.
- Business Strategy Team
- This team consists of appropriate business owners willing to provide strategic insight and direction for the portal, and able to drive strategic initiatives into their respective organizations. Resources represent a good balance between business and IT, and also centralized control vs. decentralized empowerment. This team is a small, living team and can be reconstructed on a quarterly basis with new volunteers to maintain a fresh perspective on the business and exploit the collective wisdom of the company.
- Technical Strategy Team
- This team consists of knowledgeable technical leaders to provide technical direction on the portal. It is important that key relational systems experts should be involved in this team. If a business direction requires new integration or effort with other technologies then a technical representative for that technology will be necessary to ensure the planning, architecture, and implementation stages are more effective. This team is small and can be reconstructed on a quarterly basis with new volunteers to maintain a fresh perspective on the business and exploit the collective wisdom of the company.
- Tactical Support Team
- SharePoint site owners, plant system administrators, help desk personnel, and other various support resources create an effective support system with proper channels of escalation for end users of the SharePoint environments. This team handles application questions, bugs, and other problems requiring issue resolution.
- Tactical Operations Team
- Infrastructure (IT) resources provide operational support for the system as they help to ensure the enforcement of the governance plan and manage the more routine maintenance of the system by performing nightly backups, usage monitoring and analysis, scheduled task validation, and keeping the system current with security releases and system upgrades.
- Tactical Development Team
- Technically talented people both willing and able to customize, personalize, and use SharePoint in a manner that fulfils the business opportunities as identified by the strategy team. This team is a loosely-knit community of developers with varying degrees of proficiency in software development. Members can range from highly skilled programmers to technically savvy end users in charge of personalizing departmental team sites. Skilled developers will handle large change requests, new features, and program management while ensuring adherence to standards.
I’ll wrap this post up and focus on organizational context and a case study of the SharePoint Podcasting Kit during the next post.
Look for a post over the next few days around how to manage the process of implementing a practical governance model. I’ve learned a lot and am eager to share. I’m a very pragmatic person and believe that context – in the form of corporate culture, engagement, strategic direction (or lack thereof) – should be a primary consideration in developing a governance model. Stay tuned.
I want to take a moment to post a link to a blog I can see offering a lot of excellent information. It’s written by Kirill Karmi, a friend and colleague who brings a tremendous amount of depth in both SharePoint and Project Management. Don’t mind the creepy picture – he’s harmless.
20 minutes of Hammer Strength preacher curls – light weight & high reps – sets of 12
Cable Curls – 5 minutes but very little rest between sets
Reverse Curls – just a few sets
5 sets of pushups with very little rest between sets. 30, 20, 17, 15, 15
I WILL go for a run today at lunch…
Well I didn’t go at lunch but I did a quick 5k which was good. I’m pretty sure I’m going to a half marathon this fall. I’m also going to find another 10k to do this month as it’s an excellent incentive to train. As long as I beat 48 minutes I’ll be happy. Well – not really – I’d like to knock a few minutes off that.
I wrote the following letter to the editor in response to the following article in the National Post today. I’m interested in your feedback.
The recent scandal relating to police running background checks on potential jurors at the behest of the Crown reaffirms my lack of faith in government. The sad thing is, is that many of the people I speak to don’t understand what the fuss is about.
From the National Post:
Chief Gary Smith [of the Windsor Police Service] said the officers were trying to help prosecutors select “quality” juries in criminal trials.
Do you want someone who’s been convicted of domestic assault sitting in a domestic assault case?” he said in an interview with The Windsor Star.
The information gathered on the 200 people selected for the jury pool included speeding tickets, pardoned crimes and young offender records, which were secretly used by the Crown.
I honestly don’t know where to begin.
- Fairness – if our legal system is not fair to both the prosecution and the defense then the scales of justice are out of balance. The Crown has immense resources at its disposal and to use them in a way to pervert justice is appalling.
- Relevance – in this scenario a run in with the law that I had as a young offender 30 years ago could potentially impact that outcome of a trial of a fellow citizen. Think about that and tell me if you still don’t see this as a big deal.
- Purity of Heart – because the police believed their motives were pure they argue that no wrong was done. I’m sure people that kill abortion doctors use the same argument.
- Privacy – the privacy of my information held by the government must be sacrosanct. Clearly it is not, nor will it ever be.
- Scope – does anyone believe that this practice is both longstanding and widespread? If you do, you need to give your head a shake.
People think I’m a right wing nut when I talk about the steady intrusion of the state into our personal lives and the consistent erosion of our liberties. Whether it’s your information being shared for nefarious purposes, your personal property being seized without trial and conviction (thank you Julian Fantino) or your tax dollars being poured down to buy votes from targeted constituencies – this is what government does. You may want more of it. I’d like less.
Remember – government is comprised of people > people have agendas > information is power. Do you really trust them to do right by you?
Anyone involved with this tragedy should be fired at the least and criminally charged at best. I wonder if they would object to the Crown using the police to run background checks on potential jurors in their own trials.