Month: March 2009

Social Networking Etiquette

There are good use full blogs from lawyers stand point on social networking Etiquette. The recent cisco fatty is eye opener on the topic for those who are actively engaged in social networking and collaboration sphere. It must be coincidental, I heard a comment from one of my best friend during the weekend, “common sense is not common to every one” and cisco fatty incident is one of the best recent example for that comment. That comment needs deep thinking to understand purely. Common sense is a relative word.  A set of people may think a set of facts is common sense to everyone. But they are in a sub set and that set is closed (it is true mathematically  and it is called subspace) The real problem is, people in that set think they are in the universal set (super set) but they are not.

Social Networking Etiquette:

  • Collaborate and share knowledge on common topics with out offending anyone intentionally
  • Do not provide and do ignore unprofessional comments or feedback to  blogs, youtube,
  • Consider every one in your network and extended network is your colleague (not friend!) – The difference between colleague and friend is:  Colleague is the one you respect for their value and friend is the one you accept for who they are. In long run, in some cases, colleague will become good friends)
  • Be open, listen and you conclude in socnetsphere (I just invented a word. socnetsphere means Social network sphere)
  • My dad taught this when I was a little, the best way to gain respect is to show it first. That is also true in socnetsphere. If you do not like somebody’s view, that is fine. We all have freedom to have our opinion.
  • Social network is like your lungs. Use it or lose it. We can use social networks effectively to transform our country, our economy, our world & our universe

Twitter – Add ons

Thank you to Steve towers on his article on top five business research tools in twitter. Twittersearch and Twellow are my favourites.  I can connect with people who matter. Great concept and abundant business value.  I searched for topics I currently work in twittersearch and got the list of people who also work in the same area.  I saw few twitters aligned to my mental model about simple things like particles.  Twellow helped me to explore twittersphere. I love this picture which I found in less than 2 minutes through twittersearch.

stew

I’m sure, String theoriest want to replace every thing on the table except the bowl and book with noodles (strings) but I’m not sure I will be there for that debate.

Open Source Enterprise Architecture tool

During my UML modeling days, this question always stuck me with no answer. When you define a class, let me take an example as  male, you inherit a super class called human. All human attributes will be made available to male class. Then you define sub class like infant, child, teen, middle aged, aged etc.. inheritance takes the attributes from its super class. When you instantiate an object like middle aged male and let the name of the object be “Joe the plumber“, the object, Joe the plumber will have all the attributes defined in all of his class and his super classes. For generalization of the attributes of an object, UML has been doing an exemplary job. However, Joe the plumber is not same as all middle aged male. He has some unique attributes that most of plumber nor middle aged male does not have it. How to capture the unique attributes in the model. UML models completely failed to capture the attribute for an unique case or object.

We have seen marketing ads and commericals in TV that personalization is key for this and next generation marketing and sales. Each individual customers are targeted for promoting a product or service. Three to four years ago, I initiated my search to seek what industry is doing to address personalization design and that is when I ended with OWL, Protege.

Protege is an ontology tool. Ontology is few thousand  years old concept. I think it started from Ancient Greeks. Ontology is a presentation of knowledge. Immediately I became the registered member of Protege and have been using it (Frequency -> 1 hour a month, an average) for last 3-4 years. It is a very good tool to present information asset in the organization. It is easy to use once you spend significant amount of time to understand the concept and usage. I believe it will take some time to be ready for commercial use with idiot proof user interface.

Lately, I came to know that there is an open source enterprise architect plugin developed for Protege. It is called EssentialProject. It is a good enterprise architecture ontology editor. You can download it from enterprise architecture.org site.

An Evaluation Matrix for an Enterprise Architect

Some times, a simple concept may be crystal clear to you in your mind, but, it may be difficult to grasp by the audience. Enterprise Architects must continuously work on the soft skills to communicate a message successfully irrespective of the audience knowledge level. In that regard, an evaluation matrix for an enterprise architect is given below.

  • Perform the necessary action to meet the given objective and unable to communicate to the necessary stakeholders = FAILED,  as an enterprise architect to meet the mission
  • Does not perform the necessary action to meet the given objective & unable to communicate to the necessary stakeholders = FAILED, as an enterprise architect to meet the mission
  • Does not perform the necessary action to meet the given objective = FAILED, as an enterprise architect to meet the mission
  • Perform the necessary action to meet the given objective and able to communicate to the necessary stakeholders = SUCCESSFUL, as an enterprise architect to meet the mission

A set of soft skill must be possessed by an enterprise architect to be a successful enterprise architect. Enterprise architect must be able to connect to the application team, infrastructure team, IT finance team, IT procurement team, business teams, senior management, executive management and others.

IT Finance Management Framework – Part 3

Typically, the organization structure is,  managers, project managers & senior manager will be reporting to director in an IT organization. Directors will have a functional responsibilities like sales & marketing, customer service, finance and etc.  Managers and senior managers are responsible for the managing the project, lights on and enhancement. For a zero based budgeting, managers of each application area will be required to come up with forecast. The skills required for each managers to come up with forecast are given below.

  • Understanding of over all business process
  • Understanding of their respective business  strategy and their current annual business plan. For ex. if a manager supports call center systems, then that manager must understand customer and service business area’s plan for that year.
  • Understanding of external market condition
  • Understanding of work load in their area in the past and correlation with business strategy and its annual business plan
  • Understanding of technological obsolescence and flexibility of their systems
  • Trend analysis

The above skills will be used to develop the forecast for keep the lights on, discretionary and projects spend for their respective systems, infrastructure, shared service.

it-finance-structure

Each manager will have set of systems to support. Logical group of the system are assigned to an internal order number. Each internal order number will have a set of systems. The light on, discretionary and project spends are allocated for each internal order number.

Only the department level cost center and general ledger (GL) number level cost will be submitted to the controlling office and eventually in to the enterprise financial systems like SAP or Oracle Financials.   The cash budget will have line items only  GL level (like employee, contractor, and etc) , director level consolidation of GLs and department level consolidation of GLs.  The rest of classification like lights on , enhancement, internal order number and etc are just allocation within the ITM budget for better understanding and reporting.

This step completes the creation of budget for the IT organization. The next step is to track the actual and report to stakeholders. The next part will focus on tracking the actual cost and reporting it to the various stakeholders.