My Civic Duty – Forays into Government 2.0

I live in the village of Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago that borders the city directly to the west. I was appointed recently to the Civic Information Systems Committee (CISC), a body charged with advising the village board on village’s use of technology and information systems, both internally and with the outside community of residents, vendors, partners, and the wider world in general.

Although I’ve been following developments in Gov2.0 closely over the last two years or so, this is my first direct involvement with it. And in the interest of jumping in with both feet, I figured it would be a good idea to use this blog to document my experiences on the CISC and with Gov2.0 more generally.

In the coming weeks and months, then, I plan to cover a full range of Gov2.0 topics, from the airy heights of theory to the nitty-gritty, down-in-the-weeds view of trying to actually get stuff done on the committee. And I look forward to making this a place for you all to share your thoughts and experiences with Gov2.0, not only to keep me honest with good old-fashioned heckling, but also to widen the conversation beyond my point of view to include yours.

My first post will be after the winter recess, but in the meantime, jump in and make suggestions for topics I should address, and I’ll get them on the docket for 2012.

I hope you all have safe and enjoyable holidays with family and friends and look forward to seeing you back here in January!

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Review of What Just Happened, by James Gleick

I’m on a bit of a James Gleick kick right now, and before I dig into reading The Information in earnest, I figured I’d step back and write up my thoughts on What Just Happened, a collection of his technology essays from 1990 – 2001.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Gleick, he’s a fantastic science and technology writer, best known for his biographies of Isaac Newton and Richard Feynman…although when you’re a polymath like Gleick, “best known for” oversimplifies the breadth of your accomplishments.

During the nineties, he was at the forefront of those who understood just how profound the changes taking place to the information landscape were. He may not have been right 100% of the time (more on that in a minute), but he was always willing to see past the immediate wow factor of any given technological innovation to get at the larger implications for us as individuals, for our culture, and for society as a whole.

As you might expect, he covers a lot of ground in WJH, from the joys and frustrations of being a WinWord power user, to the radical transformation of telcos, the growth of Microsoft, the Internet and politics, the death of money, Y2K, and even the state of Internet porn circa 1995.

All the essays are excellent here, although some are more substantial than others. And while Gleick is always well-informed on his subject matter, you can definitely tell which topics he’s engaged with more deeply (especially the history of telephony, which is the starting point for The Information).

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Speaking of Leadership – David DeLuna

David DeLuna has 25 years of full business and technology solution implementation experience. In his current role as director of account management at ProspX, he and his team serve as the primary point-of-contact for all customers and leads day-to-day account management and customer satisfaction. Prior to joining ProspX, David managed high visibility, highly complex strategic projects for Doculabs, a leader in strategic consulting and market research. Prior to that, David served as CIO at Allied Worldwide, a $2+ Billion leading global relocation, moving services and logistics company. In this capacity, he managed a $14 million budget and 90 professionals and was responsible for implementing a claims management system that saved the company $1 million annually. David has held management level positions at leading organizations such as BSG, Trident, PerSe Technologies and Moveline. David is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications.

I sat down with David recently to talk with him about his time as CIO at Allied Van Lines, technology, and leadership.

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Putting one foot in front of the other (part 4)

In a previous post, I suggested some of the fundamental, structural changes I think IT will have to undergo in the next 10-15 years. And to me, these changes are not optional: organizations will have to make them; the only question is who will risk the difficulties and step up to lead them (and reap the substantial rewards)?

With that done, I’ve come back to Earth a bit to kick off a series of more modest posts that look at some of the baby steps IT needs to take to evolve into a truly strategic capability.

To me, once an IT leader adopts the correct orientation of her department as a strategic asset primarily focused on delivering business value (rather than IT capabilities), she has  a number of very tactical areas to address:

  1. Demand pipeline
  2. Structured requirements
  3. Developer-heavy staffing
  4. Agile methods/approaches
  5. Service catalog
  6. Portfolio management (including rationalization)

In this post, we’ll take a look at the fourth, Agile methods/approaches.

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Putting one foot in front of the other (part 3)

In a previous post, I suggested some of the fundamental, structural changes I think IT will have to undergo in the next 10-15 years. And to me, these changes are not optional: organizations will have to make them; the only question is who will risk the difficulties and step up to lead them (and reap the substantial rewards)?

With that done, I’ve come back to Earth a bit to kick off a series of more modest posts that look at some of the baby steps IT needs to take to evolve into a truly strategic capability.

To me, once an IT leader adopts the correct orientation of her department as a strategic asset primarily focused on delivering business value (rather than IT capabilities), she has  a number of very tactical areas to address:

  1. Demand pipeline
  2. Structured requirements
  3. Developer-heavy staffing
  4. Agile methods/approaches
  5. Service catalog
  6. Portfolio management (including rationalization)

In this post, we’ll take a look at the third, developer-heavy staffing.

Continue reading

Putting one foot in front of the other (part 2)

In a previous post, I suggested some of the fundamental, structural changes I think IT will have to undergo in the next 10-15 years. And to me, these changes are not optional: organizations will have to make them; the only question is who will risk the difficulties and step up to lead them (and reap the substantial rewards)?

With that done, I’ve come back to Earth a bit to kick off a series of more modest posts that look at some of the baby steps IT needs to take to evolve into a truly strategic capability.

To me, once an IT leader adopts the correct orientation of her department as a strategic asset primarily focused on delivering business value (rather than IT capabilities), she has a number of very tactical areas to address:

  1. Demand pipeline
  2. Structured requirements
  3. Developer-heavy staffing
  4. Agile methods/approaches
  5. Service catalog
  6. Portfolio management (including rationalization)

In this post, we’ll take a look at the second, structured requirements.

Continue reading