|Latest 7 Posts
| DJI Spark launches. Seize the moment!|
Wed, May 24th 2017 5
| The 2017 State of Community Management Report has been released|
Tue, May 23rd 2017 8
| JUMP (OpenMic) Session: Deploying, Securing, Customizing and Extending the IBM Connections Mobile App|
Mon, May 22nd 2017 7
| ESN champion? You’ll want to review these JiveWorld17 sessions|
Fri, May 19th 2017 5
| JUMP (OpenMic) Session: Let’s talk about IBM Connections Next Deployment – The Easy Button|
Wed, May 17th 2017 7
| ICS Community Meeting – Connections Adoption|
Wed, May 17th 2017 5
| 12 steps to success with IBM Connections|
Fri, May 5th 2017 8
| Kodak announces Ektra smartphone featuring 21 megapixel f/2.0 lens|
Fri, Oct 21st 2016 13
| GoPro introduce new backpack and cycle mounts|
Tue, Jun 28th 2016 12
| A new book from Michael Sampson: Re-Imagining Productive Work with Office 365|
Wed, May 25th 2016 11
| Document management in online communities|
Thu, Jul 7th 2016 11
| My musings on Microsoft Teams|
Tue, Nov 8th 2016 11
| Ghost Browser – the Productivity Browser for Tech Pros|
Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 11
| Ruark Backpack II: Wishing Sonos offered something similar|
Wed, Dec 14th 2016 10
| This week’s Awesome Apps: Bear and Infuse Pro (and a bonus, Duet Display)|
Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 10
| CGATE – an easy-to-use front end for IBM ConnectionsCGATE – an easy-to-use front end for IBM Connections|
Sat, Apr 15th 2017 10
| Introducing Workplace by Facebook|
Tue, Oct 11th 2016 9
||Tools as a catalyst for culture change (in IBM)Tools as a catalyst for culture change (in IBM)
A fascinating article by Bill Higgins, the IBM Distinguished Engineer that lead a major project to revolutionise the company’s approach to product development:
When our CEO Ginni Rometty hired Jeff Smith as IBM’s CIO, with the mandate to help IBM achieve better business and technical agility, I proposed to Jeff that we provide the entire company with a great continuous delivery toolchain that fostered radical collaboration across disciplines. Jeff agreed and for the past two and a half years, that’s what my team and I have been working on.
We chose and deployed best-of-breed collaboration tools like Slack and Mural, and best-of-breed continuous delivery tools like GitHub Enterprise and Travis CI to continuously deploy their services to the IBM cloud. About a year into the project, we’d seen some amazing uptake, but we’d also realized that providing great tools was a means to an end, but not the real goal.
Bill goes on to explain the methodology the project utilised, along with some of the challenges and issues they faced, and the subsequent advantages that were enabled by the new technology. It’s a really interesting read, particularly when you’ve seen many of the challenges that IBMers have faced over the past decade or so. I highly recommend that you take the time to consume the entire article.
However, there are a couple of passages that I wanted to pull out here…
The first is on why ‘tools’ are not the answer. Or rather, why tools alone are not the answer. We’ve all seen this in our work, but the way in which Bill puts it is particularly succinct (emphasis mine):
What I believe wasn’t obvious then – and remains non-obvious now – was that tool adoption was not the real problem to solve. The real problem to solve was getting teams to discover and adopt the modern practices that the tools enabled.
The tools we picked all had good surface usability – attractive UIs, good performance, etc. – but the magic was in the new workflows and collaborations that they enabled. For instance, you can use GitHub as just a more attractive Git UI, but it becomes magical when you fully buy into its pull request workflow to support peer reviews and social coding across teams. As another example, you can use Slack as simply a more attractive instant message client, but it becomes magical when it becomes the cockpit for your human colleagues and continuous delivery tools to collaborate on updating a production application.
The magic is in the new, better practices that the tools enable. A tool is a vehicle for practices. Practices directly shape habits and tacit assumptions. Habits and tacit assumptions are the foundations of culture.
So organisations don’t just need to provide their staff with great tools, they need to utilise them within new working practices that make the most of the capabilities that they offer.
Secondly, user adoption will likely never be a constant or even growth curve – it relies on a a series of linked but unpredictable events that enables the spread of the new working practices across the organisation. Again, Bill explains this brilliantly:
I think of tools as a catalyst because – if you manage to communicate and execute well – you can set off a positive chain reaction:
- Your top folks think “wow, our leaders are clueful, and they’re serious about transforming our culture.” They jump on board and immediately experience and demonstrate better performance and better morale. They view you as a clueful leader that they will trust vs. an unhelpful pointy-haired boss. They also become your champions and sources of local support with later adopters.
- The next set of folks see the improved performance of the early adopters and say “I want some of that!” If you help frame the problem as adopting modern practices, and make it clear how the tools support these practices, this group will ultimately change behavior, and experience the benefits of this change with their own improved performance and happiness.
- The more productive and happy employees do a much better job recruiting great talent from college and industry, as they rave about their excellent set of tools, their modern ways of working, and their clueful leadership.
- As more long-time and new employees gain mastery of the tools and the practices, you hit the diffusion curve’s critical mass point (the yellow line’s first inflection point in the diagram), where your early adopters and early majority become a self-sustaining force for the diffusion of the practices and tools to everyone else, allowing you to move on to the next whitespace where you can add unique value.
As I mentioned above, the entire piece is worth your attention.
It’s clear that there is a much-needed revolution taking place inside the walls of IBM’s development and design labs.
From the partner and consultant perspective, the first half of this decade had seen product development and innovation appear to slow to a crawl with products that were heavy, difficult to deploy and provision, and unappealing to users and business leaders. Something needed to be done.
We’re now hearing of new approaches being taken to all aspects of the software (and service) development process, and the benefits are being seen in the planning and delivery of products across the portfolio.
What’s enlightening from articles like these is that descriptions of IBM’s efforts to revolutionise internal collaboration are missing one obvious component… IBM’s own collaboration tools!
Whilst the Notes to Verse migration has most likely improved email, this isn’t where the cultural change is anchored.
Instead of hearing about Connections or Sametime as the tools that are enabling developers to embrace new ways of working, it’s Slack and Mural that are taking the plaudits. Not that there is inherently anything wrong with that – IBM should be using the best tools that can support their business.
However, it’s tough for IBM and its ecosystem of partners and ISVs to be recommending their own solutions to customers when they are not using (or rather exploiting them fully) internally. For example, there’s barely been a mention of Watson Workspace in the press since the announcement last year, whilst IBM has been referencing their use of Slack on a regular basis – and Slack even used IBM as a launch reference for their enterprise solution.
So where does this leave IBM Connections and it’s related solutions? In a 6-9 month lull waiting for these new development practices to evidence themselves fully in the delivery of Connections Pink…
We’re already hearing of massive changes in the build and delivery approach for Pink, and the first element (OrientMe) was shipped in the recent Connections 6 release. It’s clear that this is a sea-change from the glacial pace of development that we’ve seen over the past few years, and I’d pin this at least partially on the cultural changes that Bill Higgins and others have implemented.
My hope is that the improvements delivered in Pink are enough to make the Connections solution effective at enabling true collaboration across teams and between individuals, in such a way that the IBM development teams themselves find it essential for their own use. That will be a true test of its value in modern tech-based organisations.
[The post Tools as a catalyst for culture change (in IBM) appeared first on Stuart McIntyre.]
Apr 17, 2017
| Recent Blog Posts
DJI Spark launches. Seize the moment!|
Wed, May 24th 2017 5:49p Stuart McIntyre
This looks amazing. The new DJI Spark. Smaller than your average smartphone:
Meet Spark, DJI’s first ever mini drone. Signature technologies, new gesture control, and unbelievable portability make your aerials more fun and intuitive than ever before. With five different colors, there’s a Spark for everyone.
Casey Neistat and Marques Brownlee have already taken a look:
The Spark costs just $499 and is available for order today in the US for shipping on 15th June.
Whilst other DJI drones ma
The 2017 State of Community Management Report has been released|
Tue, May 23rd 2017 4:11p Stuart McIntyre
If you’re in a role that encompasses elements of community management or program strategy, there is no doubt that one of the year’s highlights is the Community Roundtable’s publication of their ‘State of Community Management’ annual report.
The Community Roundtable group’s expertise and experience is unrivalled – anyone that’s heard Rachel Happe speak will vouch for that. However, the SOCM report is not just their take on the ‘state of the union’ of the community management d
JUMP (OpenMic) Session: Deploying, Securing, Customizing and Extending the IBM Connections Mobile App|
Mon, May 22nd 2017 11:03a Stuart McIntyre
Last week I posted about an upcoming JUMP (Join, Understand, Master and Participate) session on IBM Connections Next which takes place on June 21.
The good news is that there is an earlier JUMP webcast scheduled for this Wednesday, 24th May 2017:
The IBM Connections applications for iOS and Android provide your users access to Connections from their mobile devices. The apps are highly extensible, provide a customizable user experience and can be securely administered. In this session we will e
ESN champion? You’ll want to review these JiveWorld17 sessions|
Fri, May 19th 2017 4:20p Stuart McIntyre
The Value of Conference Content
For many years I’ve written and podcasted about IBM’s major worldwide collaboration event each year, formerly called Lotusphere and renamed in recent years as IBM Connect. I’ve even been the member of organised teams that have live-blogged keynotes and other key sessions.
Why have I spent so much time and energy sharing content from these events?
I realise the value of the insight shared in these sessions, and how powerful it is for all customers and p
JUMP (OpenMic) Session: Let’s talk about IBM Connections Next Deployment – The Easy Button|
Wed, May 17th 2017 9:55p Stuart McIntyre
IBM OpenMic webcasts have always been worth attending – the chance to ask questions of product experts that you’d normally only get the chance to meet at major global events is never one to be passed over!
These OpenMic sessions have just been renamed JUMP (an acronym for Join, Understand, Master and Participate), but the format appears to remain the same.
The good news is that the next scheduled webinar features IBM Connections Next (a.k.a. Pink), with a tagline of ‘The Easy Button’…
ICS Community Meeting – Connections Adoption|
Wed, May 17th 2017 4:11p Stuart McIntyre
An interesting topic has been selected for this week’s ICS Community meeting, hosted by Amanda Bauman:
This is the regular 3rd Thursday ICS Community meeting where IBMer and Community members present topics of interest to the community.
On May 18th, join us and hear Kerry Godbold from Canal Barge Company talk about how they overcame the obstacles of user adoption for IBM Connections. You will take away some ideas for how you can improve user adoption at your own company, or how you can help yo
12 steps to success with IBM Connections|
Fri, May 5th 2017 2:47p Stuart McIntyre
This graphic has been around for a while (it was first published by IBM back in November last year), but it is still very useful in terms of giving guidance to end users on how to best use IBM Connections to good effect:
It is also available as a PDF to download.
Here are the 12 steps in text form:
Build your network – Add or follow someone
Advertise your skills on your profile
Update your status every day – Work out loud
Bookmark in Connections – Help yourself and others
IBM Connections 6.0 at a Glance|
Fri, May 5th 2017 1:08p Stuart McIntyre
IBM business partner Maarga Systems has created a quick one-minute video overview of the new features and enhancements available in IBM Connections 6.0:
New Features of IBM Connections 6:
– Orient Me
– Modern Communities
– Enhanced Onboarding
– Better than ever Files
I’ve been working with Maarga for a number of years and can vouch for their technical skills. If you need assistance with Connections customisation or application development, give them a try.
[The post IBM Connections
Docusign announced enhanced partnership with IBM, including new eSignature integrations|
Fri, May 5th 2017 10:44a Stuart McIntyre
At their Momentum 2017 event this week, Docusign announced a number of new alliances with industry-leading vendors, including an enhanced partnership with IBM:
DocuSign today announced a deeper, strategic partnership with IBM to bring to market new capabilities to three solutions to help organizations of every size and industry advance their digital transformations.
DocuSign’s platform and eSignature service will be available within IBM Watson Workspace, IBM Connections and IBM Enterprise
FlightLapse #01 – MilkyWay|
Thu, May 4th 2017 6:56a Stuart McIntyre
A gob-smackingly beautiful timelapse:
Flying through the night, while the world beneath us is at sleep, is a pretty common thing as a longhaul pilot. Late evening departures lead to far distant destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong, Sao Paolo or J’burg. Depending on the direction of the flight the crew and the passengers either have a short night up ahead if flying eastbound or almost eternal darkness if headed westwards.
[The post FlightLapse #01 – MilkyWay appeared