Modified on by AcdntlPoet
Hello there! @kellypuffs here. Jason has kindly invited me to guest-post, and I just wanted to share a fun little haiku deck I put together, riffing off a great article that appeared in Social Media Today, in which the author reminds us that the same simple rules we live by also apply to social media.
Enjoy and happy Friday!
Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad
Editor's Note: If you will be at IBM Innovate 2013 next week, stop by the Social Playground where both Kelly and Jason will be hanging out and helping to answer questions about social business involvement. We'd love to meet you in person and have real-life conversations!
Just a quick note to let you know that I have accepted a new role in IBM, still focused on collaboration, communities, and knowledge-sharing, but outside of Rational Client Support.
It's been a great ride, and I'm looking forward to new opportunities and challenges. Notes from Rational Support is going strong and I leave you in the Most Capable Hands of my Wonder Twin, Jason O'Donnell and the growing cadre of bloggers in Rational Client Support.
They, and everyone else at Rational Client Support, inspire me every single day with their dedication and passion for client success. You've got a great bunch of people to work with.
It has been my pleasure and joy to share knowledge with you here, and I hope we have been able to make a difference for you. So, of course, consider this one last plea for feedback from me. If you have found this blog to be of value to you over the past several years, a quick comment would be greatly appreciated.
As always, you can find me on t'internets as kellypuffs. (And hopefully, Jason will let me come back with the odd guest post now and then
* Jason's Editorial Note:
We wish Kelly all the best in her new endeavors! While we are very sad to see her go, we are also incredibly happy that she has such a wonderful opportunity to bring her skills to other important projects within IBM. This blog began as Kelly's brain-child; a way to bring personality and voice to the Rational Support crew and to provide our amazing clients with great tips and useful content to help in your daily jobs. Luckily, Kelly won't be going too far away! As she will continue her work in the social spaces for IBM, the editorial staff here will make sure she has a spot for guest posts whenever she has content appropriate for a Rational Support focused audience, be it product or thought leadership specific items. We enjoy her voice here and are pleased she will still be hanging around!
As you may have already noted, we are also adding other post authors to our growing list of contributors (it takes a lot of people to replace Kelly!), and will continue with this trend to make sure the blog here remains a solid and valuable resource for our clients and other IBMers as well. It is our commitment to take Kelly's work here and carry on the ideals she set forth when she began this blog: open, transparent, and authentic communication and collaboration for mutual success.
Read a great article in the NY Times this week about the perils of being always connected: Silicon Valley says "Step away from the device"
As much as I love love LOVE the interconnectedness that this new technology allows us, I too find I need to unplug in order to recharge and reconnect with the real world around me. I spend the vast majority of my waking hours during the week interacting with the world via laptop, tablet and smartphone, working out loud
. I could easily spend all weekend sitting in front of these devices too, so I find I need to make a conscious effort not to do so.
Like some of the others interviewed in this story, I find I need to balance this connectedness with "me" time on the weekend: family time, meditation, art, writing, playing music, and puttering. I screen my calls and enjoy the peace and quiet. Time to reflect on what I've learned and done over the past week. Time to breathe deep. This is made much easier by the fact that I am an introvert by nature. I'm not afraid of spending time in my own head.
Todd Henry, author of the Accidental Creative
, talks about Unnecessary Creating, which is one of my favorite ways to digitally detox. Give me a coloring book and LOTS of colorful markers and I can lose myself for hours. I've also been teaching myself to write Tengwar
, which is totally unnecessary, but so much fun. Yes, I am a geek.
Again, perspective and mindfulness are wonderful things. Don't let yourself become uni-dimensional. Although it may be hard to believe, here is a LOT more to the world (and life) than can be found on t'interwebs.
(editorial note: This blog post first appeared on my personal blog, Kellypuffs, but it is relevant for this audience as well, with a few minor tweaks. So here you are!
I love this poster. There is a high-res PDF version available if you click through, and I recommend it. Lots of wisdom here. It particularly resonates with me as it pertains to knowledge.
Kids, remember back when….
- ...remember when you were sitting on the couch, and suddenly had a hankering to know
who won the World Series back in Eleventy-Twelve and who was that
left-handed phenom at bat anyway? Barring any in-house encyclopedia, you have to wait til the library
opens and search the stacks or get the reference librarian to look it
up for you.
- ...remember when the vast majority of the planet was far away and
shrouded in mystery, and only the most intrepid of explorers braved the
wilds and brought us back stories, then pictures of exotic locales.
- ...remember when access to historic artifacts was limited to a chosen few in a dusty back room?
If you are “of a certain age”, you know what I’m talking about, and we are probably the last generation that will.
If you aren’t, you have no freaking CLUE what I’m talking about
because you are a Child of t’Internets and you are free to know and
grow. (cue hippy music). The internet, if you are lucky enough to have access to it and a way
to view it, provides 24/7 access to an unfathomable amount of knowledge,
Let that sink in, people. Anytime. Anywhere.
You can learn to write Chinese (or 224 characters of it, anyway, all of which I’ve promptly forgotten.)
You can spend an entire evening giddily skipping around the 1830s …
from The First Opium War to several revolutions, not all of them in
France, surprisingly. Who knew there was a Texas Revolution? Or a
You can learn about the relative merits of the mantle, the pardessus, and the paletot.
You can see how the polar ice caps are faring and the sun is flaring.
You can read all the classics of literature, in several languages.
You can view great works of art and learn about the artists.
Better yet, t’internets has led to the democratization of knowledge
…. one person, one voice. Or rather, many more voices, many more people
contributing to our collective knowledge.
Need the original schematic/wiring diagram for a 1940s desk phone? It’s out there. Need to know why your bilateral destabilizer keeps shutting down?
Someone else has probably experienced it and shared on a forum.
And here’s where I start getting all hippy-dippy, waving daisies,
love and sunshine, because to me, this is just the coolest thing EVER. Ever. You can’t put this genie back in the bottle. Knowledge is no longer in the hands of a privileged few to be doled
out to the worthy. Knowledge is being openly shared and recorded, so
that others may benefit.
Maybe THIS is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius?
I love visualizations. I love word clouds. For me, a picture IS worth a thousand words. Or a few thousand words.
So, here's what's WE'VE been talking about here on Notes from Rational Support, through Wordle
, a wonderful little web app built by Jonathan Feinberg back in 2008.
So, we knew this wasn't going to be easy. And we knew it wasn't going to be a quick project.
Remember.....we are looking to change the way people work, and nobody ever said being a change agent was easy.
So we've got six weeks of the Working Outside the Inbox under our belts. The first five weeks were GREAT. We saw steady declines in our inboxes, and in the amount of mail we had to send out, and the proportion of good mail (personal/sensitive, meetings/scheduling, and auto-notifications) was going up while the amount of bad email (newsletters, announcements, Q&As, status, etc) was going down.
Things were looking good for our fearless adventurers and we were riding the wave. Cowabunga!
Week 6? Not so much.
Which makes for a good blog topic. What about those speed bumps?
Sometimes, it all starts with one email. I'm sure you ALL have been there. One individual sends an email to a very wide recipient list. The recipients start replying .... to ALL. After a while, more folks chime in, either with their take on the situation or begging people to take the discussion elsewhere. Some of the other people on the email thread .. their heads (and their inboxes) are exploding. Several requests to move the email thread to a discussion forum prove fruitless, and there you go.
Or, you might be working on a sensitive project that is not suitable for sharing, or are dealing with an executive request (also not suitable for sharing). Sometimes email IS the best solution.
Perhaps you are working an urgent issue/project with people who are far outside your group, and driving them to a more collaborative solution is just not possible at this time. That's ok too.
Repeat after me, one more time: Change is hard.
This isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. There will be speed bumps and there will be weeks that go better than others. And that's OK.
Don't get discouraged, keep on keeping on, and even when things are going pear-shaped, look for the wins. You might have a huge email thread going on, but you've also got a lot more people than ever before realizing that it's not the best way. And what about all those other wins you've realized ... use cases identified, patterns adopted. There's good stuff happening - a lot of it.
And remember, each speed bump is just another opportunity to model a better, a SMARTER way of working.
It's that time of year again. This weekend, we'll be turning our clocks ahead an hour as Daylight Saving Time begins in the US.
On the plus side, that means it's spring (hooray!) ...but boy, I'm already missing that hour of sleep.
Our local fire department says it's also a great time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
I agree, and will try to remember this year.
More info: Daylight Saving Time Around the World 2012
When I first started writing this blog post, it was going to be about ALL the things that drive me crazy when they arrive in email. But then I realized that it was a loooong list .... a Herculean effort, especially if your inbox reminds you of the Augean Stables BEFORE the big clean-out. Unfortunately, we'll have to go about it the old-fashioned way ... one shovel-ful at a time.
So, if you too want to work smarter, more openly, transparently, and effectively, you'll need to pick your battle. One at time, look at the pain points or areas of inefficiency and look to make one change at a time.
Want to make MY head explode? Send me (along with dozens of other people) an email that includes, as an attachment, your 54-page slide deck, your tabbed and richly formatted newsletter, your million-row spreadsheet, or several megabytes-worth of photos from your latest vacation. Honestly, it doesn't matter why you sent the attachment(s) to me in email: for review and comments, or for awareness. I can pretty much guarantee that you have several very good file repository options available to you, any one of which, ANY of them, would be more effective and efficient that passing that file around in email.
What's a better way to share files then? A link to where you've posted THE file is infinitely preferable. Nearly all available file repositories support some type of direct linking. Why not host the file in a single location and share that location out? Not only will this reduce our inbox sizes and keep us out of mail-jail, but it also means you only have to update one location when changes occur, rather than sending out another round of messages with yet another attachment.
So, a good place to start? Start sharing YOUR files more smartly, and set an example for others, Gently guide others to bettter collaboration methods, and file storage methods.
I'm happy to report that I receive very few files in email anymore. I'd love to hear YOUR experience.
Here it is ... what you've been waiting for. We've run the numbers and these are the technotes that were used most often by our technical support engineers to solve cases.
Lots of good stuff here ... maybe something you've been looking for? 1250403:
How to obtain your Rational license keys
1308308: How to move licenses to a new server
1250433: Obtaining your Rational license keys
1474620: How to install Rational License Key Server 8.1.x on Microsoft Windows
1131335: Utility to collect ClearCase logs and diagnostic data on Windows
1302974: System Requirements for ClearCase 7.1.x
1324457: How to reset a lost DOORS Administrator password
1117710: How to point to a Rational License Server to get licenses
7016566: About the Rational System Architect Information Center
1294762: System Requirements for ClearQuest 7.1.x
1208895: Utility to collect ClearCase logs and diagnostic data on Linux, AIX, HP-UX and Solaris
1265239: Rational License Server Delivery and Support
1324456: License Troubleshooting Guide
1298482: Create and Manage Your Enhancement Requests in the Rational RFE Community
1410649: Stay connected to IBM Rational Client Support
Well, it's Week 2 of the grand WOTI experiment, and things are moving along swimmingly. We've got a nice little race shaping up in the Sent email department. Jason put us all to shame Week 1, by sending a grand total of three, count 'em, THREE (3) emails, easily winning the WOTI Overachiever of the Week Award. Week 2, we're all settled in for the long haul, and so i thought it would be a good time to discuss Step 2: Group Conversations and Identify Use Cases.
Luis Suarez tells us that it's easiest to first break up the mail in your inbox into 2 categories: Things That Belong in My Inbox and Things That Don't.
Things That Belong in My Inbox
- personal/sensitive/1-1 conversations
Things That Don't
- Everything else. Potentially.
We've started breaking down the "everything else" bucket and grouping them into use cases. We'll be looking to move that information or transaction to a better home.
In a lot of cases, especially in these early days, that means transitioning closed conversations/ tasks/ knowledge-sharing to a more collaborative/open venue, and turning "bad" email into "good" email (auto-notifications). And yes, you are right.... in the short term, that does nothing to reduce the amount of email we get .... but it ensures that the artifacts of that work are shared as openly as possible, with our inboxes becoming the messaging system they were meant to be, NOT the repository of all corporate knowledge.
Here are some ideas:
- Requests for work can be better managed through work items in Rational Team Concert or "to dos" in Lotus Connections activities.
- Regular status updates/tips and tricks/project status emails can be posted as blog entries in your Connections community, and aggregated as collections through tagging.
Again, it all comes down to mindful processing of email, and spending just a couple of extra moments to stop and think .... is this the best way to share this information? Is anyone else likely to need this knowledge in the future?
Think NOT just of the immediate, tactical need for information or action, but the ability to capture that knowledge/action for reuse so that the entire organization can benefit in the future, and not re-invent the wheel, or waste time recreating knowledge assets that folks aren't sharing.
Is there a better way than email? I bet there is!
Well, your intrepid adventurers have 3 days of Working Outside the Inbox
under our belts and I thought this a would be a good time to discuss in
a little more depth about how we are doing this.
start with Step 1: Stop replying to email. This step would really be more
accurately described as Mindful Processing of Email but that doesn't sound nearly as provocative and attention-grabbing, and wouldn't make nearly so many people's heads explode, which wouldn't be nearly as much fun.
So listen: this is what we are really doing.
of this as stopping the reflexive knee-jerk reaction of working in your
inbox, simply reading and replying. We've all become very well trained by our inboxes: receive an email, send an email. Read your incoming email and
Stop. Think. Ask yourself a few questions along these lines:
- is someone else likely to ask the same question?
- would this exchange, or the bit of knowledge/information shared, be of use to anyone else?
- what is the best way to share this information or conduct this transaction?
- is there a smarter, more efficient, more collaborative, open and transparent way to work?
Change begins with us (and you!)
Here are some wild and crazy ideas on how you can work effectively and openly and without being chained to your inbox:
Use the content repository or content management system of your choice as long
as it's NOT YOUR MACHINE. Don't become the bottleneck, or the
single point of failure. Put your stuff where people can find it and get it. When people email and ask you for that information, give them a link to the information where you've posted it.
Use wiki pages for knowledge
capture and on-demand access. One example, instead of keeping your
project status or metrics in a spreadsheet on your machine, think open
and transparent and provide that data on a wiki page. if your manager
expects a weekly status report, put it there.
discussion forums for collaboration, idea sharing and brainstorming.....or collecting a quick temperature check from your community. Don't conduct a lengthy email exchange with one or more people about it. Be the first to suggest there is a better way to conduct this conversation.
Use the community blog for news, announcements, and community-wide
communications. Why blog? To take advantage of all the technology that allows us to
share knowledge more widely ... tags, RSS feeds, aggregators, search....
the list goes on. Rather than sending an 800mg email that immediately
plunges 20% of your unsuspecting audience into "mail jail", try blogging your news. Oh, the
80% who aren't in mail jail? I posit that 40% will not read it anyway, either deliberately or by
accident when it scrolls "below the fold" amidst a barrage of other
people sending news, asking questions, and, worst of all, sharing files.
Besides, I bet a couple of weeks from now, someone's
going to ask you for the information again anyway.
Speaking of sharing files.... There are better ways. Instead
of mailing a slide deck to 10 people for review and comments, use Connections and if you MUST send an email, send a link to where you have
posted the file (or the wiki page from which you are working) so that
it can benefit the greatest number of people, who can then bookmark it / subscribe to it / grab the RSS feed, or otherwise self-serve
when they need the information. Which means the doc owner doesn't need to send the updated
file out to a cast of thousands either.
Oh, it all just makes so much SENSE.
no, we're not giving up email entirely, and there will be times that we
will (gasp!) send an email. We're just going to be mindful in our work
and aim to get the maximum value from each interaction.
So, stop and think.
Just because a conversation starts in email doesn't mean it belongs there.
Jason, Matthew, and I are on a mission ... a mission to take our lives and our work back from the inbox.
Email is a great tool ... for a few things. It is NOT a great tool for many things that we currently use it for today: discussions, decision-making, file sharing, file repositories, questions & answers, newsletters, announcements.
We have the collaborative technology. We have the skilz. It's just a matter of "walking the talk", and persevering. A whole lot of persevering.
So we start today, with the Luis Suarez Magical 3 Step Pattern:
- Stop replying to email
- Identify conversations/tasks (use cases) that can be accomplished more easily, more transparently, more efficiently, or with less cost with another social tool.
- Start moving those conversations/tasks to their appropriate home. Slowly and surely.
Honestly, I've been such a collaborative harpy for so long, we are doing a lot of this already. But now we're going to do it mindfully and consciously, and track our results like Luis did.
We'll also be providing updates on our progress here, along with the technical content you've come to rely on.
Last week, a colleague pointed me to a great article that appeared on Wired Enterprise:
Many of us have been following Luis' adventures in collaborating "outside the inbox" for 4 years now, ever since he first announced his radical plan on the internal blogosphere. Those of us passionate about the power of open, transparent and collaborative communication over "mail jail" have been cheering him on, all the while wondering how we could do the same.
Luis wrote a great blog post
on the experience here, and I encourage you to go read it. Now.
I've taken many of the principles to heart, and have moved as much of my work as possible to collaborative technologies like Rational Team Concert and Lotus Connections.
I don't WANT to be the sole owner and disseminator of the information and content I produce.
I don't WANT my manager to have to ping me every time he wants to know the status of something.
I don't WANT to hoard information on MY machine and pass that information around every time someone asks for it.
SHARED knowledge is power.
As Luis stated so eloquently, we're probably not going to get rid of email entirely. But we CAN work smarter, more openly and transparently, one transaction/email/deliverable at a time.
spreadsheets -> wikis
status updates, news, announcements -> blog posts
To dos -> Connections Activities.
Next time you are working on something, think before you file it away on your computer. I bet there's a better way.
I KNOW there is.
Yes, I WAS there, and this is what I was doing. (photo courtesy of Charles Rivet