I didn't know about Owen's blog until I saw an article about it in CIO NZ, found using a blog search feed. His posts cover a wide variety of topics both personal and professional. His "IS Hierarchy of Needs" post shares the challenges faced, the reasoning, and process behind the solutions he has implemented to improve the company information systems, services & technology. For this audience much of his post applies to challenges we face moving from CAD to BIM, both technical and cultural.
CIO > The blogger CIO - By Divina Paredes
Owen McCall, Chief Information Officer of The Warehouse, gained a new title early this year: Wage slave. But that is only for his blog...
Idea-Log - viewfield1.blogspot.com
This blog is not a blow by blow description of my life but rather a way to capture some of my thoughts (and hopefully) insights.
Part of my role involves IT but CAD/BIM is a tiny aspect of the corporate IT system. The bulk of that, complex systems and information flows, revolves around the real work of sourcing, moving and selling product and all the functions needed to support that. Where I benefit - believe me after what I've heard from other CAD Managers I appreciate it - is having good hardware and a solid network infrastructure to build my little CAD world in. There is also a wonderful support team who tolerate my occasional "Stupid question of the day" emails regarding infrastructure.
Needless to say, this Wage Slave Blogger has subscribed to his blog (feed no 1019 in my reader) but I wonder how many other bloggers are out there in the company. I know of a few but they are "pure" personal blogs so I haven't mentioned them here.
Blogging and work, where do you draw the line?
One aspect of work related blogging I've struggled with, and erred on the side of caution, is how much to say/show. Since much of my project work is "future confidential" and often subject to long lead times it's not possible to use here. For example: The food project, which launched in 2006, first appeared "on the drawing board"* in 2002. It was the reason we first adopted DWF (with Autodesk Express Viewer) for Intranet store plans and dabbled with Buzzsaw but I wasn't able to say that on the blog. One fate I do want to avoid is "Blogger gets fired" as, although I like blogging, it won't pay the bills
* What is the BIM version of the saying "on the drawing board", "in the BIM"?
Permission to show, work content on the blog?
One thing I did very early on was get appropriate executive permission to use non-sensitive work content for my blog. It's mainly screen shots already created for in-house use - documentation, presentations etc - and has avoided re-creating blog versions. It does mean casting a careful eye over things to ensure project names etc are obscured/removed before they are used! It's amazing how often things like paths, object properties, window titles etc need to be cleaned up.
I also had the work related section of my disclosure statement reviewed by corporate legal to ensure they were happy with it. That aside there has been no corporate influence on anything you've seen here. The blog does get mentioned occasionally at work, not sure if the CEO calling you "a blog expert" is good or bad!, but I don't know how many read it.
From Internet to Intranet, using the blog at work?
Sometimes it goes the other way and I use content from my blog at work. For example this Intranet item on the Autodesk 2009 release was a literal copy/paste of the post you saw here. I wouldn't have written it just for the Intranet but having done it for the blog it's no effort to share there. Another reason for this is the BlogJet/TypePad combo is much nicer to use than our Intranet editor/image library system. Sorry Owen, can we migrate the Intranet to Movable Type?
The other impact of blogging is it helps my work. Often reader comments, or emails, helping me with questions I've posted here lead to solutions I wouldn't have found myself. I learn a lot from other blogs and only hope some of what I post here helps others.
Should I admit that occasionally I've searched for a problem and found the solution, written by me, on my own blog. That's rather disturbing! If there wasn't already a "Backup Brain Blog" it would be a good name to use because, at times that's what this one has been.