Under the auspices of the Information Management Framework, a volume of Information Management Best Practices has just recently been released. I have been looking forward to its release for two reasons. One is that I contributed one of the chapters and the other is that I really did want to see what a group of fellow IM practitioners had to say about their various Information Management (IM) project experiences. Since receiving my copy of the book, I have been digging into some of the case studies. I jumped on two cases in particular - driven by the correlation between these... Read more →

I recently found myself spending some time in the historic district of Philadelphia and consequently surrounded by echoes of the irrepressible Benjamin Franklin. Every once and a while, when surveying history, you come across people who just seem to lay their hands on everything and somehow manage to leave a lasting impression on everything they touch. Ben Franklin is one of those characters. And among the American founding fathers, it is Franklin that strikes me as the most approachable - radiating a thoroughly engaging combination of affable sociability, tireless industry and unquenchable curiosity. He was a successful printer, popular author,... Read more →

Many will be familiar with the idea of the seven liberal arts and even with their division into a foundational three arts (Trivium or three roads) of grammar, rhetoric, and logic, and then the four arts (Quadrivium or four roads) of arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. In medieval Europe, they comprised the core subjects of higher learning and provided the preparation for those who would move onto studies in law, medicine and theology (at that time the main “professions”). I have been thinking about what the modern equivalent of the seven liberal arts might look like – what core subjects... Read more →

This is my first, and I suspect my last, post that will touch upon the subject of politics. In some ways, the topic in this case is interesting as a general example of how institutions need to regularly renovate their structure and operating principles in order to remain relevant. The context of this example is the Parliament of Canada, an institution within which I spent some time around ten years ago looking at how newer information technologies might help in the cause of running Parliamentary business and perhaps even improving its relationship with the electorate. While I am not a... Read more →

December 15, 2009 saw the long-awaited, and much anticipated, inaugural flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. There has been, and continues to be, a swirl of opinions flying around the 787 and specifically around the schedule delays that have beset the program. This first flight must have come as a relief to many people as it provided such a tangible demonstration of progress towards the aircraft’s entry into service. I myself was pleased to follow the news of the initial flight as I have been peripherally involved in the 787 program from back in the days when it was still... Read more →

For various reasons, I have again found myself thinking about the interesting dynamic that exists between experience and education as two separate, and quite distinct, domains. As a measure of the difference between the two, experience by its very nature is highly situational and particular, while education, at least in principle, reaches towards the more universal and the more general. Experience, accumulated over time, ultimately provides much of the material that education seeks to convey in a condensed, accessible and reusable form. Education, in turn, informs experience by setting it into a broader context and supplying tools that ideally make... Read more →

One of the more peculiar features of any industry is the “trade show”, which brings together the familiar mix of keynote addresses, smaller sessions (usually arrayed in tracks), an exhibit area and standard set of networking occasions (ranging from coffee breaks, through meals, and onto the ubiquitous reception in the exhibit hall and sometimes additional social events). Sustaining these gatherings will be fees collected from sponsors, exhibitors and attendees. Yours truly about to deliver the Keynote at Content Convergence 2008 (I am the figure standing just off to the right in front of the window) I call these gatherings peculiar... Read more →

As some people already know, I have for many years indulged a rather unhealthy interest in higher education. In the last year, this interest has found its way into a number of conversations with people who have made it their business, so to speak, to provide post-graduate educational offerings to working professionals. Their pursuit, I was quick to declare, is something that is desperately needed and long overdue. In these exchanges, it did not take long for my enthusiasm to head in directions that my colleagues were reluctant to follow. In retrospect, my rationale, and the way I used to... Read more →

Business Analysis (BA) is a set of activities undertaken to identify, evaluate, categorize, validate, and manage business requirements and to ensure their realization in the effective implementation and operation of solutions. In very simple terms, the domain of the business analyst is the definition and management of product scope, with this providing the core component for project scope. Project managers, by way of contrast, assume the frequently thankless task of managing the projects mandated to implement a given project scope. An International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) has been formed in Toronto Canada which seeks to bring to this fledgling... Read more →

The only unities of any durability are unities of purpose. The effects of unity, borne of a clear and substantial purpose, are exhibited in organizations and technologies. Similarly the consequences of confused goals are immediately discernible in decay, distraction and dissolution. It comes as no surprise, in retrospect, that my first web site (somewhere around 1993) included a declaration that “clarity of purpose is all”, which is obviously a variation on Hamlet’s “readiness is all”. That an organization or system must be fastened to a sound objective is easy enough to grant. Where too many goals become intermixed and no... Read more →