Enterprise Initiatives

This blog focuses on Enterprise IT topics such as Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio Management, Change Management, Business Process Management, and recaps various technology events and news.

I have been blogging about my Web 2.0 experiments at work and recommended that we should just do Web 2.0 instead of trying to justify it. With so many open source solutions available for wikis and blogs, the best way to get traction with Web 2.0 technologies is to casually bring it in house, plant the seeds, and let it grow like weeds. You can have a large amount of people using these tools quicker then you can try to sell the value to an older generation of decision makers who are not familiar enough with the tools to understand the value.

In my post Leveraging Enterprise 2.0 I mentioned how we would launch our blogs. Each member of the architecture team is maintaining their own blog about their area of expertise. I am blogging about the vision of our enterprise architecture and SOA initiatives. The key to getting people to view these blogs is two biweekly emails. The first is a biweekly update from our CIO. The email is simply a short sentence and a link to his blog. On his blogroll is all of the architect team's blogs. The email goes out to all of IT which is roughly 200 people. His statistics show roughly 150 unique visitors. That's 75% of the staff that is reading the his blog!

On the weeks where the CIO does not update his blog, the architecture team sends their biweekly newsletter out. This email has a paragraph or two of current news and then has links to the latest blog articles with a brief summary for each team member's blog. My blog has reached roughly 40% of the staff where as other members of the team are falling in the range of 10%-33%. Not bad for our first 6 weeks.

Since launching these blogs, I have received requests from marketing, sales, and public relations to meet about possibly extending blogs to their departments. In an IT strategy session today, one of the teams working on our "people strategy" recommended more blogs to improve communications. Like I said before, build it and they will come.

My goal by the end of the year is to make internal blogs a normal part of our daily lives and have as many senior level managers as possible blogging at least once a month. The architect team has found that blogging has created several quality discussions with people who they don't get a chance to interact with that often. As time goes on, I expect to see more comments submitted and even requests for blog topics coming our way.

We are also leveraging an enterprise wiki where we are storing all of our enterprise architecture and IT Center of Excellence (CoE) content. Our company is in the infancy stage of SOA and BPM and we are loading up our wiki with tons of information like the developers' guide book, SOA best practices, standards and policies, etc. We are also using it as a collaborative tool as the CoE starts establishing our new SOA standards and design review processes. We are trying to develop these processes without using any emails. We are only allowed to use face to face discussions and the wiki to come to consensus.

In just six short weeks these Web 2.0 tools have started to make an impact in our ability to improve communications. There are still some people who laugh at the notion of blogs and wikis, but in time this will become as normal as email and the telephone. And the beauty of it is that we didn't pay a penny for any of it and we didn't have to sell it to anybody. We simply built it and they are coming.

A great blog for more information on wikis is Stewart Mader's Grow your Wiki.


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My favorite sayings

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there"

"Before you build a better mouse trap, make sure you have some mice"