My career in technology

This blog has some content meant for general audiences, and some content that is extremely technical. This post is meant to help guide you to getting the most out of my blog, depending on your needs.

(Alternatively you can use the categories links on the right-hand side of the page)
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I’ll start with the apology

For my readers asking questions in the comments lately, I haven’t been responsive as work has me VERY busy.  I am currently simultaneously migrating from SharePoint 2007 to 2013, migrating our ERP system, and defining our business processes (notice I didn’t say “redefining”).

And to my readers who expect more than just the occasional “here is where I am speaking and by the way here is an apology for not posting more” post, I offer the same.

I promise when things settle down a little I will dedicate more time to helping you via the blog.

In the meantime, here is where you can accost me for not being more bloggy:

SharePoint Saturday Houston, on April 11 (that is THIS Saturday!)
SharePoint Group Therapy – A SharePoint Governance Workshop

Do your users complain about the usability of your SharePoint? Do you suffer from site proliferation? Rights management issues? Content inaccuracy and staleness? Can you easily tell who owns the content of a particular site or list? Is your SharePoint out of control?

Then you might benefit from SharePoint Group Therapy.

At the very least, this session will give you a free hour of group therapy, as you will have a chance to vent about your (SharePoint) problems in a roomful of sympathetic listeners.
I’ll play therapist and help move participants past their trauma and regain a sense of control through Governance.

This session is structured as a workshop. Since the goal of therapy is to actually make things better, you should bring your questions and be prepared to share personal experiences regarding SharePoint governance (and its absence) and aligning your business objectives with SharePoint.  I’ll try to help you get answers.

  • What problems are you having in your current environment?
  • What fears do you have about implementing governance?
  • What fears do you have about implementing SharePoint?

We’ll talk about roles and responsibilities, stakeholder involvement, and when to fit your organizational culture, and when to change it using both carrots and sticks – training, enforcement and business alignment.
Business alignment can be seen as the marriage of IT and business objectives. Every marriage has its rocky moments, and sometimes a therapist is needed to resolve those issues. Perhaps your marriage could benefit from a little SharePoint Group Therapy?

San Antonio SharePoint User Group, April 21
SharePoint Group Governance 101

What does governance mean in SharePoint? How do you get to good governance? Do you really need governance? What happens if you don’t have governance, or do it poorly?

Bring your questions and I will bring my experience building SharePoint governance in multiple organizations. We’ll discuss governance basics and help get you going in the right direction.

(Unlike the “Group Therapy” session, this is a straight-up presentation, though the Q&A at the end can be used by the audience to ask their specific questions)

SPBiz Conference, June 17, 4-5 PM EST
SharePoint Group Governance 101

Can’t make it to San Antonio this month? SPBiz is online

What does governance mean in SharePoint? How do you get to good governance? Do you really need governance? What happens if you don’t have governance, or do it poorly?

I will bring my experience building SharePoint governance in multiple organizations. We’ll discuss governance basics and help get you going in the right direction.

(This session will be prerecorded, with no Q&A. However, the live chat feature will allow you to ask questions which I will try to type answers to.)

Speaking of prerecorded presentations:
Movin’ On Up – A SharePoint Migration Case Study from SP24

Our SharePoint environment is a lot like many others – a SharePoint 2007 implementation that was used more as a file dump than a collaboration space. With minimal user adoption, we were never quite ready to implement 2010, with a pilot SharePoint 2010 implementation stalled out of the gate.

In the meantime, some content was put on Box and other services to address external collaboration needs. Business users needed more relevant search results, content databases had grown uncomfortably large, and access controls had become spaghetti. Fortunately, site sprawl wasn’t too bad… except that the reason for that was the low adoption.

SharePoint 2013 arrived to a perfect storm – business and technology needs to be addressed, content that needs to be brought back in-house, and user adoption that needs to be improved. Time to upgrade!

See how we approached the upgrade, the issues than needed to be addressed, and the questions that needed to be answered.

SP24 was a 24-hour online SharePoint conference. My recorded presentation (along with access to the resources mentioned in the presentation) is here for you to view at your convenience. You will need to register to gain access to the session room.

But wait, that’s still not all!

I have been invited to speak in Washington DC in early June and Raleigh in October. Arrangements for these are being worked out – I’ll let you know if the stars align properly!

Check out the lineup of other speakers too!

Hi Jim,

The next SharePoint Conference, SPTechCon, is coming up Feb 8-11 in rockin’ Austin Texas! Registration is open now, and until November 7 it costs just $1,095 for four days of SharePoint awesomeness!

Here’s the initial lineup of classes and speakers
all thoroughly vetted for technical and communications excellence!!

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For 24 hours starting April 16, you will have no opportunity to sleep as 96 presenters, myself included, provide you with four tracks each with 24 one-hour SharePoint goodness.

I’ll once again be presenting Movin’ On Up – A SharePoint Migration Case Study. You may have already seen me present this in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, or online on SharePoint ShopTalk. But as the migration project is ongoing, I’ve learned new things, so there is a lot of new material that has been added since the earliest version of the presentation.

Here is my promo video for SP24:

Another thing that makes this session cool is that it will be pre-recorded, not live. (Half of the sessions will be pre-recorded, the other half will be live presentations.)  So why is THAT cool? Because, while virtual me is talking about the migration plans, real-live me will be available to answer questions real-time. It will be like being in two places at once, getting twice as much done. Heck, it’s even better than having a clone, because you’d have to feed the clone!

If you aren’t one of the over 4000 people who have already signed up, you can do that here.

Did I mention that SP24 is FREE?!?!?

See you at SP24!

I’ve been pretty busy, learning the ropes at my new employer, finishing my book, and preparing yet again for a migration from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2013.

It is that last one that is making me even more busy.

I’ll be in Houston on February 19 at the Houston SharePoint User Group giving an updated version of my talk, Movin’ On Up – A SharePoint 2013 Migration Case Study.  In Houston?  Sign up HERE.

The following week, I’ll be in San Antonio for the San Antonio SharePoint User Group to do it again. In San Antonio on the 25th?  Sign up HERE.

The week after that is the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas.  If you’ll be there, let me know and I’d love to meet up with you!

And the week after that, we roll out SharePoint 2013 to the users here at Dynamic Systems.

And after that?  Publication of my book.


LinkedIn has started to push interactivity to its users beyond just checking in weekly on the new connections that your connections have added.

LinkedIn is now encouraging you to say “Congratulations” within 24 hours of when your connections make a change to their current job or job title.  But congratulations are not always in order.

Sometimes, your connection has just gotten around to updating their profile – they have had the job for two years and are prepping their profile to make the jump to a less miserable environment.  (Hmmm, maybe that is a reason for congratulations, anyway!)

Other times, their change in status is prompted by a job loss, and their new role as “Consultant” is what they are doing to scrape by until they find their next “real job”.

LinkedIn also encourages you to congratulate your connections on their work anniversaries.  One of my connections hasn’t updated his profile in a while, so his “work anniversary” was for an employer he hadn’t been at for years.

I think there is great value in interacting with your network over job changes, and to a lesser extent over work anniversaries.  Every contact, however small, reinforces the connections you have made, making your network just a little stronger, a little more valuable (to yourself and the rest of your network, too!).  It shows you are paying attention, and gives an indication that you care.  For those of my connections who have put their birthday on their profiles, I have taken the step of sending them a short note saying “Happy birthday”,  wishing them well on a day that means more to them than a work anniversary.

However, in order for these kinds of interactions to provide value, in order to prevent yourself from looking stupid, rubbing salt in a fresh wound, or otherwise committing a social faux pas, you have to PAY ATTENTION.  You need to be aware of where the people in your network are, and check to see whether the change is something to congratulate them on, or to ask them how you can help.

I wanted to let everyone know about upcoming events and apologize for being so silent for a while around here.

There is a reason for this (and I’ll share a secret about it after the cut), but first I want to give you a look at the things I have coming up.

  • Innotech Austin, Wednesday October 16
  • SharePoint Shop Talk, Thursday October 17
  • American Heart Association Austin Heart Walk 2013, Saturday October 19
  • SharePoint Saturday Dallas, Saturday November 2

Details and a secret shared after the cut… Read the rest of this entry »

I recently had an opportunity to lead an effort to create an upgrade plan for a company that was on SharePoint 2007 and wanted to take advantage of the features of SharePoint 2013.

Last night, at the Austin SharePoint User Group meeting, I presented an overview of the process of creating the plan, as well as a look at some of the plan documents – the proposed project schedule, recommended security options, system and information architecture recommendations, and lists of decisions the governance committee and other stakeholders would need to make.

The presentation went very well, particularly because the audience of about 30 had excellent questions during and after the presentation, which led to some lively discussion.

The Title

Movin’ On Up came from the theme song from the television show The Jeffersons.  The 1970’s situation comedy was about an affluent Black family who moved into a more upper-class neighborhood than they had been living in previously. Much of the show revolved around characters not really knowing how to deal with their new neighbors. They were used to things being a certain way, and were uncomfortable adapting to the changes introduced by the Jeffersons’ newfound upward mobility.

Similarly, I felt that the client was going to have some discomfort during the upgrade process, as the users got used to new ways of doing things, and dealing with change. Consequently, a significant portion of the middle of the presentation is a rough draft of a presentation for the kickoff meeting with the stakeholders, to get them onboard with the upgrade plans and invested in its success.

The Presentation

If you have any questions or comments, ask in the comments below!

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