Nerd, Geek, and Gear Herding: Technical Management Techniques for Managers 11NTCNERD Grant Howe Sage Nonprofit Solutions
Session Evaluation Each entry via text or web is a chance to win great NTEN prizes throughout the day!  Session Evaluation...
INTRODUCTION
Your Partner in Dialogue <ul><li>Grant Howe </li></ul><ul><li>Vice President of R&D w/Sage </li></ul><ul><li>15+ years in ...
Sage, 30 years of experience
“ I wouldn’t do nothin’ else” <ul><li>EDS “Cat Herder” Commercial </li></ul>
What are we talking about today? Best Practices for: <ul><li>Managing technology selection </li></ul><ul><li>Managing emer...
Q&A Experiment  at the end of the session <ul><li>Note cards on the tables </li></ul><ul><li>Jot down your real word Nerd ...
MANAGING TECHNOLOGY SELECTION <ul><li>“ Paging Dr. Nerd” </li></ul>
Paging Dr. Nerd <ul><li>Talking to a technical solutions specialist is like going to see the doctor </li></ul><ul><li>Most...
A successful office visit agenda <ul><li>Tell me where it hurts </li></ul><ul><li>Tell me what your desired results are po...
Tell me where it hurts <ul><li>Focus your initial discussion on the symptoms of your problem </li></ul><ul><li>Do your bes...
What are your desired results <ul><li>“ I want to play tennis three times a week without knee pain”  </li></ul>
Discuss and choose a treatment <ul><li>“ Your MRI shows you have a slipped disc in your lower back, here are our options…”...
Ask questions about each solution <ul><li>What will this cost (in time, resources and money)? </li></ul><ul><li>How does t...
Compare the Solutions <ul><li>Write down the pros and cons of each solution and compare them </li></ul><ul><li>Walk me thr...
Take your Medicine <ul><li>“ Take these, 3 times a day…”  </li></ul><ul><li>Many people go through all this effort to make...
Most poorly performing businesses do not suffer from lack of plans or strategy.  They suffer from lack of  consistent exec...
LEADERSHIP DURING EMERGENCIES <ul><li>“ The House is on Fire!” </li></ul>
The House is on Fire! <ul><li>When faced with a severe technical crisis (think mail server down, fried DB server, website ...
The House is on Fire! <ul><li>Survey the Situation </li></ul><ul><li>Assemble the Team </li></ul><ul><li>Act Now! </li></ul>
Survey the situation <ul><li>What is impacted and what is the current risk? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the possibility of th...
Assemble the Team <ul><li>Assemble the team. You’ll need the right resources to investigate more thoroughly and come up wi...
Act Now <ul><li>Get your team working to understand the problem right away. While they’re doing that, you should be managi...
Been asked these questions before? <ul><li>“ How could this happen?”  “Who is responsible?”  “What do we need to do to mak...
Get the Children out First! <ul><li>Focus all efforts on diagnosis and resolution of the issue. </li></ul><ul><li>Postpone...
Arson investigations are  performed on cold ashes <ul><li>Debrief the team   post-crisis, documenting how the situation be...
MOTIVATING AND REWARDING TECHS <ul><li>How can you win? </li></ul>
The IT Situation   It feels like you just can’t win… <ul><li>IT infrastructure and Software isn’t thought of much unless i...
Best Practice - Scoreboards <ul><li>Setup a public scoreboard in a highly trafficked location </li></ul><ul><li>Track mean...
Scoreboard example
Best Practice – Celebrate Winning <ul><li>Make success visible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mail server uptime cookie celebration...
Best Practice –  “Motivation” for the cash poor <ul><li>Say thank-you often – Do not underestimate the value of these two ...
Best Practice – Coaching <ul><li>30-45 minute special 1:1 meeting every 8 weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Staffers submit two “did...
Q&A CROWDSOURCE EXPERIMENT <ul><li>Lets make it happen </li></ul>
Q&A Experiment  <ul><li>Note cards on the tables </li></ul><ul><li>Jot down your real word Nerd / Tech herding issues or b...
Thank You! Grant Howe, Sage Nonprofit Solutions [email_address] @geekbyte
Session Evaluation Each entry via text or web is a chance to win great NTEN prizes throughout the day!  Session Evaluation...
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Nerd, Geek, and Gear Herding: Technical Management Techniques for Managers (11NTCNERD)

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Nerd herding ntc11nerd - Howe

  1. 1. Nerd, Geek, and Gear Herding: Technical Management Techniques for Managers 11NTCNERD Grant Howe Sage Nonprofit Solutions
  2. 2. Session Evaluation Each entry via text or web is a chance to win great NTEN prizes throughout the day! Session Evaluations Powered By: TEXT Text 11NTCNERD to 69866. ONLINE Use 11NTCNERD at http://nten.oal
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION
  4. 4. Your Partner in Dialogue <ul><li>Grant Howe </li></ul><ul><li>Vice President of R&D w/Sage </li></ul><ul><li>15+ years in Software Development </li></ul><ul><li>30 years experience with Non-profits Boy Scouts of America, Sig Tau Alumni Association Board Member </li></ul><ul><li>Favorite food: Italian (anything with Alfredo sauce) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Sage, 30 years of experience
  6. 6. “ I wouldn’t do nothin’ else” <ul><li>EDS “Cat Herder” Commercial </li></ul>
  7. 7. What are we talking about today? Best Practices for: <ul><li>Managing technology selection </li></ul><ul><li>Managing emergencies </li></ul><ul><li>Growing and rewarding technologists </li></ul><ul><li>“ Crowd Source” your current technical management issues </li></ul>
  8. 8. Q&A Experiment at the end of the session <ul><li>Note cards on the tables </li></ul><ul><li>Jot down your real word Nerd / Tech herding issues or best practices to share </li></ul><ul><li>We will collectively “crowd source” suggestions and best practices </li></ul>
  9. 9. MANAGING TECHNOLOGY SELECTION <ul><li>“ Paging Dr. Nerd” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Paging Dr. Nerd <ul><li>Talking to a technical solutions specialist is like going to see the doctor </li></ul><ul><li>Most people have a preconceived notion of what the treatment should be </li></ul><ul><li>The best solutions usually come from meaningful dialog about the problem or task and a discussion of the “treatment options” </li></ul>
  11. 11. A successful office visit agenda <ul><li>Tell me where it hurts </li></ul><ul><li>Tell me what your desired results are post treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss and choose a treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Take your medicine </li></ul>
  12. 12. Tell me where it hurts <ul><li>Focus your initial discussion on the symptoms of your problem </li></ul><ul><li>Do your best to help me understand your current state </li></ul>
  13. 13. What are your desired results <ul><li>“ I want to play tennis three times a week without knee pain” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Discuss and choose a treatment <ul><li>“ Your MRI shows you have a slipped disc in your lower back, here are our options…” </li></ul><ul><li>Lets discuss the top 3 options I have come up with </li></ul><ul><li>Additional solutions we come up with are likely to be flavors of the top 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Lets talk about these instead of emailing. Realtime discussion is important </li></ul>
  15. 15. Ask questions about each solution <ul><li>What will this cost (in time, resources and money)? </li></ul><ul><li>How does this solution compare to my original desired end state? </li></ul><ul><li>What other “side effects” can I expect from the solution, good or bad? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the risk of something going wrong or causing damage? Is there a mitigation strategy? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the skills required to implement and have you done this before? How many times? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Compare the Solutions <ul><li>Write down the pros and cons of each solution and compare them </li></ul><ul><li>Walk me through your thought process of making the choice. I want you to be successful and if you’ve forgotten to consider something, I’ll discuss it with you. </li></ul><ul><li>You are also entitled to seek a second opinion and talk to others about the solutions. I encourage you to do so. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Take your Medicine <ul><li>“ Take these, 3 times a day…” </li></ul><ul><li>Many people go through all this effort to make but don’t follow the prescribed treatment. </li></ul><ul><li>These people usually don’t get results and neither will you if we don’t follow the plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Solutions are holistic; often we see poor results from not following the full plan. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Most poorly performing businesses do not suffer from lack of plans or strategy. They suffer from lack of consistent execution.
  19. 19. LEADERSHIP DURING EMERGENCIES <ul><li>“ The House is on Fire!” </li></ul>
  20. 20. The House is on Fire! <ul><li>When faced with a severe technical crisis (think mail server down, fried DB server, website hacked) it’s important to approach the situation methodically and in an organized manner. When the “fire alarm” sounds, be the calm leader in your organization. </li></ul>
  21. 21. The House is on Fire! <ul><li>Survey the Situation </li></ul><ul><li>Assemble the Team </li></ul><ul><li>Act Now! </li></ul>
  22. 22. Survey the situation <ul><li>What is impacted and what is the current risk? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the possibility of the issue getting worse? </li></ul><ul><li>What skill sets are needed for recovery? </li></ul><ul><li>What level of alarm should be raised and to who? </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer firefighter example </li></ul>
  23. 23. Assemble the Team <ul><li>Assemble the team. You’ll need the right resources to investigate more thoroughly and come up with possible solutions. </li></ul><ul><li>What skill sets are needed for recovery? </li></ul><ul><li>Where can you get them? </li></ul>
  24. 24. Act Now <ul><li>Get your team working to understand the problem right away. While they’re doing that, you should be managing the situation with the rest of the organization. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Been asked these questions before? <ul><li>“ How could this happen?” “Who is responsible?” “What do we need to do to make sure this never happens again?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Who do we need to fire because of this?” </li></ul>
  26. 26. Get the Children out First! <ul><li>Focus all efforts on diagnosis and resolution of the issue. </li></ul><ul><li>Postpone discussions that could either become emotional or will not further crisis resolution. </li></ul><ul><li>Promise that a root cause analysis will be delivered to all interested parties after crisis resolution. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Arson investigations are performed on cold ashes <ul><li>Debrief the team post-crisis, documenting how the situation began. </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate and define operational changes that could prevent the crisis from reoccurring. </li></ul><ul><li>Compile a report detailing the crisis, resolution, root cause, and recommended preventive measures. </li></ul><ul><li>Insist that the preventive measures be implemented. Accidents happen, but shame on you if they happen twice. </li></ul>
  28. 28. MOTIVATING AND REWARDING TECHS <ul><li>How can you win? </li></ul>
  29. 29. The IT Situation It feels like you just can’t win… <ul><li>IT infrastructure and Software isn’t thought of much unless its not working </li></ul><ul><li>When its not working, staff in general have a low opinion of those who build / maintain it. </li></ul><ul><li>When the issue is fixed, few will consider the effort successful because they were impacted </li></ul><ul><li>Few staffers call the support desk to report that “things are working great, keep it up!” </li></ul>
  30. 30. Best Practice - Scoreboards <ul><li>Setup a public scoreboard in a highly trafficked location </li></ul><ul><li>Track meaningful metrics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>System uptimes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project milestones </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make it clear whether the team is winning or losing to the reader in 5 seconds </li></ul><ul><li>Update weekly or monthly </li></ul>
  31. 31. Scoreboard example
  32. 32. Best Practice – Celebrate Winning <ul><li>Make success visible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mail server uptime cookie celebration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Milestone completion happy hour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public congratulations from executives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High internet availability pizza party </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Place more focus and visibility on consistently winning than on occasional failures </li></ul>
  33. 33. Best Practice – “Motivation” for the cash poor <ul><li>Say thank-you often – Do not underestimate the value of these two words </li></ul><ul><li>Spend more time talking about “did well’s” and less on “next times” </li></ul><ul><li>Give paid time to learn between projects </li></ul><ul><li>Provide career growth advice and mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>“ Best Companies to Work for” example </li></ul>
  34. 34. Best Practice – Coaching <ul><li>30-45 minute special 1:1 meeting every 8 weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Staffers submit two “did wells” and one “next time” 24 hrs to manager prior to the meeting. Manager may add to the list during the meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Staffer to discuss each “did well” and what the key factors were in creating success </li></ul><ul><li>Staffer to discuss each “next time” and what should be key factors for creating success next time are. </li></ul><ul><li>Spend more time talking about “did well’s” and less on “next times” </li></ul><ul><li>The point is to have dialog with staffers about what they think is important and listen intently! </li></ul>
  35. 35. Q&A CROWDSOURCE EXPERIMENT <ul><li>Lets make it happen </li></ul>
  36. 36. Q&A Experiment <ul><li>Note cards on the tables </li></ul><ul><li>Jot down your real word Nerd / Tech herding issues or best practices to share </li></ul><ul><li>We will collectively “crowd source” suggestions and best practices </li></ul>
  37. 37. Thank You! Grant Howe, Sage Nonprofit Solutions [email_address] @geekbyte
  38. 38. Session Evaluation Each entry via text or web is a chance to win great NTEN prizes throughout the day! Session Evaluations Powered By: TEXT Text 11NTCNERD to 69866. ONLINE Use 11NTCNERD at http://nten.oal

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