Canadian IT Manager's Blog

Broadly connecting Canadian Infrastructure and Development Managers through career, industry and technology insight.

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  • Blog Post: Running a Computer User Group

    As an IT Manager how much do you know about your local User Groups? Do you know what takes place at meetings? Do you know the value that they provide? Do you know how UG’s are run? Do you know any of the UG officers? Do you know if any of your employees are members of UG’s? Do you encourage...
  • Blog Post: We all have a responsibility to help take back the ground....

    Every day we hear about some new internet scam defrauding people of their hard earned money. It isn’t like crime is a new phenomena by any means. As long as there are people there will be a fraction who endeavour to make money the easy way; by preying on others. Unfortunately the ubiquity of email, wireless...
  • Blog Post: Are We There Yet?

    Graham Jones (Surrey, BC - IT Professional) Leading VANTUG I have written here several times about running User Groups and the important part that I believe that they play in the IT Community. When I took over as Leader of VANTUG a little over 6 years ago I had absolutely no clue how to run a User Group...
  • Blog Post: Human Resources Planning and Allocation in a Project Environment (Part 3 of 3)

    Graham Jones (Surrey, BC - IT Professional) Keeping Things Current As already stated in part 1 the quality of the data is paramount. Keeping the resource plan up to date requires organization and discipline. The frequency for doing this may vary by project timescales and organization but probably shouldn...
  • Blog Post: Is it all in the genes?

    I recently added a comment to Stephen Ibaraki's post 'Develop Without Borders for over $160,000: Contribute your ideas and talent to WIN FOR YOUR CHARITY' ( http://blogs.technet.com/cdnitmanagers/archive/2006/07/10/440999.aspx ) offering further encouragement to get involved and help. In that comment...
  • Blog Post: Don't we all love surveys!

    Just recently I was asked to distribute a survey to all of the VANTUG members. It was made clear that this survey was very important by the requester. Being a loyal and compliant :) UG leader I duly obliged, again emphasizing the importance. OK, stand up all of you who love surveys! OK, don't all...
  • Blog Post: The Changing Role of User Groups

    Graham Jones (Surrey, BC - IT Professional and President of VANTUG ) The Traditional Role The traditional role for most UG's has been to hold technical events to inform and educate their members, promote networking between members and perhaps to run certification classes. Although this is a necessary...
  • Blog Post: INFORMATICS '06

    The CIPS INFORMATICS ’06 conference took place May 28 -30 in Victoria, BC. Although I had been aware of the conference for many years, this was my first time to attend. Being in Victoria, it was reasonably on hand and it gave me the excuse to cross the water from the Lower Mainland, something I...
  • Blog Post: [Guest Blogger] The Changing Hardware Needs of NPO's

    Graham Jones (Vancouver, President of VANTUG) I was recently contacted by Joanna Trebon of a non-profit organization (NPO) called the Electronic Recycling Association that refurbishes computer hardware for use by other NPO's. They were seeking my help on two fronts; finding hardware to recycle and...
  • Blog Post: [Guest Blogger] Part 2: Experience Always Counts

    Graham Jones (Vancouver, President of VANTUG) In Part 1 I highlighted the importance of “relationships” with employees. In Part 2 I will relate some of my personal experiences. Two management “old chestnuts” are “open door policy” and “management by walking about”. The most important part here is...
  • Blog Post: Human Resources Planning and Allocation in a Project Environment (Part 1 of 3)

    Graham Jones (Surrey, BC - IT Professional) The Problem In a project environment it is an ongoing challenge to match human resource requirements and skills to project and proposal demands. You need to try and avoid a surplus, which goes straight to the bottom line, or a deficit, thereby affecting schedules...
  • Blog Post: The "Comfort Zone"

    In my last post entitled " What constitutes Good Management " I mentioned the importance of stepping out of your "comfort zone" when it comes to making a major step in the right direction. The question is "how do we do that and what approach should we take?". If you are not the least bit afraid to step...
  • Blog Post: What constitutes "Good Management?"

    Enough material to fill several warehouses must have been written on Management over the centuries, yes centuries; the need for and challenges of management are hardly new! Major construction feats, such as the Pyramids etc. didn't "just happen". So what's new about today? Frankly not a lot! That...
  • Blog Post: Professionalizing the Profession

    Graham Jones (Surrey, BC - IT Professional and President of VANTUG ) The Opportunity to Spread the Word Last week Stephen Ibaraki (blogger extraordinaire – congrats on being named one of the top 10 in Canada ) and I attended the "Global" MVP Summit and a "World" UG Management Summit in Redmond...
  • Blog Post: Volunteering - Good for the "Soul" and your career

    As a UG Leader I know only too well the "volunteer" world. It is definitely not all "sweetness and light" but overall it provides an opportunity for personal satisfaction which is often hard to find in other ways. It may be cliche to say it is about "giving something back" but for those of us who...
  • Blog Post: Code Camps

    You may have seen some of Graham’s comments previously on the Canadian IT Managers blog. Having read through them, I decided to invite Graham to become a regular feature here. Enjoy, Barnaby ----------------------------------------------- As IT Managers are you encouraging your employees...
  • Blog Post: Doing it in "Style" or Maybe Not...

    My daughter-in-law asked me if I could completely rebuild and upgrade the website for her law practice. Wishing for her to make lots of money to help take best care of my grandchildren, I agreed :). This was to involve something of a makeover to improve what had originally been rather poor use of HTML...
  • Blog Post: Human Resources Planning and Allocation in a Project Environment (Part 2 of 3)

    Graham Jones (Surrey, BC - IT Professional) Putting It All Together From a resource planning standpoint we need to see the total demand picture into the future by discipline. The components that make up that picture are: Project backlog, ie. currently active projects Prospects, ie. work that you are...
  • Blog Post: Horses for Courses

    I read the eWeek article that Adam Cole suggested ( http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2002881,00.asp ) and much of what it says echoes what has been written here, particularly by Stephen, about the need for ‘versatilists’. By shear coincidence a few thoughts were going through my mind recently about...
  • Blog Post: Guest Blogger - Graham Jones

    Graham’s formal education is a degree in Chemical Engineering from the UK and an IT Diploma in Canada. He is a registered P.Eng in BC, has passed the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, achieved the MCSD designation (pre .NET) and passed MOS exams. Graham has had a very varied 40+ year career...
  • Blog Post: We all have a responsibility to help

    When I am not writing articles, helping to run the VANTUG UG , helping to organize local community IT events such as TechFest 2007 , teaching Office, playing with my granddaughter or walking the dog (the pecking order used to be my wife and then me – now it is my wife, our granddaughter, the dog and...
  • Blog Post: You never know what you can do until you really try!

    Stephen and I have written here a number of times about the Neil Squire Society (NSS). That is no accident. We both happen to believe that the organization is special and the people who run it equally so. I recently had a tour of their offices and left there both impressed and touched by the experience...
  • Blog Post: Running a Computer User Group (part 2)

    In my last post on " Running a Computer User Group " I mentioned that in part 2 I would discuss VANTUG's activities and plans. However, before I start I want to discuss some philosophical issues. I suspect that many people, if asked, would think of UG's like VANTUG as a place to perhaps network and further...
  • Blog Post: To blog, or not to blog....that is the question

    To blog, or not to blog....that is the question . With apologies to Shakespeare, who is probably turning over in his grave about now, but this question is on the minds of a great many business people, all the way from the small business owner to the boardrooms of the corporate world. What is this communication...
  • Blog Post: Sarbanes-Oxley Presentation to VANTUG

    Much of the IT industry, especially in smaller companies, is only now coming to the realization of the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley or SOX. Denis Drouin of Ernst & Young gave a very interesting and informative talk to an enthusiastic group of VANTUG members on June 21. Denis works as a SOX IT Auditor...