Monday, June 22, 2009

When individualism becomes solipsism

I have just listened for umpteenth time a person say that the way they current deal with the information (in some ratty little document or model that sits in isolation from other scrap of knowledge about the enterprise) suits them well.

Of course it suits them quite well

They created the document for a purpose. If it. If it didn't suit even them, for that purpose - that would really sad. The fact that it doesn't suit anyone else or any other purpose (in fact is probably to most other people most of the time) doesn't seem to have dawned on them.

It is unclear to me if they are unaware that other people exist, or if the idea that some of the knowledge in their documents could in fact be of use to someone else hasn't occurred to them.

What disturbs me most is that of these people claim to be "information" technology "professionals". So if they don't understand the need to manage information effectively what chance have we with others.

I hear:
  • IT people say it about their: interfaces, applications, servers, data etc.
  • Business people say it about their: capabilities, functions, policies
  • Strategists and planners say it about their: plans
Yes - they all realise that no one can answer a simple questions like: what projects affect this interface.

Changing the ways people manage and communicate

Fortunately in my calmer moments I recall the challenges I enountered in the past when trying to introduce new technologies e.g.
- email & word processing - I heard the same things in the 1970s
- computer mapping and CAD systems - I heard the same things in the 1980s
- IM and document management (Cf. Sharepoint, Wiki, Blogs etc.) - I heard the same thing in the 1990s
And now I hear it again.


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