Why should you introduce blogging within your company?

Storytime!
I started blogging about eight months ago. Time has flown by, and I’ve learned a few things about writing and publishing. But the reason I started the blog, was to keep track of the things I solved and to publish those findings so that other may benefit from this wisdom. The saying “no need to invent the wheel twice comes into place here.

As the end of the year is closing towards us, and so are the deadlines for the cases we were giving during my courses. One of those tasks is to do the project management of a (dummy) project. This involves -a lot- of email conversions to get the (internally) distributed tasks aligned. These email threads often contain tasks and questions which need to be reviewed and replied to. The combination of several of causes it to be easily overseen or become to complicated.

BlogBark

This recalls a similar experience. I started off as a system administrator for an IT operations department of about four persons. We had a rotation system for the 2nd line support calls, and for the urgent 1st line calls from Headquarters. After about on hour into this shift, the IT manager would arrive at the company and ask “So?”. (Note: The same ‘question’ was posed after lunch too.) This was (to me) one of the most dreadful question an over occupied tech could face.
One can argue that it’s the manager’s responsibility to know what’s going on in his/her department, but all the techs wondered why we had to administer each problem into detail into our issue management system. If it was purely for cost center and analytical purposes, then the level of detail would surely be overkill.

Sliding down my career to my period as ‘System Engineer’. After having switched from the reactive old-skool system administration policy, we introduced the proactive support system to the company. Simply said: previously we waited for calls, now we installed Nagios in combination with (a custom build by yours truly) SMS monitoring system.
The next step in line would be to introduce “project methodologies” into the operations department. Yet again, one might argue that operations and projects are two things, but we’ll leave that discussion at the sideline. The hardest thing to realize, was the communication aspect of the whole. Let’s put it like it is, not everyone is great at communicating, and how can one align when one doesn’t know there is a problem?

The reasons?
Being the analytical mind you are, you’ve probably seen some key issues in the above stories. Yet let’s go a bit further into detail.

  • The personal blog
    The initial reason of this blog was to capture the daily issues I encountered. Notice the word “personal”, as in “might not be according to the company policy (if one would be present)”. Given the new generations and technology, one has to face the fact that people have blogs. Maybe just provide them with a base for the corporate side. This gives you the ability to provide a company policy and keep sensitive data inside.
  • Wazzup?!?
    How many time do corporations spend by “socializing” just check in on people. Let people blog about their tasks. This would provide a source of information to those interested. The person in charge would only have to write this once, instead of reproducing the information multiple times when people pass by his/her desk.
  • Threads
    Threads is a thing know from forums and bulletin boards. You start of with a certain subject, and the thread keeps all comments related to that subject along. If one would post a blog per task, then other might comment in a threaded way to this post.
  • Find… please
    Information gets lost within mass information. We often say “google it!”, but this should be possible in the corporate structures too. Blogging is a method of supporting this method of thinking.
  • Open!
    This methodology has to be supported by the way of thinking within the company. This is not something that’s feasible in environments where everything is closed down, and only a handful of people might see the data. Unless off course, you hammer down the access towards certain blogs. But I think this would become an administrative in regards to rights management.

References:
Seven Reasons for Your Company to Start an Internal Blog

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