My new job

I started to write this as I sat in a little courtyard at the Disney Swan hotel an hour before our session (JMP208) on how to integrate your Lotus Notes with other desktop applications.  As I looked around and enjoy the weather, I feel a little sadness realizing that this might very well be my last Lotusphere.

Once upon the time, John Head called me “The general of PSC’s Lotus/Collaboration practice”.  Well, I am that general no more.

At some point last year, I realized that I no longer enjoyed my job.  I was in my fourth year of running our Collaboration practice. Managing a P&L and worrying about scheduling was no longer challenging or thrilling.  I felt like I’ve been there, done that.

The worst thing you can do as a manager and a leader is to no longer care.  It is simply not fair to your team and the people who rely on you.  I didn’t want to be in that position, so it was time to move on.

As I look back, I realize that I had made a lot of mistakes and I also learned a lot during my tenure as a Practice Manager.  I hope that overall I was at least somewhat successful during my tenure.  (I don’t think PSC would’ve kept me around otherwise).  It was a great experience and I’m grateful for the opportunity to live through it.

We had good years and we had so-so years.  The team survived through the worst economic downturn of our lifetime and we came out on top as one of the few remaining Lotus consulting organizations in Chicago.  Not only did we not lose any team members, I think that at the end of 2010 our Notes team was larger than ever before.

Of course, we could’ve never done it without the smart, dedicated and, at times, simply brilliant people who I had the privilege to work with.  It is these people who rose up to every challenge, picked up new skills, learned new technologies and worked long hours.  A few of them told me that they thought I was a good manager.  I know that some of them will read this I want to thank them for their support.

So come January 1st of 2011, I officially handed the general’s epaulettes to Andrew Barickman.  Andrew joined PSC around September of 2010 and things sort of worked out: I wanted to move out, he wanted to move in.

So now, I’m a field consultant once again.  I’m doing a business strategy/RFP generation project for a logistics client.  I’m managing the final delivery phases of an Extranet portal project for another client.  And when I return from Lotusphere, I’ll also be a product manager for another client of ours.  None of these projects have any relation to Lotus.

However, I am still managing the PSC/IBM relationship, so I am not completely out of the picture.  And will certainly continue to be involved in the great Lotus community.

I want to thank PSC and its management team for being very supportive of what I wanted to do.  They understood the reasons I was looking to resign a Vice President position to become a Solution Architect.

So now I’m looking forward to all the new projects and the new learning opportunities.


PSC kicks off another XPages discovery project

As organizations are upgrading to Lotus Domino 8.5.x, the XPages technology is attracting interest and gaining acceptance in the corporate world.  Last week, the PSC Collaboration team kicked off another XPages discovery project to assess the effort involved in converting an existing Lotus Notes application to XPages.

Our client’s project management application was built and web enabled over the course of many years using the traditional Lotus Notes approach: build the client UI, then web enable it.  As the result, it looks like a typical Lotus Notes web enabled application — not very pretty.  The XPages technology will allow us to offer a modern Web 2.0 interface to this application and get away from the practice of maintaining 2 code bases.

So one of our Lotus Notes consultants and I are reviewing the application to estimate the effort involved in modernizing it using XPages.  Can’t wait to complete the discovery phase and start building it.  If the client liked examples of our previous XPages project, I think they will love how XPages will transform their own application.

PSC Collaboration Team is Growing

I want to welcome Andrew Barickman to the PSC’s Collaboration team.  Andrew has uncountable years of experience working and consulting in the IBM Lotus arena.  In one of his previous lives he even worked for Lotus and, as I learned today, before R5, his was the 3rd name to appear in the “Elvis is Alive” Easter Egg.  (Remember that one?)

Andrew is an outstanding professional: a consultant and a technologist.  I’m excited to have Andrew join the PSC team.