Month: February 2006

Sharing is its own reward?

Offering rewards (recognition or even monetary incentives) for knowledge sharing is a pretty common practice. David Gurteen wonders if that is a good idea. He uses Wikipedia of a good example where sharing is its own reward.

My philosophy is that I expect people in my organization to contribute to the knowledge base. There’s a bare minimum level of effort there that is really considered part of their job.

As David points out, some folks are more passionate about topic areas than others. Those people tend to contribute at a higher level and quality than those who begrudgingly contribute because they “have to”. A performance review is a good time to recognize those who are exceeding expectations there. Public recognition for a particularly valliant effort is also obviously good. This seems like Management 101 to me.

One-time cash rewards for knowledge contributions–even with a “quality rating” built in–doesn’t enforce the right behavior in the right way, in my opinion.

McAfee Security Center is a whipping

My new Dell XPS 400 came with McAfee Security Center. My old home machine runs Norton Internet Security. To be honest, I figured the two would be pretty similar in features so I considered the free Dell McAfee bundle to be a good deal, particularly in light of the generous length of the subscription.

Boy was I wrong. McAfee has been one whipping after another and has, by far, been the biggest “change management” issue for my customers (ie, my wife and kids) with the new machine.

The biggest problem is that there does not seem to be a way to connect a Privacy Service account with a Windows account. On our home machine each of us log in with our own account. That lets me limit the kids’ ability to foul up the system. With Norton Internet Security I was able to tie a Windows account to a maturity level. Norton then made a decent attempt at blocking inappropriate content. With McAfee it isn’t as seamless–anyone wanting to use the net has to log in to McAfee Privacy Service even though they’ve already logged in to their Windows account. The Privacy Service accounts are managed separately from the Windows accounts. That’s shoddy and cumbersome. I’m supposed to ask my four year-old to remember two passwords?

The next annoyance was when McAfee alerted us to a “missing component” and suggested reinstalling. I don’t know why but I let that one slip. The thing that bugged me was the re-install. The product is actually a bundle of four products. When you install them they each need their own re-boot. If you must require a Windows restart, how about giving me the “restart later” option? Four re-starts? Good thing my system boots quickly!

And now for the hat trick. When you ask the McAfee to check for updates it fires up the browser. Unfortunately it doesn’t know how to work with anything other than MSIE. I bought a security product, McAfee! Why would I be running MSIE if I were concerned about security?

McAfee, your ultimate goal in life should be transparency. When your product becomes a pain it will get disabled and ultimately uninstalled. Paricularly when it comes to virus and firewall software, that’s definitely not good for anyone.

Hitachi Consulting acquires Navigator Systems, Inc.

It is hard to believe but the deal is finally done. Today Hitachi Consulting acquired my company, Navigator Systems, Inc.. I believe the press release will go out tomorrow.

We’ve got a lot of details to work through, as you can imagine–Hitachi is nearly 10 times the size of our 100-person firm. But I’m excited about the new possibilities it opens up for my small (but growing!) ECM practice on both the supply-side (access to new resources I can train up on ECM technologies) as well as the demand-side (new markets, geographies, accounts, etc.).

Obviously, I’m focused on adding capability to Hitachi’s existing ECM competency. But the main driver behind the acquisition was that Hitachi was looking to add serious muscle to their existing Business Intelligence(BI)/Corporate Performance Management (CPM) business. Navigator is a leader in that space and we’ve been growing, but now we’ll be able to move forward much more aggressively.

Since I joined Navigator in 1997 we came close to doing a deal a few times and it was always a little nerve-racking. The anticipation builds, major change looms on the horizon, and then nothing. Now we’re here and it is a little surreal. The coming months should be exciting!