[Micronet] JACS & Dell

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[Micronet] JACS & Dell

Johnathon P. Kogelman
Hello,

It appears the JACS site and Dell are no longer in-sync concerning what
systems are available and pricing. Does anyone from the Joint
Administrative Computing Standards program have any information about
this? For example appears to be a lack of a low end system; the 390 was
$570 while Dell's cheapest JACS desktop is now $780.

Regards,
Johnathon

--
 
Johnathon P. Kogelman
Information Systems
College of Chemistry
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, California 94720-1460
Ph (510) 643-3533, Fax (510) 666-2570
[hidden email]
http://chemistry.berkeley.edu/it/


 
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[Micronet] JACS & Dell

Petersen, Joanne
Hello Johnathon,

Yes, Dell somehow managed to drop our Budget Desktop, the OptiPlex 390, off their punch-out.  I will get it back!

Best regards,

Joanne Hiratsuka Petersen
IT Hardware Commodity Manager, Campus Procurement & Contracting
University of California, San Francisco |1855 Folsom #304 | San Francisco, CA 94143-0910
  415-514-2872 |   [hidden email] | [hidden email]

>> From: "Johnathon P. Kogelman" <[hidden email]>
>> Subject: [Micronet] JACS & Dell
>> Date: December 12, 2012 2:52:37 PM PST
>> To: [hidden email]
>>
>> Hello,
>>
>> It appears the JACS site and Dell are no longer in-sync concerning
>> what systems are available and pricing. Does anyone from the Joint
>> Administrative Computing Standards program have any information about
>> this? For example appears to be a lack of a low end system; the 390
>> was
>> $570 while Dell's cheapest JACS desktop is now $780.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Johnathon
>>
>> --
>>
>> Johnathon P. Kogelman
>> Information Systems
>> College of Chemistry
>> University of California at Berkeley
>> Berkeley, California 94720-1460
>> Ph (510) 643-3533, Fax (510) 666-2570 [hidden email]
>> http://chemistry.berkeley.edu/it/
>>
>>
>>
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>> --- The following was automatically added to this message by the list
>> server:
>>
>> To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please visit the Micronet Web site:
>>
>> http://micronet.berkeley.edu
>>
>> Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.
>
>



 
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[Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

Nils Ohlson
All,

This has been percolating in my brain for a while and I finally came up with a
way to articulate it in as few words as I could.

Something that's slowly sunk in to my consciousness as I've followed and
occasionally participated in many recent Micronet discussions, is that Micronet
*is* a crowd-sourcing environment, comprising a community with decades or even
centuries of collective experience. And it's not being used by the Campus or
University for the needs that simply cry out to be crowd-sourced, in this time
of accelerated change, decreased budget, and need for increasing "nimbleness"
(that's my buzzword for the day).

I'm not saying that Micronet e-mail or threaded discussions themselves can be
used as a crowd-sourced solution-generator; obviously not. But their
effectiveness, despite the obvious limitations of the medium, point to the vast
untapped potential for a really well designed crowd-sourced approach to dealing
with Campus IT-related problems. The reluctance of or poor implementation by
upper management to involve the user base, any user base, in coming up with
solutions to these problems is a challenge that needs to be overcome somehow,
and I think that again, the imagination and experience of campus IT users and
administrators can be brought to bear to come up with ways to get management to
look to the "base" to solve problems.

I would be delighted to read what you may think of this and I will take flames,
however hot, as constructive criticism.

Thank you,
Nils

Nils Ohlson
Financial Services Analyst
College of Chemistry Business Office
410 Latimer Hall #1460
Berkeley, CA 94720-1460
(510) 642-1325 phone
(510) 642-4313 fax
[hidden email]



 
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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

Jon Johnsen
One weakness in crowd-sourcing on campus is the recent rapid turnover of experienced (I'm not one of them) IT specialists on campus.

The "decades or even centuries of collective experience" has shrunk by at least 50% in the past few years, and the outflow is continuing.

We are fortunate that some of those who have left Berkeley continue to share their experience and knowledge with us.
Jon Johnsen
Information Systems Office
433 University Hall
School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
510 643-4357
On 12/13/2012 8:16 AM, Nils Ohlson wrote:
All,

This has been percolating in my brain for a while and I finally came up with a 
way to articulate it in as few words as I could.

Something that's slowly sunk in to my consciousness as I've followed and 
occasionally participated in many recent Micronet discussions, is that Micronet 
*is* a crowd-sourcing environment, comprising a community with decades or even 
centuries of collective experience. And it's not being used by the Campus or 
University for the needs that simply cry out to be crowd-sourced, in this time 
of accelerated change, decreased budget, and need for increasing "nimbleness" 
(that's my buzzword for the day).

I'm not saying that Micronet e-mail or threaded discussions themselves can be 
used as a crowd-sourced solution-generator; obviously not. But their 
effectiveness, despite the obvious limitations of the medium, point to the vast 
untapped potential for a really well designed crowd-sourced approach to dealing 
with Campus IT-related problems. The reluctance of or poor implementation by 
upper management to involve the user base, any user base, in coming up with 
solutions to these problems is a challenge that needs to be overcome somehow, 
and I think that again, the imagination and experience of campus IT users and 
administrators can be brought to bear to come up with ways to get management to 
look to the "base" to solve problems.

I would be delighted to read what you may think of this and I will take flames, 
however hot, as constructive criticism.

Thank you,
Nils

Nils Ohlson
Financial Services Analyst
College of Chemistry Business Office
410 Latimer Hall #1460
Berkeley, CA 94720-1460
(510) 642-1325 phone
(510) 642-4313 fax
[hidden email]



 
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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

Chris Hoffman-2
In reply to this post by Nils Ohlson
Hi Nils and colleagues,

I definitely agree that Micronet is a crowd-sourcing knowledge base that is one of the most valuable resources for this campus.  I'm going to push back a bit however on your statement that upper management does not involve the user base, "any user base", in approaching campus IT-related problems.  I think that's a caricature that ignores the complexity of what we're all trying to do.  Every software project I've seen recently has had some kind of focus group or user involvement somewhere along the way.  If any software project (small, medium or large) on this campus has not involved a user base, then they really should be put in the stocks!  

I think the challenge campus has faced in this regard is finding the right way to involve those who are going to use, support, or be effected by these IT-related changes.  Part of this is knowing when to broaden from small focus groups to larger communities, like Micronet.  I think it's hard for a project to keep its focus, balance requirements vs. resources vs. schedules, and engage the campus at scale, but it is a critical success factor for the kinds of changes that are going on right now.

Let me turn this around and ask Nils and others to identify IT-related projects that maybe have been better examples of a user involvement strategy?  What worked and why?

Regards,
Chris
IST-Research IT, Informatics Services


On Dec 13, 2012, at 8:16 AM, Nils Ohlson wrote:

> All,
>
> This has been percolating in my brain for a while and I finally came up with a
> way to articulate it in as few words as I could.
>
> Something that's slowly sunk in to my consciousness as I've followed and
> occasionally participated in many recent Micronet discussions, is that Micronet
> *is* a crowd-sourcing environment, comprising a community with decades or even
> centuries of collective experience. And it's not being used by the Campus or
> University for the needs that simply cry out to be crowd-sourced, in this time
> of accelerated change, decreased budget, and need for increasing "nimbleness"
> (that's my buzzword for the day).
>
> I'm not saying that Micronet e-mail or threaded discussions themselves can be
> used as a crowd-sourced solution-generator; obviously not. But their
> effectiveness, despite the obvious limitations of the medium, point to the vast
> untapped potential for a really well designed crowd-sourced approach to dealing
> with Campus IT-related problems. The reluctance of or poor implementation by
> upper management to involve the user base, any user base, in coming up with
> solutions to these problems is a challenge that needs to be overcome somehow,
> and I think that again, the imagination and experience of campus IT users and
> administrators can be brought to bear to come up with ways to get management to
> look to the "base" to solve problems.
>
> I would be delighted to read what you may think of this and I will take flames,
> however hot, as constructive criticism.
>
> Thank you,
> Nils
>
> Nils Ohlson
> Financial Services Analyst
> College of Chemistry Business Office
> 410 Latimer Hall #1460
> Berkeley, CA 94720-1460
> (510) 642-1325 phone
> (510) 642-4313 fax
> [hidden email]
>
>
>
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The following was automatically added to this message by the list server:
>
> To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please visit the Micronet Web site:
>
> http://micronet.berkeley.edu
>
> Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.


 
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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

Michael Sinatra-3
On 12/13/12 8:38 AM, Chris Hoffman wrote:

> Let me turn this around and ask Nils and others to identify
> IT-related projects that maybe have been better examples of a user
> involvement strategy?  What worked and why?

I am going to answer this question from the perspective of a project
implementer, and explain why it was invaluable to involve Micronet in a
project I worked on: DNSSEC.

When I started the decision process--whether to deploy DNSSEC on campus
and how to implement it--I knew early on that there was risk in the
project.  Moreover, I was exposing individual users to risks that they
weren't aware of, in the hopes of mitigating other serious risks.  While
I believe that each user should be able to manage such trade-offs
themselves, that simply isn't possible with DNSSEC.  As David Conrad,
who works for ICANN, put it:

“While it is easy to choose a different search engine and most users can
be reasonably be expected to deal with the fact if/when Google went
down, I have some skepticism that (say) your average art student at UCB
would have a clue as to how to change the caching name server they point
to (if they are even able to).”

Conrad is a supporter of DNSSEC, but he was discussing certain
implementation details in my plan.  For me, Conrad illustrated a
challenge that I believed could be reduced through vehicles like
Micronet as part of a more general policy of iterative technical
transparency.

I say 'iterative' because I wanted to involve campus technical folks in
the various stages of the project, from conceptualization to
implementation.  I gave two presentations at the Micronet meeting that
(in whole or in part) dealt with the issues that DNSSEC was trying to
solve and the additional risks that it raised.  By communicating my
decision process and the technical details, I did several things:

o Allowed more of the campus technical community, as represented by
Micronet, to participate in the decision process.

o Made myself accountable: The service (DNS) and the changes being made
(DNSSEC) now had a face to it, a number to call, and some_one_ to talk
to if there were concerns or problems.  And they did talk to me.

o Even if I hadn't gotten any feedback from the Micronet community, the
process of formulating my ideas, articulating the pros and cons, and
presenting them to the _broader_ technical community was absolutely
invaluable for helping me understand risks and benefits and clarifying
the decision process.

Although there is no perfect answer to David Conrad's concern, having a
technical communication strategy did provide a way of answering his
comments and making it clear that I was applying due diligence.

Micronet wasn't the only component of my aim for technical transparency;
there were also iNews articles
(https://inews.berkeley.edu/articles/Aug-Sep2010/DNSSEC), web pages on
the Data Network website (http://net.berkeley.edu/DNS/dnssec.html), and
engagement with communities outside of the campus.  That's another
important feature of Micronet: It allows us to communicate best practice
information from communities outside of campus (such as the larger DNS
operations community) to the campus technical community.

There were unforeseen benefits: "UC Berkeley" was held up, in public
presentations and conferences, by several DNS experts, as being a leader
in rolling out what is viewed as critical technology.  Many people
expect UCB to be an IT leader, so when things like this happen, and
they're publicly visible, it's good for campus IT.  It makes smart
people interested in working for UCB.  It makes colleagues in various
communities want to work with UCB.  Involving technical communities,
including Micronet, helped us to reap these benefits.

In closing, I'd like to examine a non-IT situation where maybe
focus-groups and smaller-scale vetting processes have limitations.
We've all probably heard about the big controversy over the new UC logo
(you know, the one that looks like a flushing toilet?).  Apparently UCOP
used focus groups consisting of parents, students, alumni, etc. to
choose the new logo.  However, when they released the logo to the
public, it was panned by media outlets ranging from salon.com to the
Christian Science Monitor.  Over 50,000 signatures (including that of
Lt. Governor and UC Regent Gavin Newsom) have been collected in an
effort to dump the new logo.  Either the warning signs from the focus
groups were ignored or the focus groups didn't adequately provide
feedback about how the logo would be received by the larger community.
Involving the larger community at an earlier time (maybe with design
contests or online elections for proposed designs) might have saved UC
some egg-on-face.  I think Micronet, as a self-selecting organization,
provides broad-based representation of the larger campus technical
community that makes it an important part of a campus IT decision strategy.

michael
Energy Sciences Network/LBNL/Department of Energy

PS.  Note that I recently participated in a panel discussion at a
conference at Merit Network (the Michigan R&E state network) regarding
our increasing reliance on the network and how that makes testing,
maintenance, and new technology deployments challenging.  I used both
Micronet and ESnet's ESCC as an example of how campus or lab technical
groups can help with these challenges, so this sort of thing is
definitely on my mind.

 
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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

Ian Crew
To hijack the thread a tiny bit, just a quick note to note that the Micronet mailing list membership != the campus IT community.

Specifically:

As of this morning, there are 761 addresses subscribed to Micronet.

Only 687 of those 761 are berkeley.edu addresses.

I think it's pretty safe to assume that some (small) portion of those folks aren't IT staff.  Let's call it 650 IT staffers, then, that are on this list.

I have no way of verifying the number, but I've heard in several forums that there are roughly 1,200 people in IT job classifications on campus. (And, as far as I know, that doesn't count folks in other job classifications that have IT as a portion of their job duties.)

So that means that the Micronet list probably represents just barely over half of the IT staff on campus.

As to why the other half of the IT staff choose to absent themselves from this forum, I don't really know.  IMHO, if we could increase that percentage of representation, I think that'd be great for both Micronet and the campus community more generally.

That's all a long way to say that I hope people and project teams aren't falling into the trap of saying "I informed/consulted Micronet, therefore the campus IT community has been informed/consulted."  I'm not trying to say NOT to consult with Micronet, but rather to make clear that consulting with Micronet ONLY isn't sufficient....

Hope that makes sense!

Ian
Micronet list co-admin

On Dec 13, 2012, at 12:42 PM, Michael Sinatra <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 12/13/12 8:38 AM, Chris Hoffman wrote:

Let me turn this around and ask Nils and others to identify
IT-related projects that maybe have been better examples of a user
involvement strategy?  What worked and why?

I am going to answer this question from the perspective of a project
implementer, and explain why it was invaluable to involve Micronet in a
project I worked on: DNSSEC.

When I started the decision process--whether to deploy DNSSEC on campus
and how to implement it--I knew early on that there was risk in the
project.  Moreover, I was exposing individual users to risks that they
weren't aware of, in the hopes of mitigating other serious risks.  While
I believe that each user should be able to manage such trade-offs
themselves, that simply isn't possible with DNSSEC.  As David Conrad,
who works for ICANN, put it:

“While it is easy to choose a different search engine and most users can
be reasonably be expected to deal with the fact if/when Google went
down, I have some skepticism that (say) your average art student at UCB
would have a clue as to how to change the caching name server they point
to (if they are even able to).”

Conrad is a supporter of DNSSEC, but he was discussing certain
implementation details in my plan.  For me, Conrad illustrated a
challenge that I believed could be reduced through vehicles like
Micronet as part of a more general policy of iterative technical
transparency.

I say 'iterative' because I wanted to involve campus technical folks in
the various stages of the project, from conceptualization to
implementation.  I gave two presentations at the Micronet meeting that
(in whole or in part) dealt with the issues that DNSSEC was trying to
solve and the additional risks that it raised.  By communicating my
decision process and the technical details, I did several things:

o Allowed more of the campus technical community, as represented by
Micronet, to participate in the decision process.

o Made myself accountable: The service (DNS) and the changes being made
(DNSSEC) now had a face to it, a number to call, and some_one_ to talk
to if there were concerns or problems.  And they did talk to me.

o Even if I hadn't gotten any feedback from the Micronet community, the
process of formulating my ideas, articulating the pros and cons, and
presenting them to the _broader_ technical community was absolutely
invaluable for helping me understand risks and benefits and clarifying
the decision process.

Although there is no perfect answer to David Conrad's concern, having a
technical communication strategy did provide a way of answering his
comments and making it clear that I was applying due diligence.

Micronet wasn't the only component of my aim for technical transparency;
there were also iNews articles
(https://inews.berkeley.edu/articles/Aug-Sep2010/DNSSEC), web pages on
the Data Network website (http://net.berkeley.edu/DNS/dnssec.html), and
engagement with communities outside of the campus.  That's another
important feature of Micronet: It allows us to communicate best practice
information from communities outside of campus (such as the larger DNS
operations community) to the campus technical community.

There were unforeseen benefits: "UC Berkeley" was held up, in public
presentations and conferences, by several DNS experts, as being a leader
in rolling out what is viewed as critical technology.  Many people
expect UCB to be an IT leader, so when things like this happen, and
they're publicly visible, it's good for campus IT.  It makes smart
people interested in working for UCB.  It makes colleagues in various
communities want to work with UCB.  Involving technical communities,
including Micronet, helped us to reap these benefits.

In closing, I'd like to examine a non-IT situation where maybe
focus-groups and smaller-scale vetting processes have limitations.
We've all probably heard about the big controversy over the new UC logo
(you know, the one that looks like a flushing toilet?).  Apparently UCOP
used focus groups consisting of parents, students, alumni, etc. to
choose the new logo.  However, when they released the logo to the
public, it was panned by media outlets ranging from salon.com to the
Christian Science Monitor.  Over 50,000 signatures (including that of
Lt. Governor and UC Regent Gavin Newsom) have been collected in an
effort to dump the new logo.  Either the warning signs from the focus
groups were ignored or the focus groups didn't adequately provide
feedback about how the logo would be received by the larger community.
Involving the larger community at an earlier time (maybe with design
contests or online elections for proposed designs) might have saved UC
some egg-on-face.  I think Micronet, as a self-selecting organization,
provides broad-based representation of the larger campus technical
community that makes it an important part of a campus IT decision strategy.

michael
Energy Sciences Network/LBNL/Department of Energy

PS.  Note that I recently participated in a panel discussion at a
conference at Merit Network (the Michigan R&E state network) regarding
our increasing reliance on the network and how that makes testing,
maintenance, and new technology deployments challenging.  I used both
Micronet and ESnet's ESCC as an example of how campus or lab technical
groups can help with these challenges, so this sort of thing is
definitely on my mind.


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Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.

___
Ian Crew
Platform and Services Manager, Research Hub

Content Management Technologies
IST-Architecture, Middleware and Common Applications
Earl Warren Hall, Second Floor
University of California, Berkeley


 
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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

Michael Sinatra-3
On 12/13/12 11:14 AM, Ian Crew wrote:

> That's all a long way to say that I hope people and project teams aren't
> falling into the trap of saying "I informed/consulted Micronet,
> therefore the campus IT community has been informed/consulted."  I'm not
> trying to say NOT to consult with Micronet, but rather to make clear
> that consulting with Micronet ONLY isn't sufficient....

Which is exactly why I pointed out that Micronet was only a component of
my overall communication strategy.  I realized a long time ago that
multiple communication channels are necessary to get complex technical
issues out to the campus community, and even that's imperfect.

However, Micronet is unique in that it is self-selecting, rather than
appointed by some other criterion/a, as is the case with the evolving
campus IT governance regime.  People who recognize the benefits of being
in such a community and who _want_ to participate, without necessarily
qualifying for other committees, can provide unique insights.

michael


 
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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

Christopher Brooks
In reply to this post by Ian Crew
Michael's points are well taken, especially in light of the
significant shortcomings of BearBuy and CalTime.

One issue is that any campus-wide website will eventually cause users
to ask campus-IT staff for assistance and if there are issues, then the
issues will be discussed on Micronet.  So, involving stakeholders like
Micronet early on will pay off.

A somewhat different issue is that we all have only so much time
to devote to improving the greater good.  What gets my goat about
these poorly implemented websites and rollouts is that I only have
so much time to provide feedback about what clearly was a series
of premature releases and poorly implemented applications.  Clearly,
we are seeing the same problems over and over again.

I'm not sure what the root cause is, but I'm starting to suspect issues
of focus groups or early adopters.  Either the groups do not have the
right people or their issues are being discounted.  

My question is: how much time should Micronet-members be devoting
to development of campus-wide applications?  This is a good topic for
discussion with managers etc.

In other news:

- BearBuy has a significant bug where purchases are marked as completed
even though the purchase order has not been placed, has not been
received or has not been paid.  This is common with vendors that are
not directly connected to BearBuy.  I asked for a timeline about repair
of this bug, but have received no answer.

- In a lighter vein, the UC Logo/UC Davis Pepper Spray combo made
my day:
http://blog.sfgate.com/stew/2012/12/11/the-masses-fight-back-against-uc-logo-with-snarky-memes/
http://www.salon.com/2012/12/11/new_uc_logo_a_sad_sign_for_higher_education/

_Christopher

On 12/13/12 11:14 AM, Ian Crew wrote:
To hijack the thread a tiny bit, just a quick note to note that the Micronet mailing list membership != the campus IT community.

Specifically:

As of this morning, there are 761 addresses subscribed to Micronet.

Only 687 of those 761 are berkeley.edu addresses.

I think it's pretty safe to assume that some (small) portion of those folks aren't IT staff.  Let's call it 650 IT staffers, then, that are on this list.

I have no way of verifying the number, but I've heard in several forums that there are roughly 1,200 people in IT job classifications on campus. (And, as far as I know, that doesn't count folks in other job classifications that have IT as a portion of their job duties.)

So that means that the Micronet list probably represents just barely over half of the IT staff on campus.

As to why the other half of the IT staff choose to absent themselves from this forum, I don't really know.  IMHO, if we could increase that percentage of representation, I think that'd be great for both Micronet and the campus community more generally.

That's all a long way to say that I hope people and project teams aren't falling into the trap of saying "I informed/consulted Micronet, therefore the campus IT community has been informed/consulted."  I'm not trying to say NOT to consult with Micronet, but rather to make clear that consulting with Micronet ONLY isn't sufficient....

Hope that makes sense!

Ian
Micronet list co-admin

On Dec 13, 2012, at 12:42 PM, Michael Sinatra <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 12/13/12 8:38 AM, Chris Hoffman wrote:

Let me turn this around and ask Nils and others to identify
IT-related projects that maybe have been better examples of a user
involvement strategy?  What worked and why?

I am going to answer this question from the perspective of a project
implementer, and explain why it was invaluable to involve Micronet in a
project I worked on: DNSSEC.

When I started the decision process--whether to deploy DNSSEC on campus
and how to implement it--I knew early on that there was risk in the
project.  Moreover, I was exposing individual users to risks that they
weren't aware of, in the hopes of mitigating other serious risks.  While
I believe that each user should be able to manage such trade-offs
themselves, that simply isn't possible with DNSSEC.  As David Conrad,
who works for ICANN, put it:

“While it is easy to choose a different search engine and most users can
be reasonably be expected to deal with the fact if/when Google went
down, I have some skepticism that (say) your average art student at UCB
would have a clue as to how to change the caching name server they point
to (if they are even able to).”

Conrad is a supporter of DNSSEC, but he was discussing certain
implementation details in my plan.  For me, Conrad illustrated a
challenge that I believed could be reduced through vehicles like
Micronet as part of a more general policy of iterative technical
transparency.

I say 'iterative' because I wanted to involve campus technical folks in
the various stages of the project, from conceptualization to
implementation.  I gave two presentations at the Micronet meeting that
(in whole or in part) dealt with the issues that DNSSEC was trying to
solve and the additional risks that it raised.  By communicating my
decision process and the technical details, I did several things:

o Allowed more of the campus technical community, as represented by
Micronet, to participate in the decision process.

o Made myself accountable: The service (DNS) and the changes being made
(DNSSEC) now had a face to it, a number to call, and some_one_ to talk
to if there were concerns or problems.  And they did talk to me.

o Even if I hadn't gotten any feedback from the Micronet community, the
process of formulating my ideas, articulating the pros and cons, and
presenting them to the _broader_ technical community was absolutely
invaluable for helping me understand risks and benefits and clarifying
the decision process.

Although there is no perfect answer to David Conrad's concern, having a
technical communication strategy did provide a way of answering his
comments and making it clear that I was applying due diligence.

Micronet wasn't the only component of my aim for technical transparency;
there were also iNews articles
(https://inews.berkeley.edu/articles/Aug-Sep2010/DNSSEC), web pages on
the Data Network website (http://net.berkeley.edu/DNS/dnssec.html), and
engagement with communities outside of the campus.  That's another
important feature of Micronet: It allows us to communicate best practice
information from communities outside of campus (such as the larger DNS
operations community) to the campus technical community.

There were unforeseen benefits: "UC Berkeley" was held up, in public
presentations and conferences, by several DNS experts, as being a leader
in rolling out what is viewed as critical technology.  Many people
expect UCB to be an IT leader, so when things like this happen, and
they're publicly visible, it's good for campus IT.  It makes smart
people interested in working for UCB.  It makes colleagues in various
communities want to work with UCB.  Involving technical communities,
including Micronet, helped us to reap these benefits.

In closing, I'd like to examine a non-IT situation where maybe
focus-groups and smaller-scale vetting processes have limitations.
We've all probably heard about the big controversy over the new UC logo
(you know, the one that looks like a flushing toilet?).  Apparently UCOP
used focus groups consisting of parents, students, alumni, etc. to
choose the new logo.  However, when they released the logo to the
public, it was panned by media outlets ranging from salon.com to the
Christian Science Monitor.  Over 50,000 signatures (including that of
Lt. Governor and UC Regent Gavin Newsom) have been collected in an
effort to dump the new logo.  Either the warning signs from the focus
groups were ignored or the focus groups didn't adequately provide
feedback about how the logo would be received by the larger community.
Involving the larger community at an earlier time (maybe with design
contests or online elections for proposed designs) might have saved UC
some egg-on-face.  I think Micronet, as a self-selecting organization,
provides broad-based representation of the larger campus technical
community that makes it an important part of a campus IT decision strategy.

michael
Energy Sciences Network/LBNL/Department of Energy

PS.  Note that I recently participated in a panel discussion at a
conference at Merit Network (the Michigan R&E state network) regarding
our increasing reliance on the network and how that makes testing,
maintenance, and new technology deployments challenging.  I used both
Micronet and ESnet's ESCC as an example of how campus or lab technical
groups can help with these challenges, so this sort of thing is
definitely on my mind.


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To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please visit the Micronet Web site:

http://micronet.berkeley.edu

Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.

___
Ian Crew
Platform and Services Manager, Research Hub

Content Management Technologies
IST-Architecture, Middleware and Common Applications
Earl Warren Hall, Second Floor
University of California, Berkeley



 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
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To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please visit the Micronet Web site:

http://micronet.berkeley.edu

Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.

-- 
Christopher Brooks, PMP                       University of California
CHESS Executive Director                      US Mail: 337 Cory Hall
Programmer/Analyst CHESS/Ptolemy/Trust        Berkeley, CA 94720-1774
ph: 510.643.9841                                (Office: 545Q Cory)
home: (F-Tu) 707.665.0131 cell: 707.332.0670 

 
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To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please visit the Micronet Web site:

http://micronet.berkeley.edu

Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.
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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

William
It might be that some of the IT staff simple do not know about Micronet.  This would be especially true of people hired into single research group positions from outside campus.  I was oblivious of its existence when I first started many years ago and only had access to department IT lists for a while.

      On 12/13/12 11:27 AM, Christopher Brooks wrote:
Michael's points are well taken, especially in light of the
significant shortcomings of BearBuy and CalTime.

One issue is that any campus-wide website will eventually cause users
to ask campus-IT staff for assistance and if there are issues, then the
issues will be discussed on Micronet.  So, involving stakeholders like
Micronet early on will pay off.

A somewhat different issue is that we all have only so much time
to devote to improving the greater good.  What gets my goat about
these poorly implemented websites and rollouts is that I only have
so much time to provide feedback about what clearly was a series
of premature releases and poorly implemented applications.  Clearly,
we are seeing the same problems over and over again.

I'm not sure what the root cause is, but I'm starting to suspect issues
of focus groups or early adopters.  Either the groups do not have the
right people or their issues are being discounted.  

My question is: how much time should Micronet-members be devoting
to development of campus-wide applications?  This is a good topic for
discussion with managers etc.

In other news:

- BearBuy has a significant bug where purchases are marked as completed
even though the purchase order has not been placed, has not been
received or has not been paid.  This is common with vendors that are
not directly connected to BearBuy.  I asked for a timeline about repair
of this bug, but have received no answer.

- In a lighter vein, the UC Logo/UC Davis Pepper Spray combo made
my day:
http://blog.sfgate.com/stew/2012/12/11/the-masses-fight-back-against-uc-logo-with-snarky-memes/
http://www.salon.com/2012/12/11/new_uc_logo_a_sad_sign_for_higher_education/

_Christopher

On 12/13/12 11:14 AM, Ian Crew wrote:
To hijack the thread a tiny bit, just a quick note to note that the Micronet mailing list membership != the campus IT community.

Specifically:

As of this morning, there are 761 addresses subscribed to Micronet.

Only 687 of those 761 are berkeley.edu addresses.

I think it's pretty safe to assume that some (small) portion of those folks aren't IT staff.  Let's call it 650 IT staffers, then, that are on this list.

I have no way of verifying the number, but I've heard in several forums that there are roughly 1,200 people in IT job classifications on campus. (And, as far as I know, that doesn't count folks in other job classifications that have IT as a portion of their job duties.)

So that means that the Micronet list probably represents just barely over half of the IT staff on campus.

As to why the other half of the IT staff choose to absent themselves from this forum, I don't really know.  IMHO, if we could increase that percentage of representation, I think that'd be great for both Micronet and the campus community more generally.

That's all a long way to say that I hope people and project teams aren't falling into the trap of saying "I informed/consulted Micronet, therefore the campus IT community has been informed/consulted."  I'm not trying to say NOT to consult with Micronet, but rather to make clear that consulting with Micronet ONLY isn't sufficient....

Hope that makes sense!

Ian
Micronet list co-admin

On Dec 13, 2012, at 12:42 PM, Michael Sinatra <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 12/13/12 8:38 AM, Chris Hoffman wrote:

Let me turn this around and ask Nils and others to identify
IT-related projects that maybe have been better examples of a user
involvement strategy?  What worked and why?

I am going to answer this question from the perspective of a project
implementer, and explain why it was invaluable to involve Micronet in a
project I worked on: DNSSEC.

When I started the decision process--whether to deploy DNSSEC on campus
and how to implement it--I knew early on that there was risk in the
project.  Moreover, I was exposing individual users to risks that they
weren't aware of, in the hopes of mitigating other serious risks.  While
I believe that each user should be able to manage such trade-offs
themselves, that simply isn't possible with DNSSEC.  As David Conrad,
who works for ICANN, put it:

“While it is easy to choose a different search engine and most users can
be reasonably be expected to deal with the fact if/when Google went
down, I have some skepticism that (say) your average art student at UCB
would have a clue as to how to change the caching name server they point
to (if they are even able to).”

Conrad is a supporter of DNSSEC, but he was discussing certain
implementation details in my plan.  For me, Conrad illustrated a
challenge that I believed could be reduced through vehicles like
Micronet as part of a more general policy of iterative technical
transparency.

I say 'iterative' because I wanted to involve campus technical folks in
the various stages of the project, from conceptualization to
implementation.  I gave two presentations at the Micronet meeting that
(in whole or in part) dealt with the issues that DNSSEC was trying to
solve and the additional risks that it raised.  By communicating my
decision process and the technical details, I did several things:

o Allowed more of the campus technical community, as represented by
Micronet, to participate in the decision process.

o Made myself accountable: The service (DNS) and the changes being made
(DNSSEC) now had a face to it, a number to call, and some_one_ to talk
to if there were concerns or problems.  And they did talk to me.

o Even if I hadn't gotten any feedback from the Micronet community, the
process of formulating my ideas, articulating the pros and cons, and
presenting them to the _broader_ technical community was absolutely
invaluable for helping me understand risks and benefits and clarifying
the decision process.

Although there is no perfect answer to David Conrad's concern, having a
technical communication strategy did provide a way of answering his
comments and making it clear that I was applying due diligence.

Micronet wasn't the only component of my aim for technical transparency;
there were also iNews articles
(https://inews.berkeley.edu/articles/Aug-Sep2010/DNSSEC), web pages on
the Data Network website (http://net.berkeley.edu/DNS/dnssec.html), and
engagement with communities outside of the campus.  That's another
important feature of Micronet: It allows us to communicate best practice
information from communities outside of campus (such as the larger DNS
operations community) to the campus technical community.

There were unforeseen benefits: "UC Berkeley" was held up, in public
presentations and conferences, by several DNS experts, as being a leader
in rolling out what is viewed as critical technology.  Many people
expect UCB to be an IT leader, so when things like this happen, and
they're publicly visible, it's good for campus IT.  It makes smart
people interested in working for UCB.  It makes colleagues in various
communities want to work with UCB.  Involving technical communities,
including Micronet, helped us to reap these benefits.

In closing, I'd like to examine a non-IT situation where maybe
focus-groups and smaller-scale vetting processes have limitations.
We've all probably heard about the big controversy over the new UC logo
(you know, the one that looks like a flushing toilet?).  Apparently UCOP
used focus groups consisting of parents, students, alumni, etc. to
choose the new logo.  However, when they released the logo to the
public, it was panned by media outlets ranging from salon.com to the
Christian Science Monitor.  Over 50,000 signatures (including that of
Lt. Governor and UC Regent Gavin Newsom) have been collected in an
effort to dump the new logo.  Either the warning signs from the focus
groups were ignored or the focus groups didn't adequately provide
feedback about how the logo would be received by the larger community.
Involving the larger community at an earlier time (maybe with design
contests or online elections for proposed designs) might have saved UC
some egg-on-face.  I think Micronet, as a self-selecting organization,
provides broad-based representation of the larger campus technical
community that makes it an important part of a campus IT decision strategy.

michael
Energy Sciences Network/LBNL/Department of Energy

PS.  Note that I recently participated in a panel discussion at a
conference at Merit Network (the Michigan R&E state network) regarding
our increasing reliance on the network and how that makes testing,
maintenance, and new technology deployments challenging.  I used both
Micronet and ESnet's ESCC as an example of how campus or lab technical
groups can help with these challenges, so this sort of thing is
definitely on my mind.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
The following was automatically added to this message by the list server:

To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please visit the Micronet Web site:

http://micronet.berkeley.edu

Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.

___
Ian Crew
Platform and Services Manager, Research Hub

Content Management Technologies
IST-Architecture, Middleware and Common Applications
Earl Warren Hall, Second Floor
University of California, Berkeley



 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
The following was automatically added to this message by the list server:

To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please visit the Micronet Web site:

http://micronet.berkeley.edu

Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.

-- 
Christopher Brooks, PMP                       University of California
CHESS Executive Director                      US Mail: 337 Cory Hall
Programmer/Analyst CHESS/Ptolemy/Trust        Berkeley, CA 94720-1774
ph: 510.643.9841                                (Office: 545Q Cory)
home: (F-Tu) 707.665.0131 cell: 707.332.0670 


 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
The following was automatically added to this message by the list server:

To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please visit the Micronet Web site:

http://micronet.berkeley.edu

Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.


 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
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To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please visit the Micronet Web site:

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Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.
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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

Chris Hoffman-2
In reply to this post by Christopher Brooks
I really like Michael's example because it demonstrates how having a user involvement strategy can pay off.  I think each project is different, but his illustrates some best practices

- Have a plan that considers the diverse groups that will be effected. In particular, know that the people who are willing to join your focus group or attend your workshops might not represent the diversity of the people who might be impacted.  On the other hand, they can help explain to others why things have gone a particular way because (hopefully) they witnessed the evolution of the project.
- Let even the broadest groups know early on.  Don't wait until you think you've nearly finished your work.  "Oh right, let's send a note to Micronet."
- Be willing to explain why hard decisions and tradeoffs were made (I do think honesty is the best policy here.)
- Know that you won't make everyone happy

At the same time, I think we as people impacted by these changes need to understand that many variables and tradeoffs go into these kinds of projects.  I might think System A is not particularly good.  I might even rant and rave about its sucky user interface.  But I wasn't involved closely in the project so I don't know the tradeoffs that the project had to consider (time, money, people, functionality, and so on).  Hopefully we can encourage people involved in these kinds of projects to keep us in the loop sufficiently and to communicate honestly about their projects.  After all, their projects will be more successful in the end.

Cheers!
Chris


On Dec 13, 2012, at 11:27 AM, Christopher Brooks wrote:

Michael's points are well taken, especially in light of the
significant shortcomings of BearBuy and CalTime.

One issue is that any campus-wide website will eventually cause users
to ask campus-IT staff for assistance and if there are issues, then the
issues will be discussed on Micronet.  So, involving stakeholders like
Micronet early on will pay off.

A somewhat different issue is that we all have only so much time
to devote to improving the greater good.  What gets my goat about
these poorly implemented websites and rollouts is that I only have
so much time to provide feedback about what clearly was a series
of premature releases and poorly implemented applications.  Clearly,
we are seeing the same problems over and over again.

I'm not sure what the root cause is, but I'm starting to suspect issues
of focus groups or early adopters.  Either the groups do not have the
right people or their issues are being discounted.  

My question is: how much time should Micronet-members be devoting
to development of campus-wide applications?  This is a good topic for
discussion with managers etc.

In other news:

- BearBuy has a significant bug where purchases are marked as completed
even though the purchase order has not been placed, has not been
received or has not been paid.  This is common with vendors that are
not directly connected to BearBuy.  I asked for a timeline about repair
of this bug, but have received no answer.

- In a lighter vein, the UC Logo/UC Davis Pepper Spray combo made
my day:
http://blog.sfgate.com/stew/2012/12/11/the-masses-fight-back-against-uc-logo-with-snarky-memes/
http://www.salon.com/2012/12/11/new_uc_logo_a_sad_sign_for_higher_education/

_Christopher

On 12/13/12 11:14 AM, Ian Crew wrote:
To hijack the thread a tiny bit, just a quick note to note that the Micronet mailing list membership != the campus IT community.

Specifically:

As of this morning, there are 761 addresses subscribed to Micronet.

Only 687 of those 761 are berkeley.edu addresses.

I think it's pretty safe to assume that some (small) portion of those folks aren't IT staff.  Let's call it 650 IT staffers, then, that are on this list.

I have no way of verifying the number, but I've heard in several forums that there are roughly 1,200 people in IT job classifications on campus. (And, as far as I know, that doesn't count folks in other job classifications that have IT as a portion of their job duties.)

So that means that the Micronet list probably represents just barely over half of the IT staff on campus.

As to why the other half of the IT staff choose to absent themselves from this forum, I don't really know.  IMHO, if we could increase that percentage of representation, I think that'd be great for both Micronet and the campus community more generally.

That's all a long way to say that I hope people and project teams aren't falling into the trap of saying "I informed/consulted Micronet, therefore the campus IT community has been informed/consulted."  I'm not trying to say NOT to consult with Micronet, but rather to make clear that consulting with Micronet ONLY isn't sufficient....

Hope that makes sense!

Ian
Micronet list co-admin

On Dec 13, 2012, at 12:42 PM, Michael Sinatra <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 12/13/12 8:38 AM, Chris Hoffman wrote:

Let me turn this around and ask Nils and others to identify
IT-related projects that maybe have been better examples of a user
involvement strategy?  What worked and why?

I am going to answer this question from the perspective of a project
implementer, and explain why it was invaluable to involve Micronet in a
project I worked on: DNSSEC.

When I started the decision process--whether to deploy DNSSEC on campus
and how to implement it--I knew early on that there was risk in the
project.  Moreover, I was exposing individual users to risks that they
weren't aware of, in the hopes of mitigating other serious risks.  While
I believe that each user should be able to manage such trade-offs
themselves, that simply isn't possible with DNSSEC.  As David Conrad,
who works for ICANN, put it:

“While it is easy to choose a different search engine and most users can
be reasonably be expected to deal with the fact if/when Google went
down, I have some skepticism that (say) your average art student at UCB
would have a clue as to how to change the caching name server they point
to (if they are even able to).”

Conrad is a supporter of DNSSEC, but he was discussing certain
implementation details in my plan.  For me, Conrad illustrated a
challenge that I believed could be reduced through vehicles like
Micronet as part of a more general policy of iterative technical
transparency.

I say 'iterative' because I wanted to involve campus technical folks in
the various stages of the project, from conceptualization to
implementation.  I gave two presentations at the Micronet meeting that
(in whole or in part) dealt with the issues that DNSSEC was trying to
solve and the additional risks that it raised.  By communicating my
decision process and the technical details, I did several things:

o Allowed more of the campus technical community, as represented by
Micronet, to participate in the decision process.

o Made myself accountable: The service (DNS) and the changes being made
(DNSSEC) now had a face to it, a number to call, and some_one_ to talk
to if there were concerns or problems.  And they did talk to me.

o Even if I hadn't gotten any feedback from the Micronet community, the
process of formulating my ideas, articulating the pros and cons, and
presenting them to the _broader_ technical community was absolutely
invaluable for helping me understand risks and benefits and clarifying
the decision process.

Although there is no perfect answer to David Conrad's concern, having a
technical communication strategy did provide a way of answering his
comments and making it clear that I was applying due diligence.

Micronet wasn't the only component of my aim for technical transparency;
there were also iNews articles
(https://inews.berkeley.edu/articles/Aug-Sep2010/DNSSEC), web pages on
the Data Network website (http://net.berkeley.edu/DNS/dnssec.html), and
engagement with communities outside of the campus.  That's another
important feature of Micronet: It allows us to communicate best practice
information from communities outside of campus (such as the larger DNS
operations community) to the campus technical community.

There were unforeseen benefits: "UC Berkeley" was held up, in public
presentations and conferences, by several DNS experts, as being a leader
in rolling out what is viewed as critical technology.  Many people
expect UCB to be an IT leader, so when things like this happen, and
they're publicly visible, it's good for campus IT.  It makes smart
people interested in working for UCB.  It makes colleagues in various
communities want to work with UCB.  Involving technical communities,
including Micronet, helped us to reap these benefits.

In closing, I'd like to examine a non-IT situation where maybe
focus-groups and smaller-scale vetting processes have limitations.
We've all probably heard about the big controversy over the new UC logo
(you know, the one that looks like a flushing toilet?).  Apparently UCOP
used focus groups consisting of parents, students, alumni, etc. to
choose the new logo.  However, when they released the logo to the
public, it was panned by media outlets ranging from salon.com to the
Christian Science Monitor.  Over 50,000 signatures (including that of
Lt. Governor and UC Regent Gavin Newsom) have been collected in an
effort to dump the new logo.  Either the warning signs from the focus
groups were ignored or the focus groups didn't adequately provide
feedback about how the logo would be received by the larger community.
Involving the larger community at an earlier time (maybe with design
contests or online elections for proposed designs) might have saved UC
some egg-on-face.  I think Micronet, as a self-selecting organization,
provides broad-based representation of the larger campus technical
community that makes it an important part of a campus IT decision strategy.

michael
Energy Sciences Network/LBNL/Department of Energy

PS.  Note that I recently participated in a panel discussion at a
conference at Merit Network (the Michigan R&E state network) regarding
our increasing reliance on the network and how that makes testing,
maintenance, and new technology deployments challenging.  I used both
Micronet and ESnet's ESCC as an example of how campus or lab technical
groups can help with these challenges, so this sort of thing is
definitely on my mind.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
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___
Ian Crew
Platform and Services Manager, Research Hub

Content Management Technologies
IST-Architecture, Middleware and Common Applications
Earl Warren Hall, Second Floor
University of California, Berkeley



 
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-- 
Christopher Brooks, PMP                       University of California
CHESS Executive Director                      US Mail: 337 Cory Hall
Programmer/Analyst CHESS/Ptolemy/Trust        Berkeley, CA 94720-1774
ph: 510.643.9841                                (Office: 545Q Cory)
home: (F-Tu) 707.665.0131 cell: 707.332.0670 

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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

Tom Holub
In reply to this post by Christopher Brooks
On 12/13/12 11:27 AM, Christopher Brooks wrote:
>
> I'm not sure what the root cause is, but I'm starting to suspect issues
> of focus groups or early adopters.  Either the groups do not have the
> right people or their issues are being discounted.

In my experience, most projects fail due to issues with sponsorship and
scope.  Insufficient funding, implausible timelines, or inappropriate
technology will doom any project.

Once someone decided "We're going to implement PeopleSoft's business
portal," the project was already doomed.  Or once Kuali decided "every
institution involved will work on every aspect of the project." (Just to
point out that open-source is no panacea).  No amount of focus group or
Micronet involvement could have saved those projects; success would have
required different high-level decisions, very early in the process, and
the Micronet community is not equipped to provide useful input at those
points of most projects.

There are aspects of the technical roll-out of CalTime which could have
gone better if there were better communication with the technical
community, but in the end, Kronos is not a great fit for the
requirements of exempt staff, so it's going to feel klunky and awkward
no matter what we do with it.  A decision to implement something other
than Kronos would have required significantly different campus governance.

Project teams usually face significant constraints on timeline and
funding.  A large percentage of the time, their response to input is
going to be:

* The project sponsor doesn't care about that feature, so...
* We can't get more funding for it or slip the timeline, so...
* It'll only get done if we can do it on the margins.

Interesting features usually can't be done on the margins; the best you
can hope for is that they'll put a link to BearBuy under "Buying" in
blu.  The project sponsors need to be engaged in a different way than
they currently are, and that's not a technical issue.


If you've ever worked on a logo project, you'd see why it's obvious that
the UC logo project was doomed from the outset.  The initial constraints
were probably something like:

* It can't include iconography of any individual campus
* The characteristics will be set by UCOP, which has no identity
* We have very limited money

There's no way that will come to a good end.  (And those advocating logo
contests haven't seen the results of logo contests).


The DNSSEC project was very different than the CalTime project; the
project sponsor was technical and the constraints and risks were mostly
technical.  Micronet can provide useful input to a project like that.
Most projects have much broader problem spaces.

--
Tom Holub ([hidden email], 510-642-9069)
Director of Computing, College of Letters & Science
101 Durant Hall
<http://LS.berkeley.edu/lscr/>

 
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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

Bruce Satow
I think the problem with campus wide projects regarding administrative computing services, is that no one interviews and figures out what each department does and WHY certain things are done in a specific way, and more importantly, WHY they NEED to be done in a specific way.

What's wrong with logo contests?  I bet a student would of come up with a better design than the current new logo.

http://99designs.com/logo-design/contests/redesign-microsoft-windows-logo-fun-guaranteed-contest-archon-122050



On 12/13/2012 4:36 PM, Tom Holub wrote:
On 12/13/12 11:27 AM, Christopher Brooks wrote:
I'm not sure what the root cause is, but I'm starting to suspect issues
of focus groups or early adopters.  Either the groups do not have the
right people or their issues are being discounted.
In my experience, most projects fail due to issues with sponsorship and 
scope.  Insufficient funding, implausible timelines, or inappropriate 
technology will doom any project.

Once someone decided "We're going to implement PeopleSoft's business 
portal," the project was already doomed.  Or once Kuali decided "every 
institution involved will work on every aspect of the project." (Just to 
point out that open-source is no panacea).  No amount of focus group or 
Micronet involvement could have saved those projects; success would have 
required different high-level decisions, very early in the process, and 
the Micronet community is not equipped to provide useful input at those 
points of most projects.

There are aspects of the technical roll-out of CalTime which could have 
gone better if there were better communication with the technical 
community, but in the end, Kronos is not a great fit for the 
requirements of exempt staff, so it's going to feel klunky and awkward 
no matter what we do with it.  A decision to implement something other 
than Kronos would have required significantly different campus governance.

Project teams usually face significant constraints on timeline and 
funding.  A large percentage of the time, their response to input is 
going to be:

* The project sponsor doesn't care about that feature, so...
* We can't get more funding for it or slip the timeline, so...
* It'll only get done if we can do it on the margins.

Interesting features usually can't be done on the margins; the best you 
can hope for is that they'll put a link to BearBuy under "Buying" in 
blu.  The project sponsors need to be engaged in a different way than 
they currently are, and that's not a technical issue.


If you've ever worked on a logo project, you'd see why it's obvious that 
the UC logo project was doomed from the outset.  The initial constraints 
were probably something like:

* It can't include iconography of any individual campus
* The characteristics will be set by UCOP, which has no identity
* We have very limited money

There's no way that will come to a good end.  (And those advocating logo 
contests haven't seen the results of logo contests).


The DNSSEC project was very different than the CalTime project; the 
project sponsor was technical and the constraints and risks were mostly 
technical.  Micronet can provide useful input to a project like that. 
Most projects have much broader problem spaces.


--
  Bruce Satow
  Systems Administrator
  University of California at Berkeley  
  Space Sciences Laboratory
  7 Gauss Way
  Berkeley, California 94720-7450

  [hidden email]
  Phone: (510) 643-2348

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

 
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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

Chris Hoffman-2
Thanks, Bruce.  Let's dive into that question (the interviewing-each-department) a bit.  I think the campus is learning how important it is to have really strong analysts working on projects like this, though I also think some projects have struggled with how to incorporate analysts in the most effective way.  It is not a trivial thing to do.  But even if you had great analysts who have the right level of objectivity on every project, they couldn't go out and visit each department.  Online interviews and surveys can help, but they are no replacement for sitting down and looking at a department's workflow.  Obviously a good analyst will find ways to sample the universe to find the range of current practices that they will try to balance against the other constraints the project faces (as keenly elaborated by Tom Holub).

Coming back to Nils' original suggestion, maybe Micronet can be a crowd-based resource to help discover the shape of the universe, to help business analysts know where to focus some work.  "Oh you definitely want to talk to Space Sciences Lab about timekeeping because …"

Of course all this sets aside the issue that maybe some things don't need to be done in 150 unique ways, but I'll let Tom open that discussion ;-)

Happy Friday,
Chris

On Dec 13, 2012, at 6:33 PM, Bruce Satow wrote:

I think the problem with campus wide projects regarding administrative computing services, is that no one interviews and figures out what each department does and WHY certain things are done in a specific way, and more importantly, WHY they NEED to be done in a specific way.

What's wrong with logo contests?  I bet a student would of come up with a better design than the current new logo.

http://99designs.com/logo-design/contests/redesign-microsoft-windows-logo-fun-guaranteed-contest-archon-122050



On 12/13/2012 4:36 PM, Tom Holub wrote:
On 12/13/12 11:27 AM, Christopher Brooks wrote:
I'm not sure what the root cause is, but I'm starting to suspect issues
of focus groups or early adopters.  Either the groups do not have the
right people or their issues are being discounted.
In my experience, most projects fail due to issues with sponsorship and 
scope.  Insufficient funding, implausible timelines, or inappropriate 
technology will doom any project.

Once someone decided "We're going to implement PeopleSoft's business 
portal," the project was already doomed.  Or once Kuali decided "every 
institution involved will work on every aspect of the project." (Just to 
point out that open-source is no panacea).  No amount of focus group or 
Micronet involvement could have saved those projects; success would have 
required different high-level decisions, very early in the process, and 
the Micronet community is not equipped to provide useful input at those 
points of most projects.

There are aspects of the technical roll-out of CalTime which could have 
gone better if there were better communication with the technical 
community, but in the end, Kronos is not a great fit for the 
requirements of exempt staff, so it's going to feel klunky and awkward 
no matter what we do with it.  A decision to implement something other 
than Kronos would have required significantly different campus governance.

Project teams usually face significant constraints on timeline and 
funding.  A large percentage of the time, their response to input is 
going to be:

* The project sponsor doesn't care about that feature, so...
* We can't get more funding for it or slip the timeline, so...
* It'll only get done if we can do it on the margins.

Interesting features usually can't be done on the margins; the best you 
can hope for is that they'll put a link to BearBuy under "Buying" in 
blu.  The project sponsors need to be engaged in a different way than 
they currently are, and that's not a technical issue.


If you've ever worked on a logo project, you'd see why it's obvious that 
the UC logo project was doomed from the outset.  The initial constraints 
were probably something like:

* It can't include iconography of any individual campus
* The characteristics will be set by UCOP, which has no identity
* We have very limited money

There's no way that will come to a good end.  (And those advocating logo 
contests haven't seen the results of logo contests).


The DNSSEC project was very different than the CalTime project; the 
project sponsor was technical and the constraints and risks were mostly 
technical.  Micronet can provide useful input to a project like that. 
Most projects have much broader problem spaces.


--
<SSL-logo.gif>
  Bruce Satow
  Systems Administrator
  University of California at Berkeley  
  Space Sciences Laboratory
  7 Gauss Way
  Berkeley, California 94720-7450

  [hidden email]
  Phone: (510) 643-2348

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

Bruce Satow
True dat Chris, but I expected the wisdom of campus to already know the importance of doing research and validating it before publication... LoL!

Maybe another list besides micronet should be created.  Populate it with all the subscribers from micronet, plus open it up to staff members who are using campus computer services and apps so they can put there input in.  The list would be a nexus, not for asking help, but more for operational and user issues for upcoming campus wide projects.   What the user does with the app, how, and why.

:)


On 12/14/2012 8:06 AM, Chris Hoffman wrote:
Thanks, Bruce.  Let's dive into that question (the interviewing-each-department) a bit.  I think the campus is learning how important it is to have really strong analysts working on projects like this, though I also think some projects have struggled with how to incorporate analysts in the most effective way.  It is not a trivial thing to do.  But even if you had great analysts who have the right level of objectivity on every project, they couldn't go out and visit each department.  Online interviews and surveys can help, but they are no replacement for sitting down and looking at a department's workflow.  Obviously a good analyst will find ways to sample the universe to find the range of current practices that they will try to balance against the other constraints the project faces (as keenly elaborated by Tom Holub).

Coming back to Nils' original suggestion, maybe Micronet can be a crowd-based resource to help discover the shape of the universe, to help business analysts know where to focus some work.  "Oh you definitely want to talk to Space Sciences Lab about timekeeping because …"

Of course all this sets aside the issue that maybe some things don't need to be done in 150 unique ways, but I'll let Tom open that discussion ;-)

Happy Friday,
Chris

On Dec 13, 2012, at 6:33 PM, Bruce Satow wrote:

I think the problem with campus wide projects regarding administrative computing services, is that no one interviews and figures out what each department does and WHY certain things are done in a specific way, and more importantly, WHY they NEED to be done in a specific way.

What's wrong with logo contests?  I bet a student would of come up with a better design than the current new logo.

http://99designs.com/logo-design/contests/redesign-microsoft-windows-logo-fun-guaranteed-contest-archon-122050



On 12/13/2012 4:36 PM, Tom Holub wrote:
On 12/13/12 11:27 AM, Christopher Brooks wrote:
I'm not sure what the root cause is, but I'm starting to suspect issues
of focus groups or early adopters.  Either the groups do not have the
right people or their issues are being discounted.
In my experience, most projects fail due to issues with sponsorship and 
scope.  Insufficient funding, implausible timelines, or inappropriate 
technology will doom any project.

Once someone decided "We're going to implement PeopleSoft's business 
portal," the project was already doomed.  Or once Kuali decided "every 
institution involved will work on every aspect of the project." (Just to 
point out that open-source is no panacea).  No amount of focus group or 
Micronet involvement could have saved those projects; success would have 
required different high-level decisions, very early in the process, and 
the Micronet community is not equipped to provide useful input at those 
points of most projects.

There are aspects of the technical roll-out of CalTime which could have 
gone better if there were better communication with the technical 
community, but in the end, Kronos is not a great fit for the 
requirements of exempt staff, so it's going to feel klunky and awkward 
no matter what we do with it.  A decision to implement something other 
than Kronos would have required significantly different campus governance.

Project teams usually face significant constraints on timeline and 
funding.  A large percentage of the time, their response to input is 
going to be:

* The project sponsor doesn't care about that feature, so...
* We can't get more funding for it or slip the timeline, so...
* It'll only get done if we can do it on the margins.

Interesting features usually can't be done on the margins; the best you 
can hope for is that they'll put a link to BearBuy under "Buying" in 
blu.  The project sponsors need to be engaged in a different way than 
they currently are, and that's not a technical issue.


If you've ever worked on a logo project, you'd see why it's obvious that 
the UC logo project was doomed from the outset.  The initial constraints 
were probably something like:

* It can't include iconography of any individual campus
* The characteristics will be set by UCOP, which has no identity
* We have very limited money

There's no way that will come to a good end.  (And those advocating logo 
contests haven't seen the results of logo contests).


The DNSSEC project was very different than the CalTime project; the 
project sponsor was technical and the constraints and risks were mostly 
technical.  Micronet can provide useful input to a project like that. 
Most projects have much broader problem spaces.


--
<SSL-logo.gif>
  Bruce Satow
  Systems Administrator
  University of California at Berkeley  
  Space Sciences Laboratory
  7 Gauss Way
  Berkeley, California 94720-7450

  [hidden email]
  Phone: (510) 643-2348

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

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--
  Bruce Satow
  Systems Administrator
  University of California at Berkeley  
  Space Sciences Laboratory
  7 Gauss Way
  Berkeley, California 94720-7450

  [hidden email]
  Phone: (510) 643-2348



Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

 
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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

Neil Maxwell
In reply to this post by Tom Holub
Just to give some feedback on the statement regarding Kuali, the Kuali
Foundation sponsors a number of projects -- Tom may be referring to UC
Berkeley pulling out of Kuali Student here. We've been involved in Kuali
Coeus for four years now and are in the middle stages of a successful pilot
of the system, branded at Berkeley as Phoebe. Throughout, we've been able to
pick the places where we wanted/needed to contribute effort, and we've been
able to work with four other UC campuses, some of whom are not Kuali
partners, to focus individual campus efforts on modules that they think are
important.

Best, Neil

Neil Maxwell
Director, Information Systems
Research Administration & Compliance
UC Berkeley
Tel (510) 642-0123
Fax (510) 642-8236



-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Tom Holub
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2012 4:37 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource
...
Once someone decided "We're going to implement PeopleSoft's business
portal," the project was already doomed.  Or once Kuali decided "every
institution involved will work on every aspect of the project." (Just to
point out that open-source is no panacea).  No amount of focus group or
Micronet involvement could have saved those projects; success would have
required different high-level decisions, very early in the process, and the
Micronet community is not equipped to provide useful input at those points
of most projects.
...


 
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Re: [Micronet] Micronet as crowd-sourcing resource

jon kuroda-2
In reply to this post by Tom Holub
Coming in late as I away at USENIX LISA the entire week this thread was
happening (Which, was how I managed to avoid most of the trauma from
last year's Great Thanksgiving CalMail Outage of 2011 - a topic to bring
up later when I have some time to devote to that)

Re: Logos are hard, Let's go shopping!

An acquaintance and Cal Alum decided to take his hand at a logo-ized
version of the UC Seal and came up with something decent after 30 min:

http://miniver.blogspot.com/2012/12/university-of-california-logo.html

I think it looks pretty damned good, especially for 30 minutes, and a
hell of a lot better than the still-flushing toiletbowl that came out
of UCOP.

Not that UC should necessarily use something like this - just showing
that such a thing need not take lots of experts, lots of money, or
lots of money.  This all really begs the question of "What do we need
a 'Logo' for in the first place?" (there are good reasons to have a
logo even when one already has something like the UC Seal, but I'm
not sure UCOP thought about that)

I enjoyed reading this bit from the article linked to in the above link:

  Whats still at stake, though, is what will happen next, who will
  win.  Because there is such a strikingly clear divide between the UC
  community - faculty, students, and alumni - and the people who run the
  place, who have the ability to make decisions about things like
  logos, and the experts they hire to manage public opinion.
  --Aaron Bady http://thenewinquiry.com/blogs/zunguzungu/a-different-baton/
       
On Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 04:36:57PM -0800, Tom Holub wrote:

> On 12/13/12 11:27 AM, Christopher Brooks wrote:
> >
> > I'm not sure what the root cause is, but I'm starting to suspect issues
> > of focus groups or early adopters.  Either the groups do not have the
> > right people or their issues are being discounted.
>
> In my experience, most projects fail due to issues with sponsorship and
> scope.  Insufficient funding, implausible timelines, or inappropriate
> technology will doom any project.
>
> Once someone decided "We're going to implement PeopleSoft's business
> portal," the project was already doomed.  Or once Kuali decided "every
> institution involved will work on every aspect of the project." (Just to
> point out that open-source is no panacea).  No amount of focus group or
> Micronet involvement could have saved those projects; success would have
> required different high-level decisions, very early in the process, and
> the Micronet community is not equipped to provide useful input at those
> points of most projects.
>
> There are aspects of the technical roll-out of CalTime which could have
> gone better if there were better communication with the technical
> community, but in the end, Kronos is not a great fit for the
> requirements of exempt staff, so it's going to feel klunky and awkward
> no matter what we do with it.  A decision to implement something other
> than Kronos would have required significantly different campus governance.
>
> Project teams usually face significant constraints on timeline and
> funding.  A large percentage of the time, their response to input is
> going to be:
>
> * The project sponsor doesn't care about that feature, so...
> * We can't get more funding for it or slip the timeline, so...
> * It'll only get done if we can do it on the margins.
>
> Interesting features usually can't be done on the margins; the best you
> can hope for is that they'll put a link to BearBuy under "Buying" in
> blu.  The project sponsors need to be engaged in a different way than
> they currently are, and that's not a technical issue.
>
>
> If you've ever worked on a logo project, you'd see why it's obvious that
> the UC logo project was doomed from the outset.  The initial constraints
> were probably something like:
>
> * It can't include iconography of any individual campus
> * The characteristics will be set by UCOP, which has no identity
> * We have very limited money
>
> There's no way that will come to a good end.  (And those advocating logo
> contests haven't seen the results of logo contests).
>
>
> The DNSSEC project was very different than the CalTime project; the
> project sponsor was technical and the constraints and risks were mostly
> technical.  Micronet can provide useful input to a project like that.
> Most projects have much broader problem spaces.
>
> --
> Tom Holub ([hidden email], 510-642-9069)
> Director of Computing, College of Letters & Science
> 101 Durant Hall
> <http://LS.berkeley.edu/lscr/>
>
>  
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The following was automatically added to this message by the list server:
>
> To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please visit the Micronet Web site:
>
> http://micronet.berkeley.edu
>
> Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.

 
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