Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Are there simply too many meetings in Corporate America...

Let's talk about the problem of meetings, especially those led by process weenies and how architects can start bringing back the value of IT...

It isn't too difficult to find a PMP certified process weenie who will pontificate that there are problems with the project plan and therefore start scheduling meetings wildly. It starts to devolve when they also believe that all members of the project team need to be involved in the meetings while watching a late project get later.

The case of analysis paralysis sets in where folks passionately apologize over what to do instead of actually trying to implement a solution. When ideas are on the table to shortcut the coffee clutch conversation and do some real work, it is usually met with resistance and the response is to invite even more folks to participate. In enterprises where time tracking is part of the culture, folks will over time spend more time reporting on what you are doing resulting in less time to actually do anything. Equilibrium is achieved when folks spend all their time reporting why nothing is getting done.

Luckily, I think I have a different solution to this problem and would love for security folks to chime in. The notion of converging logical and physical security is being discussed in many magazines. What if we were to get IT executives who are only capable of practicing Management by Magazine to purchase the latest ID badge readers along with big NFL scoreboard type displays and tell them that this helps with SoX compliance. We could then use it to put badge readers on all conference rooms.

As participants walk into a meeting, the software looks up their salaries (for employees) or hourly rate (for insultants) and provides a minute-by-minute updated view of the cost of the meeting. This would be an interesting form of financial transparency supported by security initiatives that make sense to consider for other reasons and it would take a lot of additional work to make happen. Imagine the look on the face of IT executives who call lots of meetings and show up late when they could clearly see how much their tardiness really costs...

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