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IT burnout: When the thrill is gone; Project management pitfalls to avoid; Must-haves for government social media policies.

When the Thrill is Gone
Source: CIO magazine

Information technology managers feeling bored and burned out might consider one option that is definitely not intuitive: Take on new work.

Chief information officers interviewed by CIO magazine said that developing new skills or working in unfamiliar parts of an organization has a way of energizing someone who has been worn down by paperwork and politics.

Another option, perhaps more realistic, is to find a pet project that can break up the routine now and then. However, some IT managers might need to face the possibility that it’s time for a sabbatical — or a new job.

Project Management Pitfalls to Avoid
Source: CIO magazine

Project management offices are becoming crucial to organizations’ ability to implement projects on time and within budget constraints. However, an inflexible office that only takes and never gives back can undermine its own goals.

Adam Bookman, a managing partner at Collabera's consulting division, has identified three common blunders that project management offices often make — such as applying the same protocols to all projects, regardless of size or complexity — and offers strategies for building collaborative relationships throughout the organization.

“PMOs need to know how their customers rate them and strive for better relationships. And management needs to know, too,” Bookman writes. “Otherwise, what the PMO gains in project efficiency can be squandered on organizational dysfunction.”

But there is good news. “Just recognizing the pitfalls, and the damage they create among well-intended people, is halfway to avoiding them,” he writes.

SUMMER READING

Must-Haves for Government Social Media Policies

Source: Center for Technology in Government

Researchers at the Center for Technology in Government, based at the University at Albany, have identified eight core elements they believe can address many of the current concerns surrounding the use of social media.

  • Employee access. Agencies typically choose to manage access to social media in two ways: by controlling the number or types of employees who are allowed access to social media sites or by limiting the types of sites that employees may access.
  • Account management. A critical element of many social media policies is establishing who may set up an account on behalf of an agency and a procedure for creating such an account.
  • Acceptable use. Acceptable-use policies typically outline an organization’s position on how employees are expected to use agency resources, restrictions on use for personal interests and consequences for violating the policy.
  • Employee conduct. In general, employees’ professional conduct is already governed by policies such as an ethical code of conduct. However, some policies deal with issues more specific to social media, including abiding by the rules of the venue and being respectful in all online interactions.
  • Content. Content management policies range from exerting minimal editorial controls — for example, allowing employees to freely write in agency blogs — to only allowing a public information officer to create and manage content.
  • Security. Most policies address the need to ensure the security of data and technical infrastructure related to social media. Some also deal with the need to protect confidential information that is personally identifiable or could endanger the agency’s mission.
  • Legal issues. Some policies take a general approach to legal issues by using generic text that requires employees to adhere to all applicable laws and regulations. Others deal with specific areas of law such as privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of information, public records management, public disclosure and accessibility.
  • Public conduct. Agencies that allow two-way communication between the government and the public, such as the use of comment boxes, often develop rules for acceptable conduct on the part of the public, such as limitations on offensive language, inciting violence or promoting illegal activity.
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