Michael's Books

It is done. The History of Doing Business with IBM Connections (2013)

The book is finally finished … with the last screenshot taken at 11.10am today. There are four final finalizations required, including the sign-off on the Foreword, a final check of the Appendices, and getting my hands on a high-res version of the photo for the back cover. Two of those three will happen within the next 6 hours, and the other by 9am tomorrow. If I can get a final confirmation on a fourth issue by 9am tomorrow, the book will head to the printer.

I was looking through my working papers for the first mention of this book. It was March 3, 2010 – in Project “10065 Collaboration Scenarios in Lotus.” At the time I was starting to formulate the idea of writing a series of 100-page reports evaluating the efficacy of different collaboration products. This idea built on my 7 Pillars framework, and the initial work in the first edition of User Adoption Strategies. The idea was to define 10-12 common collaboration scenarios, and then put a variety of products through an evaluation – Microsoft SharePoint, Lotus Connections, Cisco Quad, and others – to see where each excelled and didn’t excel when matched against the different scenarios.

The year that was 2010 was focused on getting User Adoption Strategies done, and then I moved into quite a busy time of travel – with doing the New Zealand to Europe trip four times in seven months. Then 2011 was focused on writing Collaboration Roadmap (2011), and with User Adoption Strategies going out of print late that year, the first half of 2012 was focused on researching and writing the second edition.

I was finally able to pick up my idea again from March 2010 on July 12, 2012. I was chatting with Stuart McIntyre about the upcoming user adoption strategies workshop we were going to run in London in early October, and at the end of the call, I casually asked him what he thought about a book on IBM Connections. He thought it was a good idea, and my time billing system says that I spent 20 minutes the next day “thinking about a book on IBM Connections.” Unbeknownst to Stuart (and everyone else – I didn’t even tell my family what I was writing for a whole month), I started into the book immediately, and by the time Stuart and I met in October I had 150 pages to show him. I was still hoping at that time to have the book completed and published in time for IBM Connect in late January. But life happened, and that plan fell by the wayside.

The book grew in length from the original “100 page” idea to an initial plan of 304 pages … with 10 chapters of a neat 24 pages per each, and a collection of other chapters for the introduction, conclusion, appendices, etc. As I wrestled with the design of the book over the ensuing months, it was clear that my initial “neat design” intent was not going to work, so added pages here and chapters there. The final book is 400 pages, and I’ve taken 169 screenshots in the last week to give it a suitable visualness.

So the book is done. You’ve heard my history with it. I greatly look forward to getting this book out into the wild, so you can use its principles and advice to make your own history.

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