Allegheny B&B – November 2009 Meeting

We met again this month at ACHIEVA on the South Side. We will be at this location for the rest of 2009.

Here are the various resources discussed during this month’s meeting:

Our next meeting will be held at ACHIEVA on the South Side, on December 2. Please note that we are now holding our meeting from 8:30 – 10 am each month.

holiday lights
Join us for the Bagels & Bytes Holiday Party on Friday, December 4, from 1-4 p.m. at the Carnegie Science Center!

We will eat lunch in the cafe (each attendee pays for his or her own meal), receive a tour of RoboWorld led by our very own B&B-er Joe McLaughlin (who helped build the exhibit), and otherwise check out the rest of the exhibits and have fun!

The cost to attend is $6 per person (lunch not included) and RSVPs are required.  Call or email Cindy Leonard – 412-397-6007 or leonard@rmu.edu – to register.  Attendees from all Bagels & Bytes group are welcome to attend!

holiday lights

The Bagels & Bytes 2009 Calendar (including directions) is here.

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Downtown B&B – September 2009 Meeting Notes

Once again, we met at the Bayer Center office in the Regional Enterprise Tower in downtown Pittsburgh. Here are the wealth of resources that were discussed during our meeting:

Many thanks to Norm Mast of Lutheran Service Society (who has more freeware in his brain’s memory cells than is probably healthy for any one person 🙂 for many of the items on this list!

ONE LAST THING…

The Allegheny group came up with the idea of having our December holiday party B&B meeting at a fun place – ROBOWORLD!  All B&B groups will be invited to this session.  I will be working with Joe McLaughlin, who worked on the exhibit there, to see about making this happen!

Our next meeting will be held at the Bayer Center’s downtown office, on October 8.  Please note that we are now holding our meeting from 8:30 – 10 am each month.

 

The Bagels & Bytes 2009 Calendar (including directions) is here.

Allegheny B&B – September 2009 Meeting Notes

This was our second and last meeting for this year at Easter Seals Western Pennsylvania in the Strip District. 

Our discussion centered around strategic technology planning.  Some items of interest from our discussion:

  • Focus is critical when creating a technology plan – keeping things that are actually tech-related in the plans and other things out of it.
  • Recommended scope for a tech plan is 1-3 years.
  • Difficulty can be caused by the length and timing of the tech planning process vs. the strategic planning process.  If strategic planning not done first, the tech plan writer can end up generalizing and guessing.
  • A tech plan should be a living document, subject to updating revision between formal planning sessions.
  • Staff training is generally overlooked in tech plans, but should be included.
  • Cost codes (financial) are frequently not assigned within a agency for technology items, so tech tends to get lumped into administrative costs.  (We need to work on this issue!)
  • An online resource is the National Center for Technology Planning:  http://www.nctp.com.

We also discussed time management for techies in nonprofits. Here are some of the ways we get our multi-faceted jobs done:

  • Outsourcing / vendor-based tech support or consultants
  • Make sacrifices – you can’t do everything!
  • Do what you can do, even if not everyone is happy about it
  • Automate as much as you can
  • Deflect work that isn’t tech-related
  • Learn to say “no”
  • Track help requests (a resources for this is the help desk feature in http://www.spiceworks.com)

In addition, we noted that we should pay as much attention to our “up” time as we do our “down” time.  Too frequently we (and other staff) only notice when the computers aren’t working.  We should acknowledge and celebrate the amount of time that the computers are working as well!

ONE LAST THING…

We discussed having our December holiday party B&B meeting at a fun place – ROBOWORLD!  I will be working with Joe McLaughlin, who worked on the exhibit there, to see about making this happen!

 

Our next meeting will be held at ACHIEVA on the South Side, on October 7.  Please note that we are now holding our meeting from 8:30 – 10 am each month.

The Bagels & Bytes 2009 Calendar (including directions) is here.