Journaling is huge to TheHackerCIO. And you, as a technologist, are missing out if you don't use journaling as a technique. The power of it is awesome. It's almost a secret weapon in my arsenal, because techno-geeks typically don't like to write.
That's not to say that problems can't arise from it. I had one client who told me "I'm not going to pay for you to write up your notes." And I had to explain that they damn well were going to pay me to write up my notes, or else they were going to hire another person to do the job! Just to explain more fully what was going on, let's consider the process he was upset at.
When I on-board a client, I typically take a lot of notes. Sometimes, I write these in a throw-away journal. Then, they have to be transferred to the main client journal. You'll see that such transfers and re-writes are an essential part of the methodology, but that can come later.
The more uncertainty about what you're doing, the more likely it is that a throw-away journal is better to start with. This doesn't have to be anything costly or nice. In this case, it was a 6 inch "Jr." legal pad. I simply wrote down whatever I could grasp from the many on-boarding discussions of the day, and then flipped over to the next page and continued in order. Most of the comments were nearly illegible, except by me. I organized them, essentially, by "bullet points." Here is a photo of this, so you can get the idea
A Throw-Away "Journal"
[ no secret data in this page; that comes later in the journal & you won't be seeing that part! :-) ]
The initial "throw-away journal" (henceforth to be called the TAJ), contains a lot of stuff all mixed up:
- names of people I met
- names of people I have been told I ought to meet
- analysis notes describing systems, policies, procedures, methodologies, etc.
- people-problems & warnings
- politicial considerations
- I can't even think of what else ... you get the idea!!!
It all gets written down in the TAJ, in chronological order.
The next step is that of digestion ...
But, TheHackerCIO is tired tonight, and he doesn't get paid for his blogging. Although he definitely should, since it's such a quality blog and the advice is priceless. (That's priceless in that it is so incredibly valuable!)
So, stay tuned for the part 2, which will one day be available by clicking here.
In the meantime,
TheHackerCIO .... a Bit tired ... in Miami