Category: Information Management


GTEC 2009 – Architecting 2.0: Striking the Balance Between Control and Chaos

[Le français suit]

Many GC organizations are still learning and applying the lessons of Web 1.0 with respect to information architecture, findability, and managing content lifecycles. Web 2.0 creates new challenges. One of the most compelling aspects of Web 2.0 is that it enables open, creative, user-generated approaches to contributing and organizing information, but social media platforms also need to get the basics right: ease of use, search that works, and content you can trust and manage from cradle to grave. What tactics can you use to strike the right balance between control and chaos? What’s the relationship between user-generated content (wiki articles, blog posts, group discussion, tweets) and more traditionally understood content domains (Web sites, documents, and records)?

Using GCPEDIA as an example, this session focused on the principles, challenges and risks involved in architecting effective and usable social media experiences. Jane Stewart, Systemscope’s Senior Web Information Architect and Director of Web Channel Management, and Thom Kearney of Treasury Board’s Chief Information Officer Branch discussed:

  • The role of categories and taxonomies in social media environments;
  • User tagging vs. controlled terminology;
  • Finding and linking across multiple repositories;
  • Managing “trust” in Web 2.0 environments.

Download the Presentation: Architecting 2.0: Striking the Balance Between Control and Chaos (English)

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Créer l’architecture du  2.0 : atteindre l’équilibre entre le contrôle et le chaos

Plusieurs entreprises du GC en sont encore au stade de l’apprentissage et de la mise en œuvre des leçons du Web 1.0 quant à l’architecture de l’information, la trouvabilité et la gestion du cycle de vie du contenu. Le Web 2.0 amène avec lui de nouveaux défis. L’un des aspects les plus fascinants du Web 2.0 est sa possibilité de permettre aux utilisateurs de contribuer au contenu et à l’organisation de l’information de manière ouverte et créative. Toutefois, les fondements de ces plateformes de médias sociaux doivent être solides : faciles à utiliser, permettre une recherche efficace et créer un contenu auquel on peut se fier et qu’on peut gérer intégralement, « du berceau au tombeau ». Quelles méthodes pouvez-vous utilisez pour atteindre cet équilibre entre le contrôle et le chaos ? Quel est le lien entre le contenu généré par l’utilisateur (articles wiki, blogues, discussions collectives et microblogage) et les domaines de contenu plus traditionnels (sites Web, documents et enregistrements)?

En utilisant l’exemple du GCPEDIA, cet atelier était axé sur les principes, les défis et les risques liés à l’élaboration d’une architecture qui permettra des expériences de médias sociaux à la fois efficaces et utiles. Jane Stewart, chef des services de l’architecture de l’information Web et directrice de la gestion du canal Web chez Systemscope et Thom Kearney, de la Direction de dirigeant principal de l’information du Conseil du Trésor, ont discutés:

  • le rôle des catégories et des taxonomies dans les environnements de médias sociaux;
  • l’utilisation du taggage contre de terminologies contrôlées;
  • rechercher et relier plusieurs logithèques de référence; et
  • la gestion de la « confiance » dans les environnements Web 2.0.

Désolée, cette présentation n’est pas disponible en français.

GTEC 2009

Systemscope returned to GTEC October 6, 2009 with a full day of open sessions focused on top-of-mind issues for public sector leaders: making appropriate and effective use of emerging technologies to support employee collaboration, citizen engagement, and government transparency; improving information management maturity in an enterprise setting; and delivering results in a time of unprecedented challenge and transition for the public sector.

Systemscope is one of Ottawa’s Top Ten Employers

Employees’ Choice Awards 2008/09

Ottawa HR Magazine
A publication of the Ottawa Business Journal
November 3, 2008

Of the 10 companies receiving Employees’ Choice Awards in 2008-09, one shines. While most of the winners impressed for one or two main reasons, it is a small consulting firm that proved to be the full package.

Systemscope is an information, management and technology consulting firm that consists of 16 full-time employees, along with various individuals that work for the company when the need arises. What people don’t realize is that they are among the best in their industry and are working hard to attract those best suited to join their team.

“We don’t just hire to a position,” says Stephen Karam, partner. “We don’t have open positions. Our philosophy since we took over is to look for top talent, go after them and get them part of a team. And that would attract more top talent, because it’s not that people necessarily want to work with Systemscope, it’s because they want to work with the people inside Systemscope, they want to work with the Systemscope team.”

And to not only attract, but keep top talent, you need to be a unique operation.

“I think in order to attract and obtain top talent, we have to have a philosophy that is flexible,” says Karam. “The mantra we like to use is that we are all big boys and girls, we know we have a job to do. So however you need to do it to accommodate your life, please do so but understand as well that you are part of a community and that’s part of what draws people here.”

Their method is certainly working. Since Karam and his partner Denis Barbeau took over Systemscope in 2004, they have only lost two employees, both of whom have gone on to become clients. In an employee survey Systemscope was rated incredibly well by its staff. All respondents felt their job gave them a sense of personal accomplishment and 93 per cent said they would recommend the organization. When it came to company management and leaders, the impressive scores continued. Overall senior leadership was rated at 97 per cent and overall immediate management was rated at 95 per cent.

But not everything is rosy at Systemscope, at least not all the time. The company is in a very competitive industry, and its sole client is the federal government. This makes for a lot of big projects and with them comes a lot of stress. Karam and Barbeau try to keep the office professional without being too stiff and feeding that stress.

“When it becomes a job, that’s when things are getting too serious. We make sure there is enough levity in the company and the culture of the company,” said Karam.

When stress does hit or someone’s hard work needs to be recognized, senior management make sure to award employees with a day at the York Street Spa or reservations at a nice restaurant.

And to ensure their team is prepared for the projects they will be working on, training is a focus at Systemscope. Time is set aside for each employee’s professional development, research material is paid for by the company for any employee looking to learn on their own time and any training requests from employees are welcomed.

“We like to stay two steps ahead of our competitors and certainly our client base,” says Barbeau.

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