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July 11, 2002

using klogging to kickoff projects

A Klog Apart has a nice little piece on writing a project initiation kick off report and then using klogging to bring the stakeholders in on the project.  It's nice work, and it strike a chord because of what's been going on in my new job at Georgia Tech:

Shortly after I arrived, I started keeping a klog of my work.  So far I've clued in the few people I've worked with so far to my klog, but as best as I can tell, they haven't paid much attention.  I've been struggling with the question about when and how to let the larger project team know about my klog, but so far I've been reluctant to do so.  Today I was in kick-off meeting for the large project I've been working on.  Towards the end of the meeting, I was almost consumed with the desire to tell people about my klog, but I just couldn't bring myself to speak up.

I've asked myself why that is, and the answer isn't straight-forward.  I've only been at Tech for six weeks; higher-ed politics are notoriously complicated, and I don't know how people might react to the things I've written.  A klog is by definition not politically correct; you say what you think, not what you believe others might want to hear.  

I think the other thing at work in my head is much akin to how my wife acts when people we don't know well come to our house.  She doesn't want people to see our (literally) dirty laundry, so she will call an instant clean-up drill, and we rush about cleaning up and pretending that our house isn't really so messy.  I think I have a bit of that feeling about my klog: perhaps I should clean up a little bit before I invite others in.

And I think the last factor is the most personal, and it's at work in anything we reveal to to others: what if they just don't care?  Based on the reaction I've seen so far, it's a real risk. 

Well, I am going to invite the neighbors in, so to speak, and probably in the next day or so.  I don't know if anyone else on the project will care.  It's useful to me, and guess that's all that really counts. At least for now.