The story of my involvement as manager

My career has cycled several times between management and performer positions.  For instance, during my early career I worked for the City of Palo Alto, in California, where I managed the main library and a branch at different times, as well as the reference department, as well as stints of hands-on work in the various departments.  I also managed functions in the arts department and the transition of the city to a curbside collection program for recyclables.

I moved from the public sector to an entrepreneurial venture at Tymnet, one of the first commercial data communication providers.  There I managed a database management and system development group that built and maintained key business applications.  Toward the end of my five years there I transferred into the IT planning organization at the parent company (Tymshare), where I did not manage other employees.

After Tymnet I took an opportunity to be a sole proprietor, doing data modeling contract work for the likes of Fireman's Fund, where towards the end of my one-year contract I became lead data modeler, including working with a group of contractors from Tata, who built one of the few parts of the project that actually went into production.

My next stop was five years at Pacific Bell, starting in 1988.  I joined the company with a title of Data Architect, which included some matrix management of the Data Stewards Forum.  I reached the highest technical level, but only in my 4th year did I manage a team of employees, who developed and deployed a business process modeling method.  I ended back in strategic planning group that addressed the intersection of the public telephone network and the operational systems (NetSys).  I did not manage that group.

From P*B I again did some contract work, with Charles Schwab and others.  This was hands-on process modeling, with only a bit of project management involved.

I spent a year as the director of a data management practice at Computer Resources Group, an IT consulting group in Northern California.  This mostly involved locating work and placing members of my team in assignments.  There was also method development and some billable work.

From there I joined IBM, where my management was almost always at the team level.  As an example, my last long engagement for IBM was in China, where I managed the architecture team on a large project.  Another example was when I was chief methodologist for a year-long project in Indianapolis.  I have lots of examples of this kind of management, but the one period I managed staff was during a project called e-busness Mobilization, where I managed a knowledge deployment team that supported upwards of 25 education efforts that enabled IBM to retool from Y2K and ERP practices to e-business opportunities such as e-billing, auction sites, SCM, etc.

After retiring from IBM I spent some time in the role of CEO of a start-up company, which ran straight into the problems of the recession.  That project was put on hold, and I am now managing my own business that consists of marketing and consulting partnerships.