January 2012    

In This Issue

  • The "Spotlight"
  • Local User Groups
  • Inbox - Keep IT Clean
  • Conference 2012
  • Go Exploring! 

TAGITM Conference
May 22-25, 2012
San Antonio Riverwalk

Plan now to attend the next TAGITM conference in beautiful San Antonio! Great speakers are planned for discussion on topics such as technology leadership, CJIS policy, mobility, and many more. Don't miss this opportunity to network with peers from cities and counties across the state. Check the website for more information that is coming soon!

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. "
-John Quincy Adams 

Renewal Due

All agency membership renewals were due on December 31st. If you have not yet taken care of yours please login to the website as your agency and submit the renewal online. Remember, there have been some changes this year. If you are the agency/organization Voting Representative, you will have login credentials for your agency/organization. If you don't have them or can't find them, send an email to info@tagitm.org and we will email you the login information. Once logged in, the membership renewal will be the first screen you see.   There will be a link to renew your membership.  Follow the prompts to complete the transaction. It's just that simple and remember, when you renew for your agency, you also are renewing for all associated members.  

News Feed Provides Easy Access to Tech News

The TAGITM home page has several technology news feeds on the latest in technology news.  Visit www.tagitm.org to find the latest technology stories to help stay current with breaking stories.  If you know of a great news feed we can incorporate into the website, please let us know by emailing website@tagitm.org 



New Website Feature - The Spotlight

Beginning in February, the TAGITM website will have a new feature that will spotlight one of the many outstanding TAGITM organizations. Participation is voluntary, but who wouldn’t want to have bragging rights for a month? To assist each organization and to provide continuity for the website, a template has been developed and is posted on the website, under the "TAGITM Member Resources” section or click here for the direct link. The website committee will contact TAGITM members, in alphabetical order to solicit their participation. Don’t be shy, spotlight your organization and your membership in TAG!!

TAGITM Members Form Local User GroupsGroup

While each organization is unique, we all face similar challenges. If you are facing a problem, the odds are good one of your neighbors has had to deal with it too. So why not learn from their experience? By joining or starting a local user group you can begin to share knowledge and experience with nearby collegues. Meeting regularly, you can sometimes get ahead of the curve by seeing trends develop in other agencies, then proactively implement technology or policy in yours. Talking to your neighbors about their projects and challenges helps clarify your own priorities.  In my local group we have shared policies, discussed why and how we enforce policies, discussed project planning, and shared lists of favorite software utilities. TAGITM encourages you to seek out nearby by agencies and form your own local group and here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Meet Regulary & On A Schedule
    Making the meeting on a predictable schedule will boost attendance. For example, meet once a month on a Thursday. That way people can plan to attend future events.
  • Pick A Good Location
    Picking a meeting place that is centrally located makes attendance easier for everyone. You might also rotate the location so it's closer to different people at different times. But there is more to picking a location then geography, some restaurants are better for meetings then others. You want a place with an atmosphere that facilitates discussion. Loud, busy restaurants are not ideal. Pick a place with minimal distractions. Good food is also helpful.
  • Have A Topic Prepared
    Try to have a couple of things you can talk about intelligently at some length. You don't need to be the expert, but you need to know if enough to get the conversation going. If you know someone else in the group has expertise in the topic you can prepare questions to get things started. You can also ask if anyone has a topic they'd like to discuss when you send out the invitation to the meeting.
  • Keep It Informal
    Early on we set an agenda, but it was rarely followed. If you get five IT manager together its practically guaranteed at least one of them has some problem or project on their mind they want to discuss and get feedback on. Let the conversation flow, don't try to control it unless you have to.
  • Follow Up
    Nothing says the conversation has to end when lunch is finished. Email your questions to the group or call the individual you want to hear more from. This will also keep people connected, making them more likely to attend next time.

Local user groups extend the benefits of TAGITM membership, increase our knowledge base, and build lasting friendships. Join or start one today! For more information on user groups in your area contact Keith Macedo at membership@tagitm.org.

EmailThe Inbox - Keeping IT Clean

As email becomes the primary form of communication in today's workplace, data administrators need to remind end users to keep a clean Inbox. We know that all email stored on agency owned equipment such as desktops, mobile computers, and smart devices, are subject to open records,. Therefore, to protect your agency and the account holder, it is a good idea to delete unnecessary emails.

During a recent email retention webinar hosted by the State of Texas, the following 3 step process was presented to answer the question of "What do I need to keep?”

STEP 1: Delete emails that are conversational, spam, personal, or unsolicited. You can delete groups of emails by sorting your inbox by sender. This is great if you have a friend that emails you at work regarding lunch plans, holidays, or other personal activities.

STEP 2: Ask yourself, "Is the email content related to your job?” Is the content directly related to your job responsibilities? Many times we are cc'd on emails just to keep us informed BUT the content is not our record to keep. 

STEP 3: Are you the custodian? Are you the designated person in your organization that has the responsibility to retain the information? Again, many times we receive an email thread that may involve several people, but not directly involve us. For example, if the email was about employee benefits, then the custodian of the record would be the HR department. Generally speaking, the sender of the email will be the custodian of the official record.

Finally, don't forget to empty your Deleted Items folder each time you clean up your Inbox. If possible, "empty” your deleted items daily. I don't know about you, but with the daily demands of my workload, I feel empowered when I can take 5 minutes at the end of the day and delete a bunch of cluttering emails

Tips For A Clean Inbox

  • Limit the use of reply all. It has been said that you will receive a 3-5% jump in productivity if people didn't "reply all”.
  • Write clearly and concisely. Later, this may help you be able to determine if you need to keep the email or not.
  • Create meaningful subject lines so that they are easy to understand and search on.




Go Exploring in 2012!

The TAGITM Website offers features you may not yet have explored.   There is a Career Center where you can add job postings for your organization
.  There are the Member Forums where you can post questions and get answers from your fellow TAGITM members. There are the TAGITM Member Resources where job descriptions, RFPs, policies and procedures and other documents of interest may be posted for reference.  We hope you'll spend some time and explore these features and help build the repository of knowledge and collaboration that is the hallmark of TAGITM.  

Texas Association of Governmental Information Technology Managers
P. O. Box 200363, Austin, Texas 78720