Earlier this month, we held our first company hackathon in our new office. It proved to be a great day and a tremendous learning experience for our company and particularly all of the employees who got the chance to participate. I had the opportunity to help facilitate the day’s activities. I thought take a moment to reflect on what I thought was a very successful event.
Dominion has gone from tinkering with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2015 to a full co-location migration in 2016. As of July of this past year, we manage all of our computing resources within AWS, Azure, or a trusted SaaS provider. We continue to invest internally in cloud computing, and are committed to providing learning opportunities for our employees within our core solution offerings. When the opportunity arose to attend the 2016 AWS re:Invent, the business case for doing so was pretty simple. Dominion is committed to providing clients top-notch DevOps consulting services as part of our Agile Engineering solution offering. Additionally, as our AWS investments grow, it is critical we’re able to scale securely and efficiently. With practically no hesitation, our tickets were booked and the planning began.
It was below freezing the Sunday morning of November 13. That didn’t stop over 600 runners, spectators, and volunteers from showing up for what turned out to be a successful 5K Walk and Run. While this year’s 5K was technically the first Dominion Consulting Veteran’s Day 5K, this is the third year in a row our company has helped put on this race. This year’s event was just as successful as the previous two events. More than just the total number of participants that showed up, I personally am most proud of the number of Dominion employees who made it out to Fairfax Corner in Fairfax, VA on Sunday before the sun had completely risen to help ensure the event was a success.
This post was originally drafted after the 2016 AIIM Conference, but postponed until now due to some exciting changes at Dominion. Throughout the summer and early fall, we focused on creating our new brand in conjunction with a new, larger, office space build out. We started with a clean slate, and slowly worked our way to the present. The journey through both was challenging and exciting. Throughout the process, much of what I took away from AIIM 2016 was in the back of my mind, shaping my feedback around what I thought the future of work at Dominion should look like.
Our company, like many others in our line of work, deploy teams across a variety of client sites. Our project managers do a great job at creating successful environments for team cohesion within a project. However, cohesion across project teams at a corporate level, is something we strive to improve continuously. While attending AIIM 2016 in New Orleans, I sat through several great keynotes and sessions. They helped shape my opinions and feedback throughout our re-brand and office construction projects, especially in Josh Morgan’s #FutureOfWork discussion.
Cancer affects the lives of so many people, it’s hard not to have first-hand experience with it in some form or another. While it’s easy to focus on the negative aspects of this undiscriminating disease, we rarely get the opportunity to hear about the awe-inspiring people who have dedicated their lives to beating cancer or are beating cancer themselves. October 29th presented one of those opportunities for us at Dominion Consulting as we had the pleasure of attending and sponsoring the 2016 Lombardi Gala.
My wife and I have had the honor of personally attending the Gala for the last several years. We continue to be amazed and inspired by the countless lives that have been changed, improved, and saved as the direct result of the great work that the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is doing. The Gala continues to provide a wonderful venue to spend time with our friends and colleagues and unite in our support of life-saving cancer research. The more I learn about the work being done by cancer centers like Lombardi all over the country, the more optimistic and confident I become that it isn’t a matter of if we beat cancer, but when. We are truly honored to be a part of such a great network of people dedicating to supporting such a cause and organization.
As part of our recent rebranding effort, we agreed our website had become stale. It needed a new, fresh look focusing on our future, exactly like our rebrand. We wanted to take a chance to look at things from a new perspective and create a site that would evolve with our company as we grow.
A key question we asked ourselves was “How do we highlight our capabilities, and most importantly what our people bring to our clients?”. Like many emerging large consulting firms, we perform a lot of different activities to meet the needs of our clients, reflecting the skills of our people. When we looked at what makes Dominion successful, it isn’t just our approach to delivering. Our people bring solution area expertise to make each project a success.
I recently had the privilege of attending the American Council for Technology – Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) 2016 Executive Leadership Conference (ELC) in Williamsburg, VA. The ELC is year-after-year known as the premiere executive level event for the leaders of our community. This year companies and agencies could nominate Emerging Leaders to attend alongside the C-Suite leaders. I was lucky enough to have been nominated and selected under that designation. I decided to make the most of my time in Williamsburg, both through networking and learning, and also tried to have a little fun in the process.
This year’s Information Governance Conference (InfoGovCon) in Providence, RI last week was a great experience and I was excited to represent Dominion Consulting at it. During what is quickly becoming the premier event in the industry, a milestone was marked in the evolution of the information governance industry. Loaded with some amazing speakers, the conference had a feeling of an industry who is trying new ideas and advocating for a complete change to how we approach the management, and subsequent governance, of information.
The key focal point was on the people working with information in our organizations. How can we remove the friction between people and the content management systems (CMS) that we implement? Specifically, how can we use design thinking to improve the user experience? This new focus on design and people was present in keynotes, individual talks, and in the hallway conversations. While there were still a lot of war stories shared, there was an underpinning of hope that we can make real progress.
What is Dominion’s role in Shared Services and how do we apply it to our solution areas?
I found myself thinking about this question while I attended the AGA/IAC Shared Services Summit last week. Within the industry, most agree with the long term vision of this most recent Shared Services initiative, which is consolidating Financial Management to four approved Federal Shared Service Providers. I listened to a number of excellent speakers talk about the importance of moving to Shared Services, the benefits with respect to minimizing Total Cost of Ownership, bringing efficiencies in how the government operates financial management, and most importantly allowing an agency to “focus on its mission”.
I agree with all of those principles, but I also found a common theme amongst the speakers…the need and want for agencies to do something that is often lost in government…and that is build trust. Trust is something I have often heard from my clients when discussing Shared Services. The thought that “we have been doing this so long, no one else does it like us”, so how can we trust another Federal Agency successful manage our financial management system in a Shared Service environment.
Next week I’ll be representing Dominion Consulting at the 3rd annual Information Governance Conference (InfoGovCon) in Providence, Rhode Island on October 12 and 13. I have attended the previous conferences, and as with the annual AIIM conference, simply sharing ideas and stories with the other attendees is worth the trip. This year I have an additional reason for attending, I am delivering the closing keynote on the first day.
I am pretty excited about this opportunity. When the Information Coalition, the organizers, contacted me about speaking. I was very excited. I spoke the first year at InfoGovCon and was interested in delivering a follow-up talk. Delivering the follow-up as a keynote is an unexpected honor.
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