I P M A  News

  Information Processing Management Associates March 1996  

Edited By Mary Ellen Bradley

[ Stress Symptoms ] [ Telecommuting ] [ February Board Meeting ]
[ Deadly Demotivators ] [ What is the IPMA?]

Stress Symptoms

In these turbulent times of downsizing, pressure cooker projects, management indecision, ever changing labor laws and practices, it is no wonder more and more people are experiencing stress related symptoms.

According to the Hope Heart Institute some stress warning signs are:

  • Exaggerating normal behaviors (e.g. hard workers become workaholics)
  • Sleep problems
  • Withdrawing from family, friends, etc.
  • Working harder, but accomplishing less
  • Being afraid to make decisions
  • Feeling anxious or unable to relax
  • Feeling hostile and getting angry over inconsequential things
  • Blaming others and being overly critical or hard to please
  • Being around other people with stress problems
  • Fighting over unimportant things
  • Denying that anything is the matter

If you recogmze any of these symptoms, it may be time to make changes in your life.

--N. A. "Butch" Stussy


Telecommuting

Are you a supporter of telecommuting? Do you fear that your employees'productivity will suffer if you permit them to work at home?

A survey conducted by Olsten Corp., a human resources provider based in Melville, N.Y., may help to ease your concerns, according to Eileen Davis, author of Have Modem, Won't Travel.

Of the 1,022 executives polled by Olsten Corp., 86 percent of the"...companies with telecommuting programs experienced an increase in productivity."

Survey results also indicate the "...popularity of telecommuting varies by industry...with the more technologically advanced industries embracing it in greater numbers than other businesses...."

--N. A. "Butch" Stussy

Source: Have Modem, Won't Travel, Management Review / April 1995.


February Board Meeting

Members Present: Joe Coogan, Darrel Riffe, Bob Monn, Shelagh Taylor, Phil Coates, Dennis Laine, Al Bloomberg, Jim Andersen, and Bob Marlatt. Absent: Phil Grigg and Mary Ellen Bradley.

The Board meeting was opened by Bob Marlatt at 7:35 a.m., February 8, 1996. Bob thanked the Board for the work accomplished at the annual planning meeting. Subsequent Board planning meetings are scheduled for the evenings of February 21 and March 27.

The minutes for the January 1996 Board meeting were approved.

The following committee reports were made:

Treasurer--Phil Coates presented the January 1996 Treasurer's report which was approved. The IPMA has no outstanding liabilities at this time. The IPMA Budget Status was reviewed with the Board. Phil noted that Newsletter advertising was not resulting in a profit, and that it might be beneficial to review costs associated with maintaining the IPMA membership.

Business & Budget Planning--Al Bloomberg provided the Board with a list of the new committees and committee members. Al reviewed the time line to develop business and budget plans for the next fiscal year. These plans will be published in the Annual Report to Members due in June. Al agreed to have the committee review and recommend to the Board any changes to the IPMA bylaws.

Communications--Shelagh Taylor confirmed with the Board its decision to phase out advertising in the IPMA News. Current commitments will be honored. Joe Coogan proposed various ideas for the IPMA Home Page. The Board was in agreement that the Home Page could be an effective tool for providing services. The committee will continue to explore and recommend service opportunities.

Forum '96--Jim Andersen reviewed a work plan for organizing Forum '96. Jim has already begun preliminary work, and asked the Board to consider assigning additional Board leadership this year. Further discussion is scheduled for the next planning session.

1996 Executive Seminar--Darrel Riffe reported the best locations for the seminar in September appear to be Ocean Shores or Chelan. Decisions on location and dates must be made within the next few weeks.

Professional Development--Dennis Laine has begun planning for the next educational events. A session on network security and the Internet is being discussed for early Spring, and an event that will focus on project management and estimation is being considered for May.

--Shelagh Taylor


Deadly Demotivators

"This could be such a good place to work, if it wasn't for..." "It just is not fun anymore." "Things just don't seem to change for the better."

Have you heard these or similar comments as you talk to your employees and colleagues? Could be your organization is experiencing the "seven deadly demotivators" according to Dean R. Spitzer, Ph.D., president of Dean R. Spitzer & Associates Inc., author of SuperMotivation: A Blueprint for Energizing Your Organization From Top to Bottom.

Workers typically say they want to be enthusiastic about their work, but they often don't. What is causing it?

Spitzer says it is demotivators in the workplace that are causing the problem. Demotivators are those "...nagging, daily occurrences that frustrate employees and cause them to reduce, either consciously or unconsciously, the amount of productive energy they use in their jobs."

So what are some common demotivators?

  • Politics
  • Unclear expectations
  • Unnecessary rules
  • Poorly designed work
  • Unproductive meetings
  • Lack of follow-up
  • Constant change
  • Internal competition
  • Dishonesty
  • Hypocrisy
  • Being taken for granted
  • Discouraging responses

--N. A. "Butch" Stussy

Source: American Management Association / November 1995, The Seven Deadly Demotivators.


What is the IPMA?

The IPMA has been around for a while. Its creators included several seniorInformation Technology managers who got together for lunch occasionally. This group saw theneed for professional development programs and developed several events thatincluded the monthly meetings and the IPMA Fall Forum. The Forum grew and grew. In the '80s this informal group decided that there was significant personal liability in running events such as the IPMA Fall Forum.

The IPMA incorporated in 1989. They decided to incorporate as a for profit corporation to simplify the book keeping andto the appropriate corporate taxes rather to file as a not-for-profit corporation.Although IPMA is a for-profit corporation, its bylaws and charter are such that no Boardmember ever receives any compensation for their efforts. While the corporation doespay meeting expenses, Board members do not draw salaries nor receive any personalgain from the IPMA.

In an IPMA Board retreat held in mid-January 1996, the Board of Directorsexamined the purpose and the direction of the IPMA. The eleven Board members reiterated thatthe IPMA is an association of information technology managers that work withinstate government to accomplish several specific purposes:

  • We further the professionalism of the state information technology community;
  • We provide networking opportunities for state information technology managers todiscuss issues of importance to the information technology community;
  • We exist to provide professional development opportunities to state information technology managers; and
  • We provide forums where other Washington State executives can interact with our community.

The Board expressed a need to place a focus and priority on the concept of IPMA as anassociation. The IPMA corporate entity exists as a tool for the Board of Directors touse in developing and providing for the IPMA's association needs. The Board in thecoming years intends to shift the focus away from the corporate affairs to theIPMA as a state association of information technology managers.

My challenge this year, as chairperson, is to make the focus on the IPMA asan association real. While the things the IPMA does may be the same, our intentand motivation will change to identifying amd meeting the needs of our State Association. I look forward toproviding leadership in bringing back the original intent and motivation behind theIPMA. We have important things that we as community need to do. Let's do themtogether.

--Bob Marlatt


Memorable Quote

"Do not resent growing older--many are denied the privilege."

--Unknown


IPMA, P.O. Box 1943, Olympia, WA 98507-1943