I spent a weekend immersed in conversations on ERwin, data modeling and the modeling community. The officers of the CA sponsored Modeling Global User Community (MGUC) hosted a weekend summit with members of the CA Technology modeling and communities teams. These community leaders met to take a health check on the modeling community and strategize on how to build and grow the community for the future.
It was a very productive weekend. The discussions uncovered many opportunities to build and manage a stronger modeling community. The community leaders are in the early stages of organizing the findings into a workable plan to guide our community in the future. Some items can be addressed quickly while others may take some time to achieve. I wanted to share a high level summary of our work during the weekend.
The MGUC officers kicked off the weekend with a series of sessions designed to uncover the questions of who, what, where, when and why of the ERwin community. These discussions centered on the relationships that the MGUC must be successful at for our community to enjoy success. The MGUC board must foster open and honest relationships with the greater ERwin community, regional modeling user communities, and CA technologies.
Brainstorming sessions uncovered a wide variety of ideas to build better relationships. Common threads were identified that crossed the relationships and brought them together. Board members developed areas of focus to guide a plan of attack to make the work of the weekend a success.
The following areas of focus were derived from the findings of the weekend. The MGUC board will address the supporting details of these focus areas to assure the success of the user community. Look for goals, objectives and action items to develop as our work continues on this effort.
- Open and better communications between MGUC and CA Technologies / regional communities / individual users. — Communications received good bit of attention during the summit. The MGUC needs to explore different communication channels. The board also needs to increase the frequency of communications.
- Establish MGUC brand with regional communities / virtual communities / individual users — The MGUC must work on awareness of the community and what it has to offer members. The initial work will be in developing promotional and informational collateral to define the purpose and benefits of the MGUC.
- Understand the identities of our regional communities / virtual communities / individual users and their concerns – This is one of the primary building blocks on which the other areas of focus depend. Better communication and partnerships are dependent on knowing what our members and partners need of us and what benefits we can give to our members and partners.
- Partnering with CA Technologies to advance community presence and product — The life and growth of the MGUC is heavily dependent on our involvement with CA Technologies. Existing partnerships need to be strengthened and new partnerships need to be forged. All parties and the ERwin modeling products will benefit from these stronger partnerships.
- Partnering with CA Technologies to advance product with user community input – The relationships of CA Technologies and the MGUC in regards to product development, support and growth need to be revisited. The involvement of the user community in the lifecycle of the ERwin modeling tools will be strengthened and widened.
The above five areas of focus have a good bit of detail on paper from the weekend. As I mentioned earlier, these details need to be sorted and summarized into a workable plan. It is not an overnight process. It will take time and effort. The MGUC will definitely involve our wider community in achieving the goals we will set forth.
This is an ambitious effort, but an effort I feel this community can undertake. I truly appreciate the work of the individuals who worked tirelessly through a weekend at the summit. This effort definitely jump started the efforts to make our community stronger.
Erwin Summit Attendees:
- MGUC: Beth Ard, Tom Bilcze, Dan Dechichio, Garry Gramm, Chandra Sekar
- CA Technologies: Neil Buchwalter, Donna Burbank, J.J. Lovett, Kathy Meara
Modeling Global User Community President