Fifteen years ago, David Allen hired me as his technologist. A few years after we started working together, David gave me the title of "Chief Propellerhead" which continues today. (It fits.) When I first started working with David, his company, The Productivity Development Group, was a small but growing productivity consulting firm. In the 15 years since, David Allen has become a household name in the world of personal productivity. Well deserved, too. I've enjoyed the privilege of working along side David for this time and I've had the unique opportunity to watch and learn how he gets things done and I've been privileged to have his coaching in my business and with my software development.
In the past two years, however, the company has grown to 40 people, which means that the IT responsibilities have also grown from something I could handle remotely, on a part-time consulting basis, to something that requires a full-time in-house Director of IT.
For the past several years, I've served David in a dual-role, as eProductivity specialist and Director of IT. Last year, we hired a wonderful support specialist, Lyz Dinh, to support me at the David Allen Company. She handles the day-to-day needs in Ojai and I handle the strategic work remotely from Pine Mountain Club. This has worked well... except that the company continues to grow...
After deciding that I did not want to become the full-time Director of IT for The David Allen Company, we decided to look outside of the company for a new person to fill this position, which is why I'm writing this post. We are looking for a full-time Director of IT to work in Ojai, California. This person will report directly to Robert Peake, our CTO.
Since I've served in the Director of IT role many years, my first project, from a knowledge management perspective, will be to take what I know and teach it to my replacement. Fortunately, much of this is already documented in Notes. I plan to help Robert evaluate candidates for this position and then train the new Dir. of IT to take over my responsibilities. We'll probably start the training here, in the Digital Sandbox, and then do the rest on-site in Ojai. Once the transition is complete, a process we anticipate will take many months, I will continue to consult with David and others (and you?) on an as-needed basis. Still interested? Keep reading...
A few geeky details:
DavidCo is and has always been a Lotus Notes/Domino shop. We have no plans to move to Exchange, although several of the staff use Outlook for their PIM. We have several Windows 2003 servers deployed at various locations. The staff all use IBM (Lenovo) ThinkPads and Lotus Notes. We also have a small but growing number of Mac users in the graphics department. Candidates will need to have a solid foundation with Windows Networking with LAN/WAN protocols as well as experience with Notes and Domino. Of course, you'll also need to be familiar with a variety of productivity applications and mobile devices and know how to put it all together in the framework of GTD. I'll be on call to help you get up to speed, but at some point, you'll be on your own.
While some of this is routine IT work, one of the aspects that I've enjoyed is supporting David and the remote staff. You see, we only meet as a company once or sometimes twice a year. This means that everything that happens for the remote staff (from an IT perspective) has to happen at the annual staff meeting or remotely. We spend a lot of time evaluating and configuring software so that the staff will be as self supporting as possible and, when they do have issues, we can help them remotely, no matter where they are in the world. To me, it's a challenge - like sending a spacecraft aloft. Of course, I also enjoy working with the staff to learn about their needs and make recommendations for software and tools to help them help our clients.
Does this interest you?
If you think you have what it takes and would like to join a dynamic team of highly motivated, not to mention productive, professionals, take a look at the position description that Robert has posted, here.
This is a great company to work for and wonderful group of people to serve. Of the 400 clients I've served in my 25 years as an independent consultant, The David Allen Company ranks among a select few clients at the top of my list of favorite clients/companies to serve. It has been a delight to serve the people at The David Allen Company, many of whom have become my friends. While I'm not disappointed to leave this position, I am protective of David and the people I have served for so many years.
If you are both qualified and seriously interested, get in touch with Robert - he can answer your questions about salary, benefits, etc.. If you have key questions about the company, the role or the responsibility, I can answer those.
What's next for me?
I've had several projects on the back burner for a few years now, however, school and the exciting growth at DavidCo and other clients hasn't allowed much free time to pursue them.
With the prospect of more free time, (ha!) I plan to [finally] finish my public launch of my eProductivity template for Lotus Notes - a product that makes implementing GTD in Notes easy. It's been available to my clients for many years, however, there's a lot that I want to do to get it ready to sell and support as a commercial product. Stay tuned on that one. My graduate studies in Knowledge Management will probably require more time as well. And, of course, there's always my existing eProductivity consulting that I will continue to do for David and my other clients.
I would feel great if I can help Robert find the ideal person, perhaps through this blog, to replace me as the new Director of IT at DavidCo. I want to leave The David Allen Company in good hands.