Last week I attended an Alfresco Meetups for Government in London. It's organised by Zaizi and is aimed at UK government departments, bringing them together to discuss best practices and problems around content management and information governance in the public sector.
It's a good opportunity to catch-up with the Zaizi team, but more important for me is getting closer to the users and implementers of our products and listening to their use-cases and problems; that really helps when making design and development decisions.
These events have been held every quarter this year. At the September meetup, we had sessions on Activiti, and on migration best practices. The migration one was particularly interesting to me, as that's a side of Alfresco usage I don't usually get much exposure to. After the two presentations, there's a chance for less focused discussion around a variety of topics in breakout groups. I joined the usability one, discussing how fundamental processes are to usability and how one of the biggest ways to succeed is to develop iteratively and get early feedback from stakeholders. There’s a write up from Zaizi on the September meetup here: https://www.zaizi.com/blog/workflow-usability-and-migration-follow
This time around, we had Sergio, Zaizi's CTO, talking to us about the importance of search in an ECM and RM solution, looking at what new capabilities will come with the 5.2 release of Alfresco and what things like eventual consistency mean for users. Alfresco's George Parapadakis also took to the stage and gave an overview of how Office 365 is being used and its impact on governance. Following the same format used last time, we had breakout sessions where we drilled into areas of specific interest to people. I joined the Governance group and discussed things like ownership of the information governance policies, the importance of compliance audits, dealing with legacy data, and processing FOI/DPA and the up coming GDPR. Zaizi have written a blog post about the events, including slides from the sessions here: https://www.zaizi.com/blog/alfresco-meetup-government-one-year
After the formal sessions, we try to find space in a bar and continue the discussions over a beer. If that sounds like fun to you, then it'll be worth signing up to the meetup page. The date for the next one hasn't been decided yet, but keep an eye out for it, and I hope to see you there.