Colleen Lee is a GRC consultant, and the new SCN Member of the Month. I noticed her several months ago and saw how her dedication to the community transpired in every comment she was writing in About SCN or the Coffee Corner. Always polite, Colleen has also been encouraging her peers to be active and contribute. I spoke to her on the phone (sorry, no video! Webcam issue on her side this time) and our conversation was a delight. In addition to the slight exotic Aussie accent, it was a pleasure to speak with a smart person like Colleen who contributes in an area that is changing a lot with the recent release of GRC 10.
Hello Colleen! Can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, who you work for, and other things you would like to share with the community (hobbies, fun facts)?
I live in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Queensland is known as the Sunshine State (a few years back they tried to change its logo to ‘Smart State’ but seems they felt we had more Sunshine). It’s winter and I’m still wearing t-shirts.
I am currently an independent consultant working primarily for a Government Department. I also provide GRC/Security Advise and Informal training to others. I am starting to explore new opportunities in the SAP Security space that may result in creating a company in Australia. This latest opportunity occurred all because of my participation on SCN by being recognized by others in the community and networking.
My partner of 5 years and I recently bought a house – we will be moving in soon. We are both long time planners and now have a running joke that we will get a yellow Labrador and his name with be Pawson (son of Paw). It’s been going on for over two years and fortunately the house we bought is fully fenced. My friends and family laugh when they see me get overly excited at every Labrador that comes past.
In my free time I’m on SCN a lot to keep up to date with skill set whilst flipping between watching a TV show and reading a book.
Your SCN Profile URL shows “m.lee”, what does the M stand for?
My middle name is Michaela and in Australia we have a tendency to shorten everything (to the point we spend more time explaining the reference). My family called me Mikki from when I was a baby. Up until I finished university my family and friends all called me Mikki. Once I started my first job on a Service Desk I used Colleen to make it easier for people to find me in the system. Some of my friends did not believe me when I told them my real name (I had to show them my license). Others now get confused when they call for Colleen and leave a message with Mikki. I might have to choose a name soon. Though if I answer the phone and they call me Colleen I use my “professional voice” whilst if it’s Mikki I’ll start with ‘G’day how ya goin’?’.
Note from Laure: It was funny to discover this “dual personality” that Colleen has had all her life. On SCN I’ve known her as Colleen so it is straightforward for me, but in her private and professional life It seems very difficult to manage!
Did you know that you share your name with a well-known pianist from Hong-Kong? 😉
Yes, I’ll admit I googled my name a few years back as I thought it was pretty unique and discovered I was not. Colleen means a girl so I can be the girl from Australia that does SAP and she can be the pianist. Now I google ‘SCN GRC <issue> Colleen Lee’ to find what I previously posted.
Note from Laure: I think mastering SAP (any SAP software) is just as prestigious as being a professional piano player.
On another note, I think everyone should google their own name if they are interested in their reputation on the internet (which is our world today, right?) In addition, I think you should also check the images that show up when you google your name. May not be the most photogenic ones, unfortunately 😉
I saw on your LinkedIn profile that you are a member of the SAP Australian User Group. Can you tell us about your experience as part of this other “community”? I know, for example, that you recently attended one of their meetings.
I joined the group two years back when I moved back home after living in Sydney for a few years. It’s a small group that they are trying to build up. However, as I am not a customer I cannot take on key positions. I went to the Brisbane conference this year, which was fantastic to learn about what everyone else is doing. These conferences encourage customers to get up and talk about their experience and lessons learned which I find a lot more valuable than any installation guide. It’s also a chance to meet more people in the local market and enjoy a few glasses (bottles) of wine.
Sorry to put you on the spot, but I was surprised to see that you didn’t write a “Blog It Forward” post. I know how engaged you are with the community, and you’ve created your own personal connections here, I’m wondering why you didn’t take this opportunity to talk a little bit more about yourself?
Uuuummmm I should have quickly created on before you called me 😉 … weeelllll got asked to blog it forward and was going to but ummm. Yeah let’s just be honest here and say laziness. You’re not the only one who has asked me to blog it forward.
Note from Laure: The pressure is increasing 😉 I told Colleen that, I would love to hear about her recent trip to Europe because she was asking the community some tips to enjoy London, Paris, Switzerland and Paris. We would love to hear how it went! And maybe see a few pictures.
When did you become a member of SCN and what brought you to this community?
I joined years ago and forget I joined. I never really asked any questions but then I would always Google for errors and SCN would be top of the list. I felt it make sense to join in. I became active 18 months ago as I attended a GRC 10.0 Access Controls Training and needed to sit certification at some point. I struggle at learning with just reading content and like to get involved. I feel the best way to master the topic is to teach or help someone else. If you can’t explain it to them then you don’t really understand if yourself. My approach seemed to have work as I passed the certification. I continued to be active in this community to keep my skillset up as I have not had access to a GRC 10.0 component for over a year now (having to answer from memory).
Note from Laure: What was nice to hear from Colleen was that SCN allows her to be more creative in solving problems, especially when there’s less technical work needed in her current project.
Can you tell us in which areas of SCN you are active in?
How do you find the time to contribute on SCN?
I have it opened at work as a way to clear my mind so I switch between it and something I’m working on. I find if working on a problem, not thinking about it for a little while helps refocus (or waiting to download data, etc gives some time gap). I used to read the news instead so really switched websites. Work also benefits as I learn a lot in my domain and can apply to my solutions. I also have SCN open at night when watching TV and respond to questions, etc. I have learned to put my phone on silent as I can wake up some mornings with 50+ emails from SCN.
Note from Laure: Also, if you see Colleen active on SCN at some insane hour in Australia, it’s because she is suffering from insomnia and needs to check in on SCN before she can go back to sleep. You can call it dedication or addiction, I think a lot of you will understand 😉
If a new member came to you and asked for your advice on how to be an active and respected member of SCN, what would you say?
The usual: read The SCN Rules of Engagement but then apply commonsense and respect. If you receive constructive criticism, particularly from someone well respected in the community, take it on board and use it instead of feeling insulted. Always close your questions when completed and update with the solution when you solve it yourself. There are a heap of others but I’ve probably written a few in SCN Support and Coffee Corner already.
Is there a particular contribution that you’re most proud of?
I’m pretty happy with the response my first blog received as I’m finding the GRC community is quite focused on ‘technical how to’ when we need a bit more contribution in architect, process, compliance and risk management topics. This blog A lot of help from my friends was about identifying all the people you need in a successful implementation as I’m finding GRC is being seen as a technical extension of security and missing the business buy-in. You need people who understand risk and what is important to report on. You also need a heap of skills beyond security to configure it properly.
Is there an SCN member you admire (OK… you can name a few)? And for what reason?
- Julius von dem Bussche – heaps of security knowledge and an awesome sense of humor (I learned not have a drink if I’m reading his post). He’s someone I’m hoping to work with in future collaboration
- Gretchen Lindquist for GRC space. I have taken to sending her my blogs and documents for review before publishing as I value her feedback
- Agasthuri Doss. We worked together recently, he’s a great guy who works really hard, but I learned to hide my food as he has a tendency to help himself 😉 He is someone I bounce ideas for SCN contributions or clarifications if I am unsure, and he’s always encouraged me to contribute content.
- I then also follow a few others includingSteffi Warnecke, Tammy Powlas, and Steve Rumsby.
Easy question: Mac/iOS or Windows? Or Android?
All of them: PC is Windows; iPad and then Android Phone. I am a sheep when it comes to phones. I first had Nokia and then Apple. Both of them were because everyone had a phone charger. Then Apple changed theirs. The three years of my partner saying Android is better wore me down. I wish the phones weren’t so big (don’t fit in jeans pockets or handbag/clutches anymore).
Are you on Twitter?
No #iMisuseHashTags #forGoodNoReason #especiallyInTextMesssages and my friends roll their eyes at me
Every month, a member of the SAP Community Network is recognized for exemplary behavior: sharing knowledge with peers, being helpful and taking on additional tasks to support community engagement. See the list of previous SCN Members of the Month.