Archives

Logic model: logically……

Tweet

I’m about to talk about the logic model @ #SLA2017 in Phoenix. Below are the slides, although there are many excellent books, articles, blog posts, webinars and courses that provide superb advice and tools. This is just my perspective having worked with the model since 2000.

Logically (yes, pun intended), those of us designing, developing and delivering information services want those services to positively impact the customers using them (be they students, users, lawyers, you name it). And, for us to have the funding or revenue and resources to deliver those services we must demonstrate the relevance of those customer outcomes for the funders and decision-makers.

And therein lies the issue. The design and development of any information service/program must begin with an understanding of the decision-makers’ goals……and then the customers needs.

Using the Logic Model for Impact & Success; #SLA2017 from Rebecca Jones

Project Management Sanity Savers

Tweet

I’m talking very candidly about Critical Skills for Project Management today at #SLA2017 in Phoenix. My focus is on what I’ve learned, over 30 years, to be sanity savers for project managers. There are many books, courses, blog posts and presentations on effective project management; these are excellent, and I highly recommend that anyone entering the world of projects seek them out and learn Let’s face it, to keep their sanity project managers need a few tools, specifically a project charter (sometimes called a charge or outline), a RASCI or RACI matrix, and some way to track the project plan, timeline and costs.

Below are the slides, a template you are welcome to consider and edit for a Project Charter, and the ever wonderful RASCI (you can shorten it to a RACI if you want — but do use it.)

Project management: critical skills from Rebecca Jones

Project Management Template This links to the document (honest)

RASCI Responsibility Matrix And this links to the RASCI template; below is a jpeg so that you can see if you are interested.

Leadership Summit: New operating models #4

Tweet

Library Leaders Summit launches Tuesday morning @ Computers in Libraries 2017. This final post poses some of the ‘prickly topics’ leaders must surface – must handle no matter how prickly or awful those topics are to pick up and manage. What’s a prickly topic? It’s a topic that we must address, vulnerably and honestly — like our operating models. Ewwww……. I can imagine people thinking, “our operating model? the way in which we operate? in which libraries organize and run their locations? services? processes? but we are already lean! we operate on a shoe-string!”

All the more reason for libraries to look through the lens of other organizations to examine the readiness of library operating models to be future-proofed or, really, future-successful. Here’s the last article to consider as you prepare for the Summit reflections, debates and discussion: from McKinsey & Company: How to start building your next-generation operating model. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Since we all agree that the future will be different – how can we not change our operating models to fit future conditions?

McKinsey advises that the successful transformations of operating models rely on these building blocks:

Building Block #1: Autonomous and cross-functional teams anchored in customer journeys, products, and services Building Block #2: Flexible and modular architecture, infrastructure, and software delivery Building Block #3: A management system that cascades clear strategies and goals through the organization, with tight feedback loops Building Block #4: Agile, customer-centric culture demonstrated at all levels and role modeled from

Continue reading Leadership Summit: New operating models #4

Ruthless Prioritization

Tweet

That’s the name of the best blog post I’ve read (and, most importantly intend to use): Ruthless Prioritization. For years I set priorities with various projects, and advised clients to ‘rigourously’ set priorities. Manage priorities. And I will now readily admit that managing priorities in a busy, small consulting firm was relatively straightforward; priorities were set by the size and significance of the client. But now, in library operations, I struggle with priorities day in and day out. Struggle? Ha! I don’t just struggle — I flounder – I fail. Miserably.

So as soon as I saw a post on “ruthless prioritization” I clicked on it! Admittedly, I expected to read a mamby-pamby post on the “importance of focusing on what’s important”, but hallelujah! This post gives a workable framework. Yes, the framework is designed and used by tech firms. But isn’t that perfect for libraries to adopt? Think about it — our products and services need to have the same urgency and life-span as those of tech firms, don’t they? Aren’t we competing with tech firms in many ways — to seize and retain people’s attention? Consider this statement:

Show me a team that has no bugs at launch, and I’ll show you one that should have shipped a long time ago.

Doesn’t that apply to library services and products? Don’t we keep refining, refining, refining to ensure there are no issues, no implications, no problems? Yet the only way to identify issues, implications and problems is to

Continue reading Ruthless Prioritization

Leadership Summit: Readying for the climb #3

Tweet

This is post #3 in a short series to ready us for the #Summitclimb. Are you working up a sweat yet?

I am…..

The rock we must cut through.

Continuing with the terrain analogy, let’s consider a particularly tough question. And that is about the rock or rocks.

Water is essential for life. The rivers that have helped build countries and have provided the life-nourishing water have had to cut through rocks to flow broader, wider, faster. I see a significant analogy here. We talk of libraries (public, academic, government, corporate, not-for-profit) as essential for democratic life and as life-changing. And yet the growth, flow and abilities of libraries in all types of environment seems perpetually slowed and, in some cases, blocked. There are, indeed, rocks preventing libraries from flowing freely.

Jim Watkin’s quote, “A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” is appropriate for libraries. Libraries are incredibly persistent. Funds and attention are cut for the library – and yet it forges on and re-surges. Have libraries cut through rocks in the past?

As libraries forge into the future – into the digital environment considered in post #1,

What is the rock that libraries and information service functions must cut through and be persistent?

Leadership Summit: Readying for the Climb #2

Tweet

This is post #2 in a short series to ready us (channel training….) for the #Summitclimb.

Future-proofing considerations.

Post #1 gave an article that poses some difficult questions leaders must address as they #futureproof their libraries in the digital environment. What Jane wants from this Library Leaders Summit, and I fully agree with, is that the Summit focus more on coaching than on presentations: coaches tell it like it is – and set the bar realistically and high. Sometimes people don’t like what the coach has to say. But a good coach is readying individuals for future moments – future endeavours.

Three respected leaders in the library sector will help kick-start the dialogue regarding future-proofing our organizations: Mary Ann Mavrinac, Gina Millsap, and Mary Lee Kennedy. In the January/February Computers in Libraries we asked them to comment on strategies entrepreneurs use to future-proof their organizations. Read their insights.

Then take these questions to your leadership team, or reflect on them yourself.

Entrepreneur November 2015 proposed 5 ways to future-proof an organization:

“Think partnerships, not transactions”; use partnerships to scale initiatives more quickly. “Change how you’re structured”; go flatter with smaller teams. “Think bigger”; impact more people with solutions to bigger problems. “Offer experience, not product”; distinguish your organization by delighting people. “Help Millennials develop”; formally mentor the next generation. In post #3: what’s the rock libraries deal with – or must deal with?

Continue reading Leadership Summit: Readying for the Climb #2

Leadership Summit: Worth the Climb

Tweet

I’ve been away from this blog for 18 months while I’ve focused on my role in the Branch services and operations of a busy, growing, incredible (if i may say so) #publiclibrary (@BramptonLibrary). The opinions I have expressed and will express in this blog are purely mine. I am honoured to work with some of the finest, intelligent individuals – and they may or may not agree with some of my perspectives (which is what makes them so fine and intelligent!).

It is time for me to start writing again as I increasingly consider the issues we in the library sector need to think deeply about – need to think critically about (with critical thinking not criticizing), engage in probing, provocative and perhaps disturbing dialogue, make decisions and take actions. As she has so many times in the past, @jdysart has arranged a venue at which some of this thinking and dialogue can occur. Library Leaders Summit: Future-Proofing Strategies & Tactics, held in conjunction with Computers in Libraries @CrystalCity in Arlington, VA, provides 2 days in which speakers, provocateurs and participants will consider developments, experiences and questions that influence their library’s decisions and actions. Near-term and long-term decisions.

Getting to a ‘#summit’ is not easy.

Yep, it’s easy to actually come to this Leaders Summit. But the point I’m trying to make is for this venue to truly be a ‘summit’ people need to prepare in the same way they would to climb to any summit. Think about it. We

Continue reading Leadership Summit: Worth the Climb

Libraries: Rewiring our Thinking

Tweet

My “must” reading for the past 15 years has been Harvard Business Review. About 6 years ago I added Rotman from University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to the “must” list. To be honest, there’s nothing else on that list. Just these two journals. The articles are often based on solid research, usually incredibly interesting, and frequently force me to think differently. These journals target business and management leaders. Many of the influential stakeholders for libraries in the public, academic, government and profit sectors are business and management leaders. We need to know how they think. And we certainly need to think differently.

Joe Rotman, a highly successful, respected businessman and philanthropist died recently. Roger Martin, renowned management author and thinker, and the 1st dean of the Rotman School, wrote in the Spring 2015 Rotman issue of how Joe Rotman “rewired” Martin’s brain. Given that the library sector is essentially shifting below our feet, it behooves us to consider the 4 fronts on which Rotman changed Martin’s thinking and use these to change our own thinking:

Nothing is Not-doable

There’s 2 parts to this truism: first, that if you want to “do” it, then do it. In 1998 when Martin became dean of Rotman, that management school wasn’t even in the rankings or the radar with its competitors. Joe and Roger envisioned it in the top 5 – which most people thought was crazy – ‘not-doable’ for sure. Yet Joe taught Martin that anything is doable so long as

Continue reading Libraries: Rewiring our Thinking

Understanding customer perceptions: Part 2

Tweet

Discovering Emotional Triggers And Hidden Truths

On May 29th we introduced you to Eunice Hogeveen, former information professional and now a marketing strategist & Partner with Innerviews.ca. InnerViews is a Toronto-based research firm dedicated to uncovering how customers think – and, most importantly, their emotional triggers related to a product or service. They use “innovative metaphor-based research to gain new perspectives on what lies below the surface, so that business leaders are able to maximize opportunities by getting to what really matters to their customers.”

As a marketing strategist, Eunice works with clients to determine their marketing messages and positioning. At SLA’s 2015 Annual Conference Eunice described how metaphors provide insights into what people think and feel about specific topics, images, situations, services and products. The essence of a metaphor is to understand one thing in terms of another thing. Now you can hear her this week – July 17th – at Customer Service for Libraries at the iSchool (July 16th & 17th).

What took Eunice on this path? 23 years ago when she was working in a publishing firm where she was responsible for moving products from print to online, Eunice commissioned market research and was frustrated that they never seemed to get to the real thinking behind people’s purchasing decisions. She decided to go into market research herself, and to pursue more innovative techniques.

Innerviews uses Zaltman’s Metaphor Elicitation Technique, an intensive interview process that uses photos to surface people’s thinking, emotions and attachment to brands

Continue reading Understanding customer perceptions: Part 2

Understanding customer perceptions: Part 1

Tweet

Eunice Hogeveen, MIS; Co-Founder & Partner of Innerviews Inc.

SLA’s Consulting Section of the Leadership & Management Development Division is incredibly fortunate that Eunice Hogeveen will be talking with them at the June 15th/15 Breakfast Meeting (8:00 a.m. @ Boston’s Convention Ctr Rm 252A). If you don’t have a ticket – get one. Every information professional needs to spend some time with Eunice. I’ve been lucky to know Eunice – and even luckier to have worked with her – for almost 30 years. Eunice introduced me to market segmentation; process mapping; storyboarding to test service concepts; and various ways of gaining a deep understanding of client’s information-related behaviours, preferences and applications. She’s a librarian who has been a senior manager in e-content publishing, and is co-founder and partner of a niche market research & business strategy firm focusing on Fortune 500 organizations. I continue to learn from her — about customer perceptions and beliefs, about managing a business, about thinking differently and strategically. This is the first of 2 blog posts about Eunice and the firm she co-leads, Innerviews Inc., and why information professionals need to take notice.

Me: Eunice, I met you when you were a solo librarian in a corporate library in the early 1980’s. How did you move from that career to metaphor research and business strategy?

Eunice: After receiving an MLS, my career journey began in special libraries at the Board of Trade and a major accounting and consulting firm. The era of content

Continue reading Understanding customer perceptions: Part 1