Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More Cat Herding



Over the past couple of weeks - just when I think I have a plan, someone else throws in another variable.

My initial plan - Get the LMS selection done and implemented.  Leave the Data Whisperer alone until Fall 2013 to let his world shake out.  Then (hopefully) hit the ground running and finally build the learning and development reporting mechanism of my dreams.

Um....yeah......
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One of the great things about being a trainer is that I get to touch multiple parts of an organization. 
I may not touch them long - but they at least know who I am.

I was catching up with a fellow IT colleague during a town hall for the greater University community.

"Hey Wendy, what do you know about this other content management enterprise integration project?"

Um....I know it is a pain point for the client and that they need to come up with a better process.  I thought we were going to get something done longer-term.

"Yeah - we just got this in our queue."

Hmmmm......

A later conversation with Sally let me know that another project was afoot.

"I just discovered there was a whole certification table in our enterprise system!  We're going to try and leverage that!"

Didn't know our enterprise system did that.

"Yeah - neither did we.  This should be cool."

Hmmmm.....
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So despite my plan to leave the Data Whisperer alone until Fall, my management chain tasked me to go talk to him.

I wandered over to DataWorld with a list of notes and a number of questions - along with the admission that I am going into the conversation very confused.

"Make that two of us."

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I've always believed that information should be free and that knowledge is only powerful if it is shared.

He laid out what he knew.
I laid out mine.

1 hour later - we had a better plan and an idea of the role each of us plays in each "project".
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I am suspecting that this may be the first of many "emergencies".

This gives me an important variable when we go to design the new reporting system.

Despite our intense desire to make everyone "conform" to standards - chances are we are going to have to accommodate multiple content libraries and management systems, multiple course management systems, multiple LMSs, and other sources of random input.

This could actually be a really good thing. Potentially giving us a much better sense of what is actually happening in our environment vs. sticking our head in the sand and INSISTING that everyone follow our lead, use our tools, and cooperate.

I work in Higher Education.  I herd cats.  The chances of us being able to get the cats to follow is practically nil.  Instead of fighting it, why not go with it?



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