Thursday, December 03, 2015

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Architecture Vision - Developing Learning Ecosystem v2

We are in the process of re-evaluating our ecosystem. In our case, there are some major environmental changes afoot.  Read more....

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Business Architecture - Validating Workflows

I feel like I don't use enough random clipart.....
This was found under "sharing" in MS Word 2010.
You're welcome.
Once I have a few process workflows completed and the members of my team are happy, the next step is ....

Read more.....

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Business Architecture Sample - Student Registration Into Archi

Last spring, after the Integration SWAT Team guy showed me Archi and walked me through how to develop a process using Archimate, he sent me off with a copy of the enterprise architecture as it currently exists....

Read more....

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sample Solutions Survey or....How Training fits in

I've had a number of people ask me recently about what questions we are asking in our Pilot surveys.

Read more....

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Translating Capabilities to Strategy - Survey example

As you may have discovered, we have multiple tools that do similar things.

We have multiple tools that provide survey capabilities.

So now we can sit and figure out what tool is best for a particular scenario - and come up with a clear set of guidelines for the team.

This will allow us to better evaluate what is actually being used, whether we should be using one of the other tools instead, and what is not needed.

Read more....

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Translating Requirements to Capabilities

Doing the translation between requirements and capability is actually fairly simple:

Read more....

Monday, November 02, 2015

Translating Capabilities into Strategy - Content Strategy

Of course, life does not always provide time to come up with a strategy after careful consideration of requirements and capability.

Read more....

Thursday, October 29, 2015

More Historical Perspective or Why I Fear for Instructional Technology as a Profession

This is one of my first web sites - developed in 2001.  I chose the topic because it was controversial (still is) and it allowed me to use lots of pictures in buttons.  Because in 2001, that was advanced.

Note the matrices and the fact that the instructor printed out every page of the web site.

As I sifted through my papers from my Instructional Technology Masters degree, it occurred to me that we are having the same conversations that we did in 2001.

Despite lots of research, we are still designing the same stuff.

Still asking how we can develop the same stuff FASTER vs how we can design effective solutions that better map to the way people learn and the environments we work in.

The solutions I see now are very similar to the solutions I saw back then.

Because when we are actually faced with having to DO something, we revert back to the same habits.

Thinking in terms of courses.
Thinking in terms of how fast we can develop a course vs whether a course is an appropriate solution in the first place.
Thinking in terms of "training" vs helping people become more comfortable with change.
Thinking in terms of events vs the small, distributed experiences that are proven to work.

We have over 15 years worth of research - people!!!!

Let's use it!!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Historical Perspective or Why the Internet is Awesome!

I received my MA in History in 1994 from the University of Georgia.

Back in the day....those index cards were the way we organized our notes and thoughts so we could ultimately write our thesis.

The idea was that once we had enough index cards, we can organize them and the thesis would "write itself". (ha!)

No Evernote
No "internet".  We did have computers. And email - kinda.

I studied what I could afford to study  - which equaled something close to where I was since I didn't have a lot of money for travel.

Mentors included whoever was close at hand, and maybe the occasional phone call or letter to someone else.

Hence a thesis on Black Drink in Colonial Georgia. 
Because I was in Georgia.
And near an expert in the Southeastern Indians.
And the plant grew on campus.

Back in the day, we killed trees.  Lots and lots of trees.

I am so grateful for the internet.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Requirements from Scratch Step Four - What is Testable?

....though it has not been for lack of trying......
Wendy - why are you worried about this?

One of the biggest issues we ran into during our Unified Communications project was the development of test scripts.

Read more....

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Requirements from Scratch Step Three - Nice to Have vs Need to Have

The next step is taking that list and prioritizing it into nice to have and need to have.

For the Survey tool...what are the principles that guide that decision?

Read more....

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Requirements from Scratch Step Two - Organizing Requirements

Apologies for it being a number of months since the last post.  Summer is Higher Ed IT busy season and between new management and a really big project, the blog got neglected.

At least I got some of this in.....

I need to do MORE of that....
Once we have the rough requirements, my next step is to organize the requirements in a way that makes more sense.

Read more....

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Requirements Management in the Ecosystem

- Gaping Void of course.
I could leave well enough alone, couldn't I?
TOGAF encourages the use of a requirements repository.

We don't have one. So I need to build one. Somehow.

Read more....

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

TOGAF - Requirement Types

To do this requires a system.
Your system should be built based on requirements.

Image from  National Association of Women in Construction.

Karl E. Wiegers, in his book Software Requirements (2nd ed, 2003), identified the following requirement types.

Read more.....

Thursday, June 11, 2015

TOGAF - The Relationship Between Principles, Requirements and Matrices

Notice that big circle in the middle?


EVERYTHING in the ecosystem SHOULD map to requirements.

Read more....

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Capability Matrices: Functionality Replacement

The second way I have used a capability matrix is to make decisions regarding application replacement.

Read more....

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Capability Matrixes: Where do I stash my files?

The first example I want to flesh out is the capability matrix I am using for determining where to host my training materials.

Read more....

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Application Architecture: Capability Matrices

Over the past year - I've been finding myself using Capability Matrices for a wide array of purposes.
Read more....

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Phase C: A High Level Application View

From the Technology Reference Model,  the Integration SWAT Team guy then began to drill down into the architecture.

"I've been working mostly in the Applications, Data and Technology Architectures.  I haven't touched the Business Architectures."  He smiled.  I think he's leaving that for me.

I wanted to give you an example of what this looks like from our perspective.

Read more....

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Technology Reference Model

I ran into our SWAT team guy for integration after a meeting one day.  He came from an organization with a more mature enterprise architecture practice.  He also happens to be our resident expert in Archimate.  I was hoping to pick his brain and see whether what I was doing a) was on the right track and b) would help him and the rest of the SWAT team in any way.

"I have something to show you."

Read more.....

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Business Architecture Sample - Student Registration classroom

The article this image came from talks about how the client-side marketing research department could politically position themselves to make use of the data.

A fascinating read itself - if not related to the below post...

As you might have guessed, I'm writing these posts as I am doing the work.
And you may have noticed that I am not doing the stages "in order".
I'm organizing and creating the pieces as the opportunity and inspiration presents itself.
Such is the risk when a venture like this is done as a "side job".

All of this information eventually appears in the following stages:

Read more....

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Business Architecture - The Individual Process Level

Now that I have a rough idea of what processes I need to document, it's time for me to start mapping out the individual process.  The act of doing this will help me break this down further.

Read more.....

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Business Architecture - Here be Monsters

This is the Carta Marina. Please note the monsters.You will find some on your journey.

An interesting interactive version of this map can be found at

I now have a rough idea of the processes that need to be documented.

And this is where things can get a little hairy....

Read more....

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Business Architecture - So What Do You Do?

Argue about the validity of ADDIE if you must, but most training teams I have encountered still use this as an organizing structure for what they do.
I'd rather talk to my  stakeholders in a way they understand.

This particular iteration is from Chico State IDTS.
The "Power Users" for the Learning Ecosystem will be the folks performing staff training design, development and delivery activities.

One of the important things to figure out is what these folks actually do.
This is the start of the investigation for the Business Architecture.

Read more....

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Preliminary Phase - Stakeholder Identification and What to Do with Them

An important step in this process is to figure out who your stakeholders are and perform a bit of Stakeholder analysis.

Read more.....

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Preliminary Phase - Outputs

From lynda-m at

The Preliminary Phase of the architecture is supposed to have 4 outputs.  I am outlining these below to help provide a checklist of the types of information I need to gather and some of the early decisions that need to be considered.

Read more.....

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Present-focus or Future-focus?

From Techfellows - University of Alaska Anchorage.

As I put together the architecture, I have to decide whether my efforts are going to be present-focused (ie. capturing the current baseline) or future-focused (ie. documenting where I want to be - also known as Target First).

Read more....

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Taking Advantage of Opportunities

Our Enterprise SWAT Team Lead has started an Innovation Forum within our division.

During one of the forums, our HR Client Partner at the time asked about ways we can create a training page for our Division.

This has been on my mind since the inception of Ecosystem 1.0.

Opportunity knocks....

Read more....

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Principles of the Learning Ecosystem 2.0

Establishing the principles behind the ecosystem was the first step in developing Ecosystem 1.0.

Having these principles available lets me take advantage of opportunities while I attempt to organize everything into the new TOGAF-based architecture.

Read more....

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Hazards of Planning

- From the Happy Medic.

This is a lot more glamorous than preventing the fire in the first place.

Resistance.  I've seen this over too many years and too many organizations.

Read more....

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

TOGAF - The Preliminary Stage in practice

This is the official description of how the Preliminary Stage works.

This is what this phase feels like.....

In my spare time (around projects and the job I am supposed to be doing), I am gathering all the things.

Read more....

Thursday, March 12, 2015

TOGAF - The Stages

In TOGAF (The Open Group Architecture Forum) terms - this is the Architectural Development Model (ADM).  Because acronyms are awesome.

Read more....

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

TOGAF - Defining where the Learning Ecosystem fits in

Please note that this overview is absolutely NOT a replacement for reading the materials or taking a certification course.

Read more....

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Bringing Structure to the Learning Ecosystem

Over the past year, we've implemented some new technologies that will help bring the Learning Ecosystem to life.

It also expands the number of applications and technologies that are now available to us.
Tools and toys we can use to help create an environment that supports people.

Because of the huge increase in complexity, I figured it was time to find a model that could help organize this and bring some structure to what I was trying to do.

Read more....

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Playing with Identity

The Network Wall at Up To All of Us.2014  Thanks Craig for the pic.

I wrote this back in May 2014 and never posted it.   
There has been a lot of personal ground covered since that time - which explains the recent quiet.

Figured this could serve as an introduction to what's coming next :)
My job has been changing over the past year or so.

I'm doing a lot less eLearning instructional design and development.
A lot less instructional delivery.
A lot less of the stuff I've been doing the past 14 years.

I'm doing more strategy, systems design, thinking, talking.

I'm trying to provide an environment that allows people to find what they need and collaborate easily.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've become convinced that "learning" happens whenever someone reaches out for information or reaches out to another to connect.

How do I create an environment that allows that to happen?
Or at the very least, doesn't make it hard to do?
When I was talking to Aaron about what to put up there to identify myself, he said "Be an Information Architect.  It's way cooler than Learning Architect and in the wider world you will get more traction."

Did some surface digging as to what this was. sounded better and felt righter than anything else I had been toying with.

- Business Analyst - I've seen it defined as "process change manager."  In practice, it is often requirements management. I do a lot of this.  In Learning and Development, we call this Needs Assessment.  But it is far from the only thing I do.

- Program Manager - managing a collection of projects related to a program or service.  I'm kinda doing that, but it is more keeping track of what is going on that touches my world.  I initiate very few projects - mostly linked to my LMS.  The rest is other IT projects with products I might be able to leverage in my own ecosystem. I'm not terribly interested in building a parallel "learning environment". So that's not quite right.

- Knowledge Manager - encouraging folks to share knowledge with the greater organization.  Yeah...I do that and am working on that, but again it is a piece of what I am doing.
And then, there are the "architects".  

- Information Architect - I do a lot of curation and looking at how to make it easier to find information in our environment.  But again, it is not the only thing I am doing.  And the digital focus isn't quite it either, because a lot of information is housed in people.  See Knowledge Manager.

- Business Architecture - Seems to be another "Process Improver" type role - attempting to map tools / technologies to solving problems.  What problem are we trying to solve? What is the process in place to solve the problem now (if there is one)? What changes need to be made? What tools exist to help us? What tools need to be put in place?  Seems to require an understanding of the culture, the individual people that make up the culture, and the tools/technologies available (or needed) as well as an understanding of the problem (which is often tied up with the people and culture).  I like the idea of solving problems vs. just identifying problems.

- Learning / Performance Architect - This is Gary Wise's title for himself.  I've been adopted by the SWAT team as a bit of a mascot / translator between them and the end users.  This might be the closest "title" / discipline.  But I think Gary has this area cornered.  I'd feel a bit fake if I claimed this for myself.

I also wonder if "architect", as a concept, implies a level of permanence that doesn't exist.
On my drive between Monticello, FL (visiting my uncle) and Orlando - it dawned on me that I am really an Ecosystem Tender. Nursing an ecosystem to be its healthiest state.

In my case, I'm really a "Learning Ecosystem Tender." In this case, what I have defined as the learning environment - or "where people go when they think they want to learn something, even though they are learning stuff each time they talk to someone or look for information..."

Problem is - that's not really a discipline.  Neither is "Other Duties as Needed".

Generalists get such a bad rap.
But these are the folks who can play in the spaces.
Relate unrelated things.
Find solutions that may fall between recognized disciplines.

Maybe we should make up a "discipline" of generalists.
Codify what makes us folks tick and turn it into a "trainable" field.  With mastery paths and such.
Though that feels like that defeats the purpose.

Meanwhile...I'll keep playing.