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).

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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....

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  Yeah...it 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.