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First Town Hall

Monday, Oct. 24, 2011

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the first Communication & Collaboration town hall. We had an excellent representation of staff, and a smattering of faculty and students. Our agenda was simple: brief introductions, explanation of our planned process, questions, with the greatest focus being on examples of work that could be improved by changes to our communication and collaboration process and tools. 

After our next meeting, we will post an updated list of the scenarios we’d like vendors to consider. Here is one example -- this one was the “starting my day” example we mentioned at the town hall:

I sit down at my desk (home or on-campus) and log into the private network (even on a wired connection). A portal/homepage opens showing my email in-box, documents that have been recently edited, a dashboard showing project progress, the University news feed, and a snippet of my calendar. I see that our Task Force report is due and click into that workspace. From inside the workspace I see that several questions have been raised around one of the Task Force documents so I begin working on it  -- and pleasantly discover that my colleague is working on another section of the document at the same time.  We realize that we need a perspective from a student, ideally in the Engineering college -- I jump the University facebook and see a senior engineering student who is currently on-line. She answers our question and were done. At lunch I click on the Adobe Lodge menu and send an instant message to a friend asking them to meet me. My work is seamless and I don’t sign-in again for the rest of the day.

Task force members are building out scenarios like this to share with the vendors. We think this approach will keep them more focused on our needs and less on a list of features a particular tool might provide. 

Thanks to everyone who suggested new examples during the meeting and since (see comments to prior posts). Keep them coming here and/or comment on the ones already mentioned. 

Comments Comments

Mike Nuttall said on Oct 25, 2011
Just sharing some information on what the Ignatian Center has been utilizing and some current needs we would love to have addressed: When I started last August, our offices worked primarily off of a shared drive for documents, groupwise for email, and my sense is people used groupwise for calendaring. We had one shared staff calendar, but it wasn't used with any regularity. My sense is almost all work was done on desktops in the office. I pushed for shifts from these tools for a variety of reasons: 1) I commute from SF everyday and use train time to do work. Broader still, I wanted tools that could easily access documents from wherever I was, be it the office, train, or home 2) Of the 10 of us on staff, 6 of us have ipads that we use for work to varying degrees and at least 8 of us have smartphones so we needed tools that could work across mobile platforms 3) We have traditionally been a departmental office, working within our silos. As we strive towards greater collaboration and integration, we needed tools that can match. Tools we utilize 1) Google Docs: I do almost all of my work (95%) on google docs, and Valerie in my department also utilizes it to a significant degree. We have recently begun using a small number of shared documents for office-wide tasks. this is an experiment to see if people find it to be effective. We house them in a central google account I created 2) Google Calendar: Our miost successful shift has been calendaring. We have google calendars for staff vacation, Center and university events, and student assistant schedules and room space. These are shared with the staff, accessible via various devices, and always backed up remotely. Needs: Google docs and calendar are major assets for us and they address many of our needs, but there are some drawbacks (integration and formatting). 1)Calendar: Our calendar system works internally, but there are not the benefits of the system wide integration, allowing others to see when we are free or busy, adding events from the SCU website directly to calendars, 2) Personal/professional accounts: We currently use personal google accounts for documents, calendar etc. The ability to connect our scu accounts to documents, calendars, etc would be fantastic but currently doesn't exist in a format useful for us. 3) University address book: Being able to access the university address book on mobile devices (currently available for a cost) Staff comfort: Our biggest challenge is we have folks who have done the same thing the same way for a long time, and that is a challenge to go against via new tools. Also, the benefit impact staff differently, so the cost of change is often not worth it to everyone Opportunity: our biggest opportunity is document sharing across platforms that can easily be organized and searched Thanks for your work on this and hope this information is helpful as you move forward
Terri Griffith said on Oct 25, 2011
Great, rich, example. I hope others gain from your experiences in the time before we get something more integrated. I also appreciate your comment at the end -- very realistic view of the challenge versus the opportunity. I think SCU is somewhat unique in that each group we've talked to has highlighted how others may have greater costs and how these must be addressed, just as the tech tools are addressed. Gives me hope.
Connie Rice said on Oct 26, 2011
It was very interesting to attend the Town Hall and I appreciate all the thought and work the task force is putting into this project. One perspective I think may be missing from the task force is representation by a campus entity that has a significant amount of communication that needs to go out to large student groups. Office of the Registrar and/or Drahmann come to mind. Thanks again to the task force.
Terri Griffith said on Oct 26, 2011
Connie, either we have ESP or a committee member was reading this comment during our meeting. Yes, this is a missing group. We'll check in ASAP and thank you.
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