External Enemy: Sense of Urgency

There is a lot of talk on rapid failure. However, if failure is not sowed back quickly, fertilized by a sense of urgency in the soil of good culture, it becomes a candidate for cover up.

My first national scale, multimillion dollar project had completed it’s first major milestone: hosting a national conference. Complacency from the success seemed to be getting better of the team. An error in procurements for the next meeting did not show itself until about 6 weeks before the next national meeting. The error meant a few 10s of thousands of dollars worth of expense or sacrifice in features. 

I was glad to have read (and listened) Kotter’s book Sense of Urgency twice in 2014: Once in May, and then again in Fall. Converting the failure into a story, finding an external artifact to fight against, the team started coming together as one force against all odds to prevent further slip ups. Inspired by the determination to make the best of the situation, people put their game faces on and started delivering high quality productivity within a week, well in advance of the national conference. 

The road ahead is tough. Four more weeks to the conference, but at least the support team is acting like one big coalition towards this deliverable. I wish them and myself luck on the uphill task ahead.

tribetect:

Education xChange

Design Thinking Conference at the U-M Ross School of Business 

January 23, 2015

This one day event was organized jointly by U-M with local tech companies actively presenting and showing demos. Assessment, Technology vs Instructional Design, Games for Education, and K-12 education were themes visible throughout the talks. 

The keynote highlighted Google’s past, present, and future with education. The case of a geography teacher from Grand Rapids visiting CERN in Switzerland, and doing a Google hangout with his class while in the CERN reactor, as he biked along the accelerator was an impressive idea. It highlighted Google’s commitment to 10X improvements, not small incremental improvements in technology available to the masses. Speakers were Michigan alumni, working at Google. U-M faculty like Barry Fishman and Perry Samson presented and/or participated in panels on improving education. I learnt that Dr. Fishman (School of Ed) led President Obama’s digital education initiative planning team. Nice.

Overall, the resounding message said: technology is a means to the end of quality education. Teaching and assessment design matter much more than technology, and Jordan won a Samsung Galaxy tablet in Google’s end-of-keynote raffle. 

Sponsor engagement is crucial to project success. 
We knew about a council meeting being held by our sponsor, NIH NCATS. However, when it became apparent there was a live webcast watching opportunity, our leadership, managers, and staff dropped everything to see Petra Kaufmann present live.
For the project management / PMBOK geek, it’s all about Enterprise Environment Factors. Sponsor engagement is crucial to project success. 
We knew about a council meeting being held by our sponsor, NIH NCATS. However, when it became apparent there was a live webcast watching opportunity, our leadership, managers, and staff dropped everything to see Petra Kaufmann present live.
For the project management / PMBOK geek, it’s all about Enterprise Environment Factors.

Sponsor engagement is crucial to project success. 

We knew about a council meeting being held by our sponsor, NIH NCATS. However, when it became apparent there was a live webcast watching opportunity, our leadership, managers, and staff dropped everything to see Petra Kaufmann present live.

For the project management / PMBOK geek, it’s all about Enterprise Environment Factors.

Some awesome educational IT work umich showcased at last week’s IT symposium Some awesome educational IT work umich showcased at last week’s IT symposium Some awesome educational IT work umich showcased at last week’s IT symposium Some awesome educational IT work umich showcased at last week’s IT symposium Some awesome educational IT work umich showcased at last week’s IT symposium Some awesome educational IT work umich showcased at last week’s IT symposium Some awesome educational IT work umich showcased at last week’s IT symposium Some awesome educational IT work umich showcased at last week’s IT symposium Some awesome educational IT work umich showcased at last week’s IT symposium Some awesome educational IT work umich showcased at last week’s IT symposium

Some awesome educational IT work umich showcased at last week’s IT symposium

Burn and learn. #TGIF