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Thinking Aloud: University Enterprise Architecture Themes and Horizons
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Thinking Aloud: University Enterprise Architecture Themes and Horizons


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. It provides some of my thinking and research on ideas and themes for looking at technology trends over three horizons (2011, 2015 and 2020), business strategy and enterprise architecture, …

. It provides some of my thinking and research on ideas and themes for looking at technology trends over three horizons (2011, 2015 and 2020), business strategy and enterprise architecture, application architectures and themes and how we might … just might begin take all of this forward. It is essentially a list of the things I will be thinking about, reading about, working on and blogging about in 2011 all mixed up together to hopefully understand better as the year progresses.

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  • Caveat and Warnings!This thinking aloud document is the result of 3 weeks of holiday, too many exciting new books for Christmas, lots of interesting questions posed by colleagues and 5 days worth of research and thinking . It is not so much a presentation as my personal coaching manual for 2011. It provides some of my thinking and research on ideas and themes for looking at technology trends over three horizons (2011, 2015 and 2020), business strategy and enterprise architecture, application architectures and themes and how we might … just might begin take all of this forward. It is essentially a list of the things I will be thinking about, reading about, working on and blogging about in 2011 all mixed up together to hopefully understand better as the year progresses.The starting point was a presentation I prepared for an IT department workshop at Royal Holloway, that included managers and architects from IT, AV Library and E-Learning … all of us who are in the business of providing technology and information services in some way to the college. It came in between a segment on strategic directions from Laura Gibbs, IT Director and Huw Michael on technical architecture.This is an augmented version of the presentation that includes some subsequent notes and thoughts that were not prepared beforehand but that came out of the day, and from subsequent follow up research and were worth capturing for future reference. These are raw thoughts written up for my own reference and use rather than refined thoughts, but obviously build upon plenty of great work done elsewhere by some fantastic analysts, thinkers and colleagues and so are shared in the same spirit in case anyone else finds it useful. Alison Pope, January 2011
  • The Analysts Say …Looking at what some of the trends key analysts have identified in technology and application architecture in general.General Agreement on Some Key Trends:1. Location IndependenceMobilePersonalUbiquitousContext2. Cloud Utility ComputingCloud, SaaS, SOA all really add up to industrialisation, automation so IT can scale to a utility which is a better term than the semantically empty and suitably nebulous term ‘cloud’ computing. Digital data has never exactly been tangible…Dynamic, scalable provisioningSubscription pricing modelsBottom up purchasing3. Standards and InteroperabilityUncontrolled platforms/devicesMashups and intermediationsApp stores and modularisation4. Patterns and AnalyticsData explosion5. CollaborationVirtual, loosely coupled enterprises = federationSocialPresenceGartner Webinar: Top Technology Predictions for 2011 and Beyond Online sabotage of infrastructure2. CIO performance based on revenue generation by IT3. Increase IT spending per head by 60% for an information smart business4.Tools and automation will eliminate 25% or labour hours associated with IT services5.External assessment of enterprise value and viability includes IT assets and capabilities6. Cloud services accountability via independent certification7.20% of non0it global 500 will be cloud services computing8.50% of web sales via social presence and mobile applications9.90% of organisations will support corporate applications on personal devices10.80% of workforce using personal not enterprise devices11. 10% of your online ‘friends’ will be non-humanZapThink Vision for Enterprise IT in 20105 Super TrendsComplex Systems Engineering2. Location Independence3. Global Cubicle4. Democratization of Technology5. Deep Interoperability
  • Trends and Technology Map 2010 Watson has written this trend map for several years now that uses the paradigm of a tube map to track lines of innovation through zones of development. Again common themes: urbanisation, globalisation, localism, digitalisation and personalisation are at the hub of lots of trends and technologies.
  • A more HE Centric View … Johnson, L., Levine, A., Smith, R., & Stone, S. (2010). The 2010 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.“The annual Horizon Report describes the continuing work of the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Project, a qualitative research project established in 2002 that identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry on college and university campuses within the next five years”Key TrendsThe abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators in sense-making, coaching, and credentialingPeople expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want toThe technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralizedThe work of students is increasingly seen as collaborative by nature, and there is more cross- campus collaboration between departmentsCritical ChallengesThe role of the academy — and the way we prepare students for their future lives — is changingNew scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching continue to emerge but appropriate metrics for evaluating them increasingly and far too often lag behindDigital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and professionInstitutions increasingly focus more narrowly on key goals, as a result of shrinking budgets in the present economic climate
  • The first step to creating good enterprise and application architecture is to understand the business strategy you are trying to support. This means understanding how our university works as both an academy and a business: the full university enterprise, where we are now and how the funding and political context is instigating changes that may result in rapid changes by 2015. We are still waiting for our new management teams and service reviews to finish their strategy cycle but in anticipation this section imagines some of the key areas and activities our senior management team and other service providers will be thinking about as they develop our corporate and service strategies in the light of the current economic and political context, and trends within the sector.
  • I got the book Business Model Generation for Christmas. So it starts me thinking about where we are likely to go next as a university. We have a new senior management team, a new funding landscape, the winds of new market forces and expectations whipping at higher education. Where does the sector, the college, service providers go next?Our new senior management team will be working on our business model and how we differentiate ourselves from the standard university enterprise business model to define our unique proposition. We do not know yet what will come here but we know the standard university model, our current model, the challenges we face in the current political and economic climate and so we can pre-empt and imagine what is likely or might possibly develop here so we are moving in the right direction to respond as our strategy and an organisation level firms up and cascades through service strategies. We might not fully know yet where we are heading but when can chart a trajectory based on our current knowledge and best guess and adjust as the landscape becomes more clear. We can also apply this model to how we operate as a service.What is our business model?What do universities sell?What is our ROI?Their Curriculum?An Experience?Mentoring?Assessment and Validation?Space?Access to Resources?Content?Research Knowledge?Which of these are we really good at? Which are our core competencies?How do we deliver it?How do we make money from it?Customer SegmentsConsumers of Curriculum?Young people looking for full time studyOlder people taking a career break looking for full time studyWorking people looking to study for professional developmentPeople looking to take short courses or study part time for enjoymentSenior executives looking for elite professional development.Consumers of Research?Consumers of Client Services?How do we deliver services?How is this going to change?What does this mean?For the college…For us as service providers …
  • Four Spheres of Activity within a University Enterprise: a Technology Oriented ReviewIf we place our technology, applications and processes in the middle what categories of organizational activity consume our offerings?Student and Academic Services (Administrative Computing) support all the administrative processes around providing an academic experience to faculty and students. It’s about curriculum, scheduling, enrolment, registration, assessment, classification, accommodation and other operational service particular to an academic organisation.Scholarship is all about academic practice so the teaching, learning and research activities faculty and students engage in on a daily basis during the normal course of an academic term. Anything from carrying out and recording lab experiments to citing a reference. Because there are more user centric activities and less managed processes i.e. less direct engagement with (central) organisational services we know less about this sphere and how technology is used and enables or obstructs.Client Services is all the organisational units and processes that support standard organisational operations many of which exist in any type of organisation or business e.g. finance, facilities management, strategy and senior management, human resources, web publishing and external relations, technology services etc. These are the ligaments and muscles of an organisation: how it gets its basic operations done.Organisation Intelligence is about how adaptive and flexible the organisation. How much does it know about itself and its competitiors, how easily can it measure itself and change, how easy is it for it to collaborate? This involves not just traditional BI data management and reporting but more sophisticated approach to data, information, policy, knowledge, communications and collaboration. This is the nervous system of the organisation.Historically we have tended to support well the administrative and operational activities but perhaps less onOrganisational Intelligence and Scholarship and these areas are beginning to get more resource and technology support.
  • Empathy Maps help us understand customers, customer segments and define user requirements for solution and service design by putting a customer or persona at the centre and imagining what they think, feel, say, do, hear, how their environment influences them, what frustrations they experience and what they think will make their life better. This can be done generically or using specific personas from the persona library and could be done for one or several time periods e.g. compare 2011, 2015 and 2020
  • Themes help us to collate together some overarching issues or trends that we have noticed from the above previous analysis and from working on applications and projects across the college the last three years. Collating into themes helps us see broader patterns over slightly longer timescales than through project and programme management and moves planning from chaotic and reactive to proactive service models. Themes provide a way of connecting work pipelines with the high level trends and strategies discussed to start to narrow down our focus areas as technology and service providers and architects. This section looks at some of the key themes we think will be crucial for improving user experience, developing our architecture and supporting new and existing business services between now and 2015.
  • 2011 Technology Themes in Enterprise Architecture Brainstorming
  • This has been around for ages, and yet never seems any nearer to resolution. One of the key challenges that emerges is finding the right balance between seamless and transparent access to services for end users and protecting and securing systems, data and infrastructure appropriately. It requires will and trust between a range of intra- and inter- organisational identity and service providers. It requires a systemic understanding of access policies and provisioning processes. The invisible but important identity and access middleware project is foundational to delivering improvements and opportunities in organisational, federated and user centric access and security.This isn’t just a core middleware programme however. Access and security is a key theme and in order for many improvements in technology and business services to really delivery improved efficiencies and experiences then providing a robust, flexible but standards based identity and access platform is fundamental. Increased knowledge of access and authentication methods and policies needs to be incorporated across all applications and architectures via better reference architectures as is a good grasp of detailed policy and governance structures
  • Photo: Darren Kuropatwa ( content management challenge is going to be huge. Even scoping and capacity models were prepared 2-3 years ago seem quaint now and challenge our existing capacity and cost models. Who pays to store all this content? For how long? And how much will it cost us? Digitised content is expanding and changing in terms of:Scope (there is more and a richer variety of it than we imagined)Delivery (greater diversity of channels and formats is demanded)Activity (the full lifecycle from creation, curation, preservation and discovery must be included. This involves lots of different types and locations for interaction with content)Audience (greater diversity of users accessing content. It’s not just for students and academics anymore).Additionally there are some debates about the position and role of content in the university value proposition. As content proliferates and a greater range of providers enter and the open content movement challenges existing cost and supply models for content different challenges arrive around assessing the value of content. What is it’s value? How do we generate revenue from it? If content is free how do we cover the cost of providing it? How can we use content as an entry point to other services and to support of mission and strategy?What market forces may disrupt existing content models? What are the roles of publishers, of broadcasters, of other companies (such as Apple with their store based distribution model. If they enter the newspaper and magazine digital distribution business how long before companies like them and not just Open Access or Google challenge existing publishing models?)
  • The Content Management Challenge Brainstorm
  • Photo: Joe Philipson ( data explosion is already here. We need to cope with masses of data and make it fit for purpose in multiple scenarios.Single point of truth or multiple routes/roots to truthMaster data and/or linked data do these have to be exclusive approaches?Covers management information, learning information, research information both internally and externally: participating in rich interconnected knowledge networks.Trends in:Open Data and AccessAnalytics: Pattern Matching and VisualisationLinking DataSocial DataSemantics Layers and Abstraction: Ontologies and Concept Models will be an important first stage to developing web services, intefaces and data driven applications.Information standards and governance.Protection: Release Policies and the blance between Data Protection and Freedom of InformationConnected repositoriesCollaborative access to research datasetsPublishing data not just publications as research outputs.Evolution of the ‘web’: 1.0 Static 2.0 Social 3.0 Spatial 4.0 SemanticGreening Our DataReduce – release data appropriately. Just in time and just enough to meet the requirement.Reuse – data objects where possible (via crosswalks if necessary)Recycle – only replicate when necessaryUser Centered Information
  • The student and academic services review programme and academic development services are considering our curriculum lifecycle and management. We expect them to take the lead in this area during 2011. As new approaches to curriculum are required and more flexible and adaptive learning pathways demanded by lifelong learners we will work with the outcomes of their reviews and strategies to support effective and holistic curriculum lifecyle appropriately supported by technology.
  • We already know that space and the effective use of it on campus is a key issue short to medium term issue but we also expect a more philosophical consideration of space, place and practice to emerge.Theorists of sociology and globalisation have been predicting changes in our experience of the boundaries and relationships of space and time for a while now (such as Manuel Castells theory of The Network Society and AnthongGiddens on space-time distanciation) but this hasn’t really translated into actual experience for many people beyond a small kinetic and connected social elite group. Whilst universities are reaching out to students globally at present this is still mainly about global marketing combined with local delivery rather than true shifts in the space, place and and time provided by campuses and the academic experience … these trends haven’t really hit the university enterprise yet, much activity happens in fixed campus locations at fixed and constrained times … but we expect trends in time and place shifting, in the need for ubiquitous computing and support to have more of an influence by 2015 … Ambient computing will be required to provide pervasive and ubiquitous computing so that people can work and study from their location of choice: at home, in their workplace, on a train, in formal college spaces, in informal environments.
  • Balance of research and learning not a false dichotomy and there are interesting trends emerging in research led teaching and teaching led research. It is tempting in the current climate where students are being charged ever larger views and will carefully weigh up the costs of their education and university experience versus the benefits to treat students ever more as simply consumers of educational. But even whilst learning, discovering, being taught or mentored students have the potential to play a much more productive role in the university experience. From Walter Benjamin to digital interactivity critical theorists have been interested in challenging passive theories of consumption and Mike Neary has been pursuing research into the student as producer for several years. How can we re-imagine the possibilities for the ways we interact with students, the often false divisions we place between different types of academic personnel or practice at the moment, is there a different, and distinctive academic experience yet to be explored?Mike Neary: A Pedagogy of the Avant-Garde HE Academy Project Conference
  • Photo: Spreng Ben ( to where we are whilst being asked to do more with less is a challenge it is the kind of challenge to relish for it allows us to explore the contribution we can make through architecture and service innovation to meet this challenge and succeed in a changing landscape. We have new and unique opportunities to use architecture and innovation in transformative ways for the radical evolution or our organisation“He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator. ” – Francis Bacon"If we are to achieve things never before accomplished we must employ methods never before attempted"  - Francis BaconHarvard Business Review: The Number One Key to nnovation: Scarcity Webinar: Best Practices in Enterprise and Application Architecture the future state before the current state…It is true that often analysis of a problem domain begins with the As Is state … this webinar is interesting for advising starting with the To Be. Imagine your future state unconstrained from your starting point initially otherwise it will always be constrained by the prism of your current thinking and perspective. Work out the To Be first and then work about the possibilities and approaches to move from As Is To Be. We must project the future not anticipate the past.
  • This section has some high level thoughts on what the implications of this are for application support and development.
  • Changing approaches to working with enterprise applications:We often work in application groups but we are starting to look at how we can build horizontal competency centre issues to tackle cross-domain/multi-domain issues like identity and shared data and processes. Our application groups are still useful for team organisation and knowledge sharing and project delivery but
  • Changing approaches to application architecture:Moving the focus away from discrete applications and systems and both breaking them down into smaller pieces of functionality (apps or services) and building them up into more holistic and joined up data models and solutions/platforms that better orient technology to end to end business processes and services. Some of these will remain on premise some of them will increasingly be offered by externally, either the infrastructure or as fully hosting solutions/services.Platform Examples:ContentAssessmentDiscoveryCurriculumProcessCollaboration
  • This section provides some whiteboard images and further notes follow up thoughts that didn’t initially make it into the original presentation but respond to questions and directions that came out of the day … because no doubt I will need to remember all this to navigate through 2011.
  • THEJournal 2020Vision“Projecting ahead to 2020, what will students’ experiences look like?Cator: We’re talking about the opportunity for students to wake up in the morning with a strong sense of purpose that they’re going to school because they are in the business of learning. They are empowered with their own device, their own learning record, their own feedback. They know what they’re going to do next without having to wait for someone to tell them. And they have access to the people around them—not just physically around them, but people who might be online, the experts, anyone who can help them get where they need to go. They will still go to a place and still have these people called teachers who are working with them and are connected with their work.”UCISA Top Concerns2008/92010/11 Expected in February 2011EDUCAUSENot sure if this is relevant but there are most topics in EDUCAUSE’s resource library on E-Learning (1051), 682 on Instructional Technologies, there are 512 on identity and Access Management, 443 on support services, 366 on collaboration, 312 on Teaching, 286 on libraries and technology, 240 on student engagement and interaction, 222 on Data Administration and Management, 144 on Student Information Systems. This is not very scientific (being guided by a taxonomy), and is not an indication of importance but can perhaps help inform in which areas practice and knowledge is more established, and which are still emerging and developing.Top-Ten IT Issues, 20101. Funding IT2. Administrative/ERP/Information Systems3. Security 4. Teaching and Learning with Technology 5. Identity/Access Management6. (tie). Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity6. (tie). Governance, Organization, and Leadership7. Agility, Adaptability, and Responsiveness8. Learning Management Systems9. Strategic Planning10. Infrastructure/CyberinfrastructureOther ReferencesXplana: Education and Technology Trends 2011 consumer Trends 2011“No Degree, No Problem Economic uncertainty has changed the workplace and the meaning of job security for the foreseeable future. As a result consumers will continue to question higher education’s ROI and alternative channels for learning will gain credibility. In 2011 we may see more lifelong learning in the workplace, corporate sponsored degrees and companies investing in employees through education and training rather than salary or benefits. Meanwhile learning while doing, rather than learning in a lecture hall, may become a focus and with DIY education gaining steam, there’s an opportunity for brands to play host.”
  • From the business development workshop presentationWe’ve started building a library of archetypes on which we can hang usage scenarios, use cases, test cases and test data to understand requirements and work through issues using story approaches rather than starting with traditional functional specifications which are often difficult in complex systems. These can be refined as more data patterns emerge from project experiences and usage analytics. One of our key drivers and value propositions is THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE yet we don’t often use design thinking from UX (User Experience) or UCD (User Centered Design) in our analysis or solution design and specification we proceed quite quickly from initial elicitation workshops that describe user problems to functional specifications that describe the solutions technically. Specifications often detail the system functionality (i.e. what the technology should do – often by systems analysts), or the business process (i.e. the mechanics of how our organisation will deliver a service – often described by business managers) before the user journey and interactions (i.e understanding what PEOPLE want to do – described by users of our service). If we want to deliver a user experience … we should be designing for one and then work out the data and software components that will enable not frustrate that. Each year we should look around and ask where can we learn next? So in addition to gaining deeper knowledge of technologies from storage solutions to code innovations, trends development and project management methodologies and analysis techniques such as process modelling, rule management and semantic structures we can broaden our knowledge by learning from graphic design, interaction design and user experience theory – fields slightly outside our domain to help build not just good systems but good innovative solutions.Personal Library:
  • From the business development workshop presentationExample (from elearning) on how a Persona can be used to build usage scenarios and user stories to help to create requirements that are more agile and more centered on the user experience rather than describing a system in and of itself it describes the user’s relationship with it.In the example we know a lot of the system functionality that is required to make this happen:The user needs an identity that provides credentials that allows them to authenticate. The learning system needs to know what courses are in the curriculum and which courses Helen teaches so that when she has logged in she has the permission to access and edit the correct courses. This requires information on the available curriculum and then the particular ones where Helen has some sort of teacher role (course convenor, tutor) so we need to know her access rights.Helen then needs to be able to easily upload and edit course content within the learning system and be able to keep this hidden or invisible from students until she is ready to publish it. Within the learning environment Helen needs to know all the people who are taking her course and be able to send them an email that will be delivered to their inbox, ideally without leaving the learning environment. We also know where confusion might arise and help and support be required. We can provide support and help through knowledge bases and service desks but ideally we’d think through the interaction so that some of these issues and misunderstandings are resolved within the experience.The idea of sending a message implies there may be multiple communication channels that could be and starts to complicate the interaction design here when another persona comes into play. From dealing with tutors we know that they assume this means an email will be sent and so we need to design a system that always sends an email even if the message could also be delivered in other ways too (perhaps to a user selected preference). There is potentially a user experience conflict here whereby students may prefer other notification methods but if a tutor expects an email or at least some way they can be reassured important communications reach and are read by students there may be an interaction gap. This then for example results in incidents raised in the service desk that take staff time to explain so the interaction design needs to be intuitive but also include training and support especially as communication channels for notification methods start to expand. Many users in commercial environments now expect a choice whether to receive a notification via many routes such as email, text message, push notification on a phone, twitter message etc etc and may resent being forced to receive notifications in a certain way.Using personas, usage scenarios and user story modelling we can begin to explore these issues and balance these requirements before we get into prototyping possible issues, or put a service into operation and receive several help desk tickets from confused users!
  • Example of how a persona or generic customer or segment can be used in an empathy map. This was for ourselves (technology service providers in 2011). Also available as a more readable mind map at: I can’t read my writing either. And this whiteboard capture thing could do with some improvement!We still mostly work at set times in set places, usually our office in core office hours. We sometimes meet in coffee shops to chatWe access and build services, read, write and collaborate on documents, analyse data and go to meetingsWe have multiple mobile devices (phones, laptops)Despite this we still print out documents a lot. Easier to annotate to take to meetings, also easy to get a mental map of the document and understand its structureWe hate paper jamsOne of the things we find most difficult is finding documents, data and information even documents we have filed somewhere. We cannot easily get at the information we need and even if we do we aren’t confident we are the right version.We collaborate on documents mainly by emailing word documents to each other and using comment and review.We don’t like it when things move. That makes it even harder to find things.In fact … can we have all our documents in one place pleaseWe hear that things are too complicated, take to long and are hard to accessWe think all or at least many of our problems would be solved and life would be easier if we had single sign on: less credentials and less need to present themWe feel overloaded. We don’t know how to keep up with all the information we need to process or all the incoming calls we get … we’d like more time to thinkWe would like more visual guidance when learning new things like videos. But really we wish the technology would just know what we want it to do and adapt accordingly.We like it to be easier to screen and divert incoming calls appropriately and to call other people without complicated routes to remember, then look up their details and figure out where they will be … we need to be able to communicate with othersWe want to balance quiet thinking time with availabilityWe’d like more informal and adaptable space to work in … but standard software packages so we don’t have compatibility issues between different document formatsWe find video conferencing hard and strange .. So we don’t really use it
  • Example of how a persona or generic customer or segment can be used in an empathy map. This was for ourselves (technology service providers in 2015). Also available as a more readable mindmap: expect that since 2011 we will … have delivered some things, missed the boat on some things, got many things right, got some things wrong, be using things we didn’t even think of.The trends of location independence, time shifting and intelligent information delivery will give us a more personalised technology and working experience (and learning experience for our students and collaborators) and therefore social media, collaboration tools and presence and unified presence and communication tools will be commonplace to provide the sense of togetherness and chat we need to work and create cultures and working environments effectively even as physical presence becomes more fragmented and ad hoc.device consolidation and convergence, increasing use of agents to pull and filter information and communications in prioritised and adaptive way so the key information for our day is brought to us rather than having to a) find it b) even go to a single place/portal for it.battery life will be a big issues possibly solved by more flexible charging solutions and wireless electricity but even so demand for energy and sustainable computing will still be a large technology and environmental issuepredictive docks/start menus may start to figure what we like to do at particular times and work out what we expect to seewe’ll be working in more mixed use zones rather than designated offices/formal spaces. Mixed use space will be easier due to new technologies in noise control and increasing flexible AV with standard connectors.we’ll not know what it’s like to not be connected and always onlinethe way to demonstrate our identity and access services will be consolidated on a single device that we’ll use for everything from getting into buildings and vehicles to paying for our coffeewe’ll be hearing about delivering technology to students and staff more globally and to new market segments including more in work place deliveryinformation skills will be a challenge and content delivery and distribution and licensing will still make accessing resources a pain even if the access and identity technology challenges are solved and we’ll still worry about the balance of user friendly access and information security commercial market forces take over and companies that are beginning to specialise in content and curation and content supply chain delivery (like broadcasters and technology companies think BBC iPlayer, Apple App, iTunes and Music Stores) come into play and we’ve outsourced delivery of our content from learning objects to research papers, journals and apps to access our datasets to the slickest solutionwe know that more market forces are coming but genuinely don’t know at what level they will effect us: utility computing, content provision, space management and collaboration or competition with whole new classes of academic institution and providerwe’ll still be working with large vendors but we’ll also work a lot more with micro developers and enterprises to deliver services and functionality.we will still have paper, some people will still prefer to sketch and read this way but others will never use it. most services will be delivered using web servicesabstracted data and data analysis, visualisation, pattern matching and analytics will be huge and again probably performed by agents. Even so … information overload will continue to rise and we’ll need new skills to deal with all this processing ..We probably won’t worry so much about spelling … or even typing. …Time will become more elastic with boundaries becoming more blurred between working time and personal time … we won’t see this as a problem or intrusive as long as we have new strategies (management, time management) and skills for coping with a time shifted, time offset flexible and modular time structure. We will focus more on units of delivery and outputs that actual time and there will be more choice around doing things in real time when scheduled or at a time shifted to suit. Working patterns will adjust to match this reducing core time but increasing flexibility.
  • Image by Nedra; it wouldn’t be a document from me if there wasn’t a sporting metaphor in here somewhere ….Finding the edge: more on strategy and tactics and connecting ideation with execution … how to move on blue skies thinking and the here and now at the same time. Sports people do this all the time, football players, hockey plays chess players are the masters at it. It’s the way to win the game. Know your next option … but also know what your likely next options are and what your opponents may do to stand in your way then as the game unfolds make your next move and prescan ahead. Teams build their strategy around enhancing their strengths, limiting their weaknesses, developing their playing style, their playbook and their fitness and building their squad over many season. For game time they have tactics."Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun TzuThe key question came during the workshop … now we have the vision … how do we start delivering? We have empathy maps and an understanding of (a) user requirements (we also hopefully have good business rules, glossaries and process maps that the Business Development team are working on producing at the start of projects) … so what next? How will we get there? How will all this? How does this feed into the prioritisation and planning process? After all the key to innovation is execution not ideation ….Moving anything in the right direction, whether an organisation, a service, a department, a team, a technology roadmap, and architecture needs both the strategy and tactical next steps to be developed and executed at the same time. Like tackling a tall mountain it is necessary to see or imagine the summit or the next peak to tackle, but to tackle it you plan a proposed route broken down into a series of smaller sections and base camp milestones and then you start to trek. Planning is the same.Strategy and Tactics: What's the difference between strategy and tactics and how can your business benefit from them?“The truly powerful distinction isn't between strategy and tactics, but between philosophy and planning”JISC, Tim Marshall, Five Factors for Survival Your BusinessKnow Your NumbersStrive to be TrustedEmpower the TeamSee Over the Horizon
  • Using decision quadrants to explore priorities for business cases, project initiation documents and detailed planning.Decision Quadrant: How/Now/Wow by NityaWakhlu“When people want to develop new ideas, they most often think out of the box in the brainstorming or divergent phase. However, when it comes to convergence, people often end up picking ideas that are most familiar to them. This is called a ‘creative paradox’ or a ‘creadox’.The How-Now-Wow matrix is an idea selection tool that breaks the creadox by forcing people to weigh each idea on 2 parameters.”How/Now/Wow questions can also help with elicitation: you can ask users what helps/hinders them now, what they would like to know how to do and what would make them go wow ….
  • If a decision quadrant can help with priorities I’ve been experimenting with displaying this as a continuum to help develop a sense of direction and movement and potential timelines. Using a strategy continuum to judge movement, momentum and resource coverage … where are themes, projects, requests, technologies etc on a continuum from established, through emergent to edge. May help focus on the ‘getting there, what’s next bit’. This will be relevant to a scope e.g. for an institution may be different to sector/marketplace in general as it depends on your institutional starting point. Where are we good, what do we have covered, where should we invest next to move us on.I’ve been experimenting with this for thinking about IT skills coverage but could be used for themes, projects, anything really. You can use different classifications and categories to organise. The main focus is helping understand the here and now, the next and the possible which are three key factors in getting things done.
  • Planning and development cycles and methodologies: request and requirements management.From initial prioritisation comes … Iterative Planning, Design and Development (not forgetting design)When it comes to planning, prioritisation and solution design, development and delivery we will be looking at iterative planning models that deliver smaller pieces of value or functionality more regularly as part of a culture of continuous development. Using visualisation, simulation, protoyping and beta services in advance of fully production systems and using aspects of RUP, UCD/UX and Agile development methodologies and Prince2 and Scrum project methodologies as appropriate (rather than be ruled by one methodology) to build upon our competencies in this area. The focus is more on up front visualisation and modelling rather than documentation, rapid and iterative development. Documentation should be just enough and just in time to design, build and support a working solution to a user problem or business requirement and going development is about ‘tuning’ rather than ‘fixing’ systems.Bringing User Centered Design to Agile Development Emerging best practices for adding UX work to Agile development
  • Images from a notecard interview with Dave Grey founder of Xplane a Business Design Thinking Company and author of Gamestorming: A playbook for innovators, rule-breakers and changemakers that looks at how games can provide the continuous innovation to respond to business challenges at people may not be used to playing games in business situation. Moving from dry documents and formal specifications can be a difficult change to grasp. This slide provides some background theory on why games can help us do more productive and original work. In fact incorporating design thinking and gamestorming into business strategy is probably another (non-tech) key trend for 2011-2015. Games can reduce friction and help us see challenges in different ways.Dr Stuart Brown’s TED Talk on how important play is to human development and intelligence. Information Exchange Article on Work and Play and games in solution design and development can involve:Storytelling and narrativesSimulation and role playingPrototyping and experimenting with long betasSketching and visualising
  • My notes from the day….Built using those glorious technologies …. Pencil and Paper!Full spec: Pencil (2B) and paper (A4 branded grid, 90gsm) 
  • Technology Horizons and References. Various links to background reading and context used when preparing for the workshop.
  • Thanks and acknowledgements.
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