Workflow Assessment at Michigan State University's MATRIX


Published on

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • BRIAN   This semester we took a look at MATRIX, the Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Science Online at Michigan State University. MATRIX serves as a digital humanities center.  They work with public, private, and academic partners around the world to digitize, preserve, and display cultural works. **Explain what we will cover***
  • BRIAN Our goal was to examine the overall digitization process at MATRIX. This process begins when materials - usually audio or video tapes - are brought in by an outside client,  goes through the actual digitization process,  and to the return of those materials to the client. Often, a website for showcasing the digitized files is requested, and MATRIX does that as well. So to do this, we interviewed 7 people at MATRIX.  They came from all areas of the organization - the digital lab, the technical staff, project managers, and the director of MATRIX.
  • BRIAN   Much of what MATRIX does works very well. In fact, they are one of the leading centers for this type of work in the country.  We propose that this is due to three key factors:   The staff extremely knowledgeable very well-trained & experienced The culture informal & flexible encourages staff autonomy The technology Needs are always met If they don't have it, they can build it But there are a few areas for improvement...
  • JEFF When Matrix receives materials, they do not have a consistent means of organizing them. Some materials are not clearly labeled.  Some materials are even mislabeled.
  • JEFF   What's important here is the quote. We heard quite a bit about this intake form,  but once we dug in, we learned that whatever form there once was,  it clearly hasn't really been used.
  • JEFF   A very simple recommendation. Create a clean, simple form for recording information about newly received materials. MATRIX gets sort of two levels of projects  - quick, small projects that they don't have to track long term (often from the MSU History Department)  and larger ones from outside clients. Two separate forms might be helpful to split these types of projects.
  • EMILY   Another finding that was prominent in our data collection was that communication breakdowns among the staff were common and very frustrating for staff. Often, these breakdowns impacted the success of projects.
  • EMILY While you can see from this diagram that communication breakdowns are occurring throughout the entire team, those that clearly needed addressing were lack of IM/Trac (project management system) access by Digital Lab staff. u06 and u07 - bottom right
  • EMILY   To address this issue, our recommendation was simple:  set up accounts and access to Trac and IM services for all staff members, specifically the Digital Lab staff, regardless of the fact that they are student workers.
  • EMILY   To address this issue, our recommendation was simple:  set up accounts and access to Trac and IM services for all staff members, specifically the Digital Lab staff, regardless of the fact that they are student workers.
  • BRIAN Trac is a great ticket tracking tool that MATRIX developed. It's highly flexible and robust, but it isn't used as fully as it could be Some design aspects of the system make it a little harder to use than would be ideal. I'll highlight one of those changes today.
  • BRIAN So here is an example of a conversation about a specific task on a Trac ticket. The key thing here is that there are big gaps between ticket updates. Here we have a change logged 5 months ago.  Then the next one doesn't appear until 2 months ago.  So there's a substantial 3 month gap. You can also see that the last two updates are asking about the status of the task. So project managers aren't really aware of what's going on because of a lack of updates.
  • BRIAN So to encourage more frequent updates, we propose a simple email notification whenever an extended period - a couple weeks or so - passes without any updates. Trac uses email updates for all changes to a ticket, so this change will fit in well with the system.
  • JEFF
  • JEFF
  • JEFF
  • BRIAN After careful analysis, our team has identified these three findings-improving the intake process, unifying the communication tools, and adding functionality to Trac-as being the most beneficial changes MATRIX could make to strengthen their organization.
  • Workflow Assessment at Michigan State University's MATRIX

    1. 1. MATRIX The Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online  at Michigan State University   THE ROADRUNNERS Emily Bowman  |  Shi Chen  |  Jeff Green  |  Brian Krenz
    2. 2. The Process <ul><li>Contextual Inquiry: </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpretation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data Modeling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Model Consolidation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affinity Wall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. What Works <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The Staff </li></ul><ul><li>The Culture </li></ul><ul><li>The Technology </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    4. 4. Finding 1 | Intake Process <ul><li>Process for receiving materials is not as organized or as consistent as it could be. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Finding 1 | Evidence <ul><li>  &quot;The form was really helpful, but we only used it one time.&quot; </li></ul>
    6. 6. Finding 1 | Recommendation <ul><li>Create, and consistently utilize, material intake forms. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Finding 2 | Communication Breakdowns <ul><li>Communication breakdowns occur between staff due to inconsistent use of the tools selected to manage project information and workflow. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Finding 2 | Evidence
    9. 9. Finding 2 | Recommendations <ul><li>Require all MATRIX staff members to have access to and utilize the same tools for information sharing. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Finding 2 | Recommendations <ul><li>Establish Trac as the primary means of task delegation; and conduct periodic follow-up to ensure this occurs. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Finding 3 | Technical Limitations <ul><li>Trac is a valuable, robust system, but it is not used as consistently as it could be.  Some minor design adjustments could make the system easier to use. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Finding 3 | Evidence
    13. 13. Finding 3 | Recommendation <ul><li>Add automatic email notification when a ticket is not updated for an extended period of time. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Additional Recommendations <ul><li>Provide descriptions of project folders as well as improve titles of those folders. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Update Trac to include deadline information in the header section. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Additional Recommendations <ul><li>Adjust priority section on Trac tickets so that it automatically updates as a deadline approaches. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Adjust KORA to link content metadata to technical metadata. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Additional Recommendations <ul><li>Require clients to indicate up front if they want a digitized file to be stored on MATRIX servers. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Require all MATRIX staff members to maintain access to and utilize the same information tools. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Models | Cultural Assessment
    18. 18. Models | Cultural
    19. 19. Models | Communication Flow
    20. 20. Models | Sequence
    21. 21. Models | Artifact 1
    22. 22. Models | Artifact 2
    23. 23.   <ul><li>Thanks! </li></ul><ul><li>Any questions? </li></ul>