Customer-Focused Community Source: Concepts and Processes <br />Mark Notess, Development Manager<br />UITS/Digital Library...
Customer Focus<br />What is it?<br />Why do it?<br />How can we do it?<br />July 2009<br />2<br />10th Sakai Conference - ...
What is customer focus?<br />The answer would seem obvious, but…<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U...
What is Customer Focus?<br />1. We have met the customers and they are not us.<br />July 2009<br />4<br />10th Sakai Confe...
Who are our customers?<br />July 2009<br />5<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />CIO<br />IT Staff<br />S...
How Do We Differ?<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />6<br />
What is Customer Focus?<br />We have met the customers and they are not us.<br />We are committed to customer success.<br ...
What is Customer Focus?<br />We have met the customers and they are not us.<br />We are committed to customer success.<br ...
Two Worlds<br />tool<br />object<br />subject<br />outcome<br />division of labor<br />community<br />rules<br />Systems h...
Enabling Activity<br />JSR 168<br />OKI<br />IMS<br />How do I …?<br />What just happened?<br />≠<br />The way computers n...
About Sakai, c. 2004<br />The University of Michigan, Indiana University, MIT, Stanford, and the uPortal consortium are jo...
About Sakai Today<br />The Sakai CLE is a free and open source Courseware Management System. It features a set of software...
What is Customer Focus?<br />We have met the customers and they are not us.<br />We are committed to customer success.<br ...
Proxying Phenomenon<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />14<br />What the customer asked fo...
Proxying Phenomenon<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />15<br />?<br />Developer<br />Cust...
A Fictional Proxying Example<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />16<br />
Tacitness of Work Knowledge<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />17<br />What people know a...
Self-Report Reliability<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />18<br />Elliot, R., & Jankel-E...
Discovering User Needs<br />make it up—we’re smart!<br />I am the user!<br />ask those who know users<br />ask early adopt...
Contextual Inquiry<br />ask users what they did<br />study real artifacts & data<br />Designer<br />watch users work & dis...
What is Customer Focus?<br />We have met the customers and they are not us.<br />We are committed to customer success.<br ...
Why be customer focused?<br />Is it really necessary?<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />...
Customer Focus is Hard<br />Customer focus requires bridging technology and human activity<br />As technologists, our expe...
But It Beats the Alternatives<br />Technology focused<br />Internally focused<br />Unfocused<br />Customer driven<br />Jul...
Risks to Sakai<br />We could lose the critical mass needed for sustainability<br />We could waste resources doing things t...
How can we be/stay customer focused?<br />A few suggestions …<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S....
Five Suggestions<br />Ground requirements in real data via contextual inquiry and high-fidelity proxying<br />Privilege da...
Coursona Example<br />2a.  The Technology Semi-Distance Groupshop<br />Focus on learning and applying a technology-related...
Process Alone Won’t Do It<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />29<br />Communication<br />P...
Discussion<br />Other elements of customer focus?<br />Is customer focus important for Sakai?<br />How are we doing? How c...
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Customer-Focused Community Source: Concepts and Processes

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The revolutionary Sakai project, unlike most open source efforts, began with developers who were not the primary users. The Sakai community is continually working to be more effectively customer-responsive. This talk identifies key characteristics of customer-focused cultures as well as processes that can help move us there.

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  • Measures and implications will differ across types of institutions, departments, and individuals.Others may define my success differently than I do (e.g., grades vs. learning as a measure of student success).
  • Customer-Focused Community Source: Concepts and Processes

    1. 1. Customer-Focused Community Source: Concepts and Processes <br />Mark Notess, Development Manager<br />UITS/Digital Library Program, Indiana University<br />
    2. 2. Customer Focus<br />What is it?<br />Why do it?<br />How can we do it?<br />July 2009<br />2<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />
    3. 3. What is customer focus?<br />The answer would seem obvious, but…<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />3<br />
    4. 4. What is Customer Focus?<br />1. We have met the customers and they are not us.<br />July 2009<br />4<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />Imagine a copyrighted image of Pogo sitting here, saying, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”<br />Next Bench<br />
    5. 5. Who are our customers?<br />July 2009<br />5<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />CIO<br />IT Staff<br />Support<br />Other Staff<br />Instructional Design/Consulting<br />Librarians<br />Faculty A<br />Student A<br />Faculty B<br />Student B<br />Faculty C<br />Student C<br />Etc…<br />
    6. 6. How Do We Differ?<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />6<br />
    7. 7. What is Customer Focus?<br />We have met the customers and they are not us.<br />We are committed to customer success.<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />7<br />
    8. 8. What is Customer Focus?<br />We have met the customers and they are not us.<br />We are committed to customer success.<br />We plan, design, and deliver activity enablers rather than just technology.<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />8<br />
    9. 9. Two Worlds<br />tool<br />object<br />subject<br />outcome<br />division of labor<br />community<br />rules<br />Systems have a way to “think” about themselves—data structures, algorithms, application programming interfaces<br />Users and organizations have ways of accomplishing work, whether tacit or explicit, whether documented or informal—tasks, roles, attitudes, knowledge, habits, etc.<br />Structure of computer activity<br />Structure of human activity<br />
    10. 10. Enabling Activity<br />JSR 168<br />OKI<br />IMS<br />How do I …?<br />What just happened?<br />≠<br />The way computers need to think about themselves is very different from how people need to think about their work.<br />
    11. 11. About Sakai, c. 2004<br />The University of Michigan, Indiana University, MIT, Stanford, and the uPortal consortium are joining forces to integrate and synchronize their considerable educational software into a pre-integrated collection of open source tools. This will yield three big wins for sustainable economics and innovation in higher education:<br /> * A framework that builds on the recently ratified JSR 168 portlet standard and the OKI open service interface definitions to create a services-based, enterprise portal for tool delivery<br /> * A re-factored set of educational software tools that blends the best of features from the participants’ disparate software (e.g., course management systems, assessment tools, workflow, etc.)<br /> * A synchronization of the institutional clocks of these schools in developing, adopting and using a common set of open source software.<br />(thanks to the Internet Archive Web Wayback Machine)<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />11<br />
    12. 12. About Sakai Today<br />The Sakai CLE is a free and open source Courseware Management System. It features a set of software tools designed to help instructors, researchers and students collaborate online in support of their work--whether it be course instruction, research or general project collaboration.<br />For coursework, Sakai provides features to supplement and enhance teaching and learning. For collaboration, Sakai has tools to help organize communication and collaborative work on campus and around the world. Using a web browser, users choose from Sakai&apos;s tools to create a site that meets their needs. To use Sakai, no knowledge of HTML is necessary.<br />But the product vision reaches beyond teaching and learning applications. Many Sakai deployments include as many or more project and research collaboration sites. In addition, the Open Source Portfolio e-Portfolio system is a core part of the Sakai software. Finally, the Sakaibrary project links library resources to Sakai. You can try Sakai for yourself by downloading and installing the demonstration or by visiting one the sites of our Commercial Affiliates, several of which have test drives of Sakai where you can simply create your own account. No installation necessary.<br />(from sakaiproject.org, 3 July 2009)<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />12<br />
    13. 13. What is Customer Focus?<br />We have met the customers and they are not us.<br />We are committed to customer success.<br />We plan, design, and deliver activity enablers rather than just technology.<br />Our understanding is open to constant revision.<br />We recognize and seek out requirements variability across time as well as across types of users and uses<br />We recognize the difference between user needs and their many proxies, and work towards high-quality proxying<br />We recognize the richness of contextual details and their impact<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />13<br />
    14. 14. Proxying Phenomenon<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />14<br />What the customer asked for<br />How we understood what the customer asked for<br />What the customer really needed<br />
    15. 15. Proxying Phenomenon<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />15<br />?<br />Developer<br />Customer needs<br />Jira ticket<br />Institutional Sakai rep<br />Institutional requirements committee<br />My memories<br />PROXIES<br />Survey results<br />Competing or similar product<br />Focus group rankings<br />Use Case<br />Persona<br />
    16. 16. A Fictional Proxying Example<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />16<br />
    17. 17. Tacitness of Work Knowledge<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />17<br />What people know about what they know and do<br />What people don’t know about what they know and do<br />How well does our requirements process work under water?<br />
    18. 18. Self-Report Reliability<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />18<br />Elliot, R., & Jankel-Elliot, N. (2003). Using ethnography in strategic consumer research. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal , 6 (4) 215-223.<br />
    19. 19. Discovering User Needs<br />make it up—we’re smart!<br />I am the user!<br />ask those who know users<br />ask early adopters<br />ask users what they like or want<br />Designer<br />ask users what they do<br />competitive<br />analysis<br />ask users what they did<br />read pubs<br />Bb<br />study real artifacts & data<br />Moodle<br />users<br />watch users work & discuss<br />
    20. 20. Contextual Inquiry<br />ask users what they did<br />study real artifacts & data<br />Designer<br />watch users work & discuss<br />users<br />
    21. 21. What is Customer Focus?<br />We have met the customers and they are not us.<br />We are committed to customer success.<br />We plan, design, and deliver activity enablers rather than just technology.<br />Our understanding is open to constant revision.<br />We own the full customer experience and constantly improve it.<br />“Dive for the ball” mentality – potentially harder in a non-hierarchical, somewhat volunteer organization like Sakai community<br />Full experience: tryout, evaluation, adoption, planning, implementation, support, maintenance, …<br />Product vision: a designer’s job. Don’t ask customers to be designers.<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />21<br />
    22. 22. Why be customer focused?<br />Is it really necessary?<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />22<br />
    23. 23. Customer Focus is Hard<br />Customer focus requires bridging technology and human activity<br />As technologists, our expertise, focus, and often our interest is in the technology itself<br />“Work practice”—where real requirements live—is a hard place to visit<br />Technology organizations always risk becoming technology focused<br />Our training as technologists seldom addresses how to uncover hidden customer needs<br />
    24. 24. But It Beats the Alternatives<br />Technology focused<br />Internally focused<br />Unfocused<br />Customer driven<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />24<br />
    25. 25. Risks to Sakai<br />We could lose the critical mass needed for sustainability<br />We could waste resources doing things that don’t matter, that people don’t use<br />And, most important to me,<br />When usage is required, we force people to experience unpleasantness<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />25<br />
    26. 26. How can we be/stay customer focused?<br />A few suggestions …<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />26<br />
    27. 27. Five Suggestions<br />Ground requirements in real data via contextual inquiry and high-fidelity proxying<br />Privilege data from those less like us: dissenting voices, students and faculty from non-technical disciplines, laggards<br />Invite ethnographic, qualitative, or design research classes at your institutions to do projects that enrich our customer understanding<br />Supplement personas with “coursonas” or other activity-based representations<br />Figure out how new members become enculturated in Sakai and make sure a shared understanding of customer work practice is part of the experience<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />27<br />
    28. 28. Coursona Example<br />2a. The Technology Semi-Distance Groupshop<br />Focus on learning and applying a technology-related process in group projects<br />Intensive technical, procedural work with a parallel focus on how to work in (possibly distributed) teams<br />Course content is technical, and some students are remote making it convenient and necessary to use technology for course management (slide sharing; podcasting; online group sessions, discussions, and filespaces)<br />Examples: Instructional technology design course<br />(For more examples from last year’s talk, google “notesscoursonasakai”)<br />
    29. 29. Process Alone Won’t Do It<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />29<br />Communication<br />Process<br />Predispositions<br />People<br />
    30. 30. Discussion<br />Other elements of customer focus?<br />Is customer focus important for Sakai?<br />How are we doing? How could we improve?<br />July 2009<br />10th Sakai Conference - Boston, MA, U.S.A.<br />30<br />

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