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The Goldilocks Approach: Finding the Right Project and the Right Team at the Right Size

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The Goldilocks Approach: Finding the Right Project and the Right Team at the Right Size

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Kaplan Publishing has engaged in several efforts to develop an end-to-end digital workflow focused on digital product innovation, to varying degrees of success.
This session will cover:

-Lessons learned from three separate digital product/workflow development projects
-The importance of team size and composition to project success
-Real-world pitfalls of sizing a team or a project too large or too small

Kaplan Publishing has engaged in several efforts to develop an end-to-end digital workflow focused on digital product innovation, to varying degrees of success.
This session will cover:

-Lessons learned from three separate digital product/workflow development projects
-The importance of team size and composition to project success
-Real-world pitfalls of sizing a team or a project too large or too small

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The Goldilocks Approach: Finding the Right Project and the Right Team at the Right Size

  1. 1. THE GOLDILOCKS APPROACH FINDING THE RIGHT PROJECT AND THE RIGHT TEAM AT THE RIGHT SIZE EDWINA LUI INFORMATION ARCHITECT KAPLAN PUBLISHING
  2. 2. THIS IS KAPLAN. Kaplan, Inc. Kaplan Higher Ed KHEC KU KPE KI KUK Kaplan Test Prep Grad Health Pre- College Bar Kaplan Publishing And this is KPUB.
  3. 3. “TRADITIONAL” PRINT & LMS WORKFLOW LAN Content Creation (Word) Editing (Word/ InDesign) Typesetting (InDesign) Digital Publication (EPUB) Print Publication Google Docs Template LMS Authoring Tool LMS Student Homepage Legacy Content (InDesign)
  4. 4. ADAPTING TO CHANGE • physical classrooms to online courses • printed materials to print-and- digital bundles • comprehensive courses to customizable, mix-and-match offerings • paper-and-pencil to ubiquitous mobile devices
  5. 5. TOO BIG: THE ECMS + UCM
  6. 6. ECMS + UCM: THE GOAL + = CCMS + UCM DAM Current Content Model KPUB Content KHE KTP
  7. 7. PHASE I PHASE II
  8. 8. PHASE I 1. sunrise CCMS, DAM, and authoring tools 2. develop UCM v1.0 3. research (confirm assumptions about) • current systems • current models • legacy content volumes 4. research workflow requirements PHASE II
  9. 9. PHASE I 1. sunrise CCMS, DAM, and authoring tools 2. develop UCM v1.0 3. research (confirm assumptions about) • current systems • current models • legacy content volumes 4. research workflow requirements PHASE II 1. ingest legacy content 2. update UCM v1.0+ 3. develop publishing pipelines 4. train users on new workflow(s)
  10. 10. ECMS: THE PLAN “Power User” Authoring Tool “Daily User” Authoring Tool CCMS DAM Pub. Pipe-lines LMS Au. Tool Student LMS Au. Tool Student InDD, PDF, EPUB, etc. Legacy Content LLMMSS LMS LAN LMS Au. Tool Student Home-page LMS Home-page LMS Home-page LMS
  11. 11. ECMS: END OF PHASE I LMS Au. Tool Student LMS Au. Tool Student Home-page LMS Legacy Content LLMLMLMMSSSS LMS Au. Tool Student Home-page LMS Home-page LMS “Power User” Authoring Tool “Daily User” Authoring Tool CCMS DAM Pub. Pipe-lines LMS Au. Tool Student Home-page LMS InDD, PDF, LMS LAN EPUB, etc.
  12. 12. ECMS + UCM: OUTCOME Phase I 90% completed (except for deployment of fully integrated “daily user” authoring tool) Phase II scaled back to a single business unit only
  13. 13. PROJECT FOCUS 1. 2.
  14. 14. UCM: FROM PROPOSAL TO V1.0 KPUB Model KTP Model KHE Model
  15. 15. UCM: FROM PROPOSAL TO V1.0 became KPUB Model KTP Model KHE Model KPUB Model KTP Model New Stuff KHE Model
  16. 16. SURVEYING THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE breadth depth
  17. 17. A CLEAR BUSINESS NEED
  18. 18. A CLEAR BUSINESS NEED Q: Do you have a business need to facilitate easier sharing of content with other Kaplan business units? KINC: Yes! KTP: No. KHE: No. KPUB: Maybe?
  19. 19. ECMS + UCM: TOP-DOWN CHANGE KINC KHE KHEC KU KTP Grad Health PC Bar KPUB
  20. 20. TEAM MAKEUP
  21. 21. PRIORITY LEVELS
  22. 22. PRIORITY LEVELS 1. differing levels of expertise by participants
  23. 23. PRIORITY LEVELS 1. differing levels of expertise by participants 2. unclear participant roles: consultation vs. active development
  24. 24. PRIORITY LEVELS 1. differing levels of expertise by participants 2. unclear participant roles: consultation vs. active development 3. lack of empowerment within respective BUs
  25. 25. PRIORITY LEVELS 1. differing levels of expertise by participants 2. unclear participant roles: consultation vs. active development 3. lack of empowerment within respective BUs 4. inability to accurately anticipate impact of next phase
  26. 26. (DON’T) BOIL THE OCEAN
  27. 27. TOO SMALL: INTERACTIVE IBOOKS
  28. 28. INTERACTIVE IBOOKS: THE GOAL design develop brainstorm release Legacy Content User Feedback
  29. 29. INTERACTIVE IBOOKS: THE PLAN LAN Content Creation (Word) Editing (Word/ InDesign) Typesetting (iBooks Author) Widget Dev (Javascript) Print Publication (PDF) Digital Publication (iBooks) Typesetting (InDesign) Content Conversion (DITA) Digital Publication (EPUB)
  30. 30. PROJECT FOCUS
  31. 31. INTERACTIVE IBOOKS: ISOLATING CHANGE KINC KHE KHEC KU KTP Grad Health PC Bar KPUB
  32. 32. INTERACTIVE IBOOKS: OUTCOME 3 interactive iBook products brought to market 5 additional titles 80% developed, but not released Project discontinued
  33. 33. A CLEAR BUSINESS NEED
  34. 34. A CLEAR BUSINESS NEED Q: Do you have a business need to develop interactive eBooks? KPUB: Yes! KTP: No.
  35. 35. DISCOVERING PAIN POINTS Content Creation (Word) Editing (Word/ InDesign) Typesetting (InDesign) Content Conversion (DITA) Typesetting (iBooks Author) Widget Dev (Javascript) Digital Publication (EPUB) Print Publication (PDF) Digital Publication (iBooks)
  36. 36. Terje Rakke, “Female Hurdler Bislet Stadium, Norway” TEAM MAKEUP =
  37. 37. Deborah Parkin, “isolation” TEAM MAKEUP =
  38. 38. TEAM MAKEUP =
  39. 39. TEAM MAKEUP =
  40. 40. JUST RIGHT (?): HTML AUTHORING
  41. 41. HTML AUTHORING: THE GOAL Legacy Content Newly Authored Content HTML Authoring Tool Print HTML Books eBooks XML PDFs
  42. 42. HTML AUTHORING: THE PLAN LMS Au. Tool LMS Student LAN Content Creation Content Editing HTML Authoring Tool EPUB Creation InDD Typesetting Print Publication Homepage Legacy Content LMS LAN
  43. 43. PROJECT FOCUS +
  44. 44. ADDRESSING REAL PAIN POINTS v1 v2 v3 WYSIWYG
  45. 45. TEAM MAKE-UP
  46. 46. TEAM MAKE-UP
  47. 47. PROS & CONS OF ADOPTING AN EVOLVING TOOL
  48. 48. PROS & CONS OF ADOPTING AN EVOLVING TOOL – users may expect a defined end, or have higher expectations sooner
  49. 49. PROS & CONS OF ADOPTING AN EVOLVING TOOL – users may expect a defined end, or have higher expectations sooner – frustration with an “unfinished” tool or workflow
  50. 50. PROS & CONS OF ADOPTING AN EVOLVING TOOL – users may expect a defined end, or have higher expectations sooner – frustration with an “unfinished” tool or workflow + issues uncovered early in the tool’s evolution can be addressed iteratively
  51. 51. PROS & CONS OF ADOPTING AN EVOLVING TOOL – users may expect a defined end, or have higher expectations sooner – frustration with an “unfinished” tool or workflow + issues uncovered early in the tool’s evolution can be addressed iteratively + users feel empowered to guide pace and direction of change
  52. 52. HTML AUTHORING: TURNING USERS INTO CHANGE AGENTS KINC KHE KHEC KU KTP Grad Health PC Bar KPUB
  53. 53. REGULAR COMMUNICATION WITH USERS & STAKEHOLDERS
  54. 54. REGULAR COMMUNICATION WITH USERS & STAKEHOLDERS daily office hours weekly remote & in-person stand-ups monthly demos quarterly stakeholder updates ongoing chats & documentation User Guide
  55. 55. HTML AUTHORING: OUTCOME 6-month pilot completed with 40 titles’ worth of content ingested to the platform 30+ users trained 3 major output formats tested and proven Shortened timeline for digital-only product Platform licensed for 3 years with additional content teams being on-boarded each quarter
  56. 56. WHAT DID WE LEARN?
  57. 57. WHAT DID WE LEARN? Do Don’t
  58. 58. WHAT DID WE LEARN? Do Don’t Align project goals to actual business needs Build towards an aspirational requirement only
  59. 59. WHAT DID WE LEARN? Do Don’t Align project goals to actual business needs Build towards an aspirational requirement only Conduct regular and targeted two-way communications with all stakeholders Deliver information and updates as a coda
  60. 60. WHAT DID WE LEARN? Do Don’t Align project goals to actual business needs Build towards an aspirational requirement only Conduct regular and targeted two-way communications with all stakeholders Deliver information and updates as a coda Put users first! Design around a technology, no matter how cool it might be
  61. 61. WHAT DID WE LEARN? Do Don’t Align project goals to actual business needs Build towards an aspirational requirement only Conduct regular and targeted two-way communications with all stakeholders Deliver information and updates as a coda Put users first! Design around a technology, no matter how cool it might be Continually address user pain points, no matter how trivial Place all newly-raised issues in a parking lot to avoid changes in scope
  62. 62. WHAT DID WE LEARN? Do Don’t Align project goals to actual business needs Build towards an aspirational requirement only Conduct regular and targeted two-way communications with all stakeholders Deliver information and updates as a coda Put users first! Design around a technology, no matter how cool it might be Continually address user pain points, no matter how trivial Place all newly-raised issues in a parking lot to avoid changes in scope Promote change agents from within groups of end users Manage change from above
  63. 63. WHAT DID WE LEARN? Do Don’t Align project goals to actual business needs Build towards an aspirational requirement only Conduct regular and targeted two-way communications with all stakeholders Deliver information and updates as a coda Put users first! Design around a technology, no matter how cool it might be Continually address user pain points, no matter how trivial Place all newly-raised issues in a parking lot to avoid changes in scope Promote change agents from within groups of end users Manage change from above Have internal users roll up their sleeves and get hands-on sooner Outsource development and support tasks to avoid disrupting internal resourcesresources
  64. 64. Edwina Lui edwina.lui@kaplan.com

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