Big changes, happy changes!

I've had a busy spring. At this moment, I'm preparing for a day-long kickoff for PMP instruction this Saturday in Albany, Oregon. In prepping, I'm fully focused on PMBOK Sixth edition project management approaches. At the same time, I find agile approaches intriguing and check out the projectmanagement.com agile section regularly for new materials and posts on agile. I've also enjoyed reading Jean Richardson's latest book on agile, which she targeted for experienced practioners, but I find compelling for a wider audience than that, in terms of understanding what's most valuable with agile/adaptive approaches: Individuals generally, and more specifically, work in which "the human system, the work system, and the product are all aligned with each other" (567, Kindle edition). 

But my biggest change has been at the professional level - after nearly five years as a project and product manager at the Orbis Cascade Alliance, I'll be moving on next month to become the Director of Library Technology Services at the University of Oregon Libraries. I am very enthused about the change, particularly about the opportunity to work with a broader technology portfolio and to work more directly with academic library users. 

In the past five years, I've focused deeply on the library integrated library services and discovery services industry through my work with Ex Libris Alma and Primo services. This is still an area of great interest to me and I hope to continue my term (with one year left) on the Ex Libris user group's (ELUNA's) Steering Committee. I believe that my knowledge of agile approaches has helped me understand the vendor's approaches to the development of its flagship management service, Alma (which is on a monthly release cycle and has numerous methods for feedback from its customers, including an international Alma Working Group). In this case, the frequent releases, with full functionality releases occurring ten times a year, is a feature that supports deeper engagement with customers. It's not immediately intuitive to a community accustomed to annual software upgrades, but that's the bottom line. 

In contrast, the actual implementations (33 institutions by the end) were straight vanilla predictive projects - although there were significant unknowns in that the Alliance was the first consortium globally to employ the Alma/Primo services with the Alma Network Zone. I need to think more about what would have been the optimal approach here. Some uncertainties were addressed during migration (getting institutional technical services workflows online), some were addressed later or are still being addressed (full development of the Network Zone architecture). 

Taken together, it's been a wonderful experience at the Alliance. I'm looking forward to the next step (I start at the UO on May 14). 


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