Monday, April 07, 2014

#CILDC : Moving Ideas Forward - John Liebhardt & James Stephens

Description: Computers in Libraries conferences are full of great ideas to help libraries innovate. However, moving ideas to reality is complicated: Librarians must balance strategic priorities, patron needs and (most of all) time constraints. Leveraging theories from the Lean Startup and Agile Development, Liebhardt shows that libraries can build sustainably innovative organizations through constant learning. Rather than writing plans or holding whiteboard sessions, try building a simple, basic product or service and measure if it solves patrons' problems. Once the prototype is in front of people, get customer insights to make adjustments. Liebhardt shares project management tools that show librarians the discipline to be honest about measuring progress, setting up milestones and prioritizing work. Stephens, who was at last year’s CIL, left, like a lot of others did, with a glowing need to use Raspberry Pis in his library. But, when faced with actually doing something practical and getting the library administration on board, he was stumped. He shares some of the ideas he came up with, discusses how he sold the ideas to the higher-ups, and then helps start a discussion of ideas that other attendees have tried—whether they were successes or not! Computers in Libraries is full of cutting-edge ideas, use tips, and tools from speakers and colleagues to help you move them to the real world.

Session Notes

First up is John Liebhardt,

"The Lean Startup" book - three tenets:
Design products and services that people want to use
Tweak to make the products and services better
Use data to understand how well you're doing

Get customer feedback fast.
build -> measure -> learn

Creativity is required.

"Creative Competence" book by IDEO
Is it technically feasible?
Is it feasible from a business sense?
Does it have people sense?  Do people really want it? <- customers="" p="" want.="" what="" your="">
Organizations need to empathize with user needs.
Patron needs: connecting the dots
Some people don't have the vocabulary to describe their needs.

Create an 80% solution and use that to get customer feedback.  Then make changes or improvements.  Need to test your assumptions.  Test customer behaviors.  Do a controlled test, so that you understand the impact of your service/product.

Make sure that you can capture data about the new product and service.  You will need to decide your assessment criteria in advance.

James Stephens (next speaker) talking about his experience in moving ideas forward.  His specific example was around a technical implementation.

First, identify a problem that you need to solve.  Find the problem first.  Don't find the solution first (that is in search of a problem).

Used a Raspberry Pi kiosk to provide information on room reserves...providing information at the point of need.

Second,  do research.
Is the idea possible?
Is the idea feasible?
Is the idea practical?

Third, Next what decisions need to be made?

Fourth, what approvals do you need?

Rethinking - what can I do that is better than what is occurring now?

Implementing quickly allows you to see the problems that you're going to run into.  How do you mitigate those problems?

Interesting that Raspberry Pis have inherent problems, but those problems can be overcome.  This is a place where people should look to their network (or the CILDC network) for help.

One lesson that Stephens learned is to have lots of backups.

Question - does the hardware exist that you need?  Do you need to modify what's available?  Should you create a custom solution?

Wait...are you really pursuing the right solution?  Always good to check.

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