Technology and Organizations
Three times in the last week I’ve heard/read about employees owning their own computers – rather than having the company provide them. This harkens back to a world where the identity of a craftsperson was partially determined by his/her tools.
In my post “First there was Yahoo Groups” I promised an audit as a starting point for building a team or project “information architecture.” I’ve had both on-line and face-to-face conversations with readers offering that email with distribution lists is still the best option for short-term teams. I’ll try and respond to some of those points below.
The Leavey School of Business moved into wonderful new Lucas Hall this summer. Lucas Hall provides us with state-of-the-art teaching and collaboration tools. The picture above is an example of what I’m calling our training wheels. The flier on the door says that this conference room was booked for our Faculty Retreat. The snazzy screen to the left is an electronic device that said the same thing – and was controlled from the central room booking website. (Sadly, I took this picture after the retreat ended, so you’re missing the big red bar that showed the room as booked over the hours of the retreat – as well as displaying “Booked” in big letters.)
We’ve had these electronic booking devices for a few months in our equally high-tech new “learning commons.” However, as far as technology features go, these devices are not that vivid. Yes, they are near the door (though for some rooms they may be 15 feet away from the door itself), but people see door handles and do not instinctively look for high tech monitors to tell them the status of the room…. At least not yet.
“Training wheels” are implementation tricks that help to trigger sensemaking around new technologies and practices. Hopefully this one instance of flier use will be enough to draw peoples’ attention to the new tools, and ultimately learn to efficiently plan and schedule on-line. Are there other forms of training wheels you’ve used in implementing technologies with less than obvious uses?