10 Things I Wish I’d Known Earlier (In My Career), Alison Kerwin, University of York
Alison’s talk was a great way to kick off the conference. As a well known and respected leader in multiple Web roles across multiple institutions, her personal insight into the difficulties often come with the territory of making change happen The open admissions that she found presenting hard, introversion challenging and mental health issues hard to talk about really seemed to resonate with the audience.
Telling the Birkbeck Story: How Customer Journey Mapping Helped Us Develop Our New Approach To Web, Jane Van de Ban, Birkbeck & Chris Scott, Headscape
Chris and Jane’s talk about the use of customer journeys at Birbeck was a qualiity case study that I enjoyed mainly because it showed just how layered and hard it is to accurately model people’s behaviours onto a pretty unique organisation. It’s a wonder people manage to work this stuff out and make change happen. Birbeck and Headscape seem to have made a pretty good fist of it.
As an aside, it was a very honest moment to hear Chris say that he found the whole presenting thing pretty difficult, and later I also spoke to Jane who has made herself a very good public speaker by deliberate sustained effort. It was great to have them shatter the myth of the natural public speaker and make it more achieveable for everyone.
Interesting perpectives on this panel. This conference has always been great for having sponsors that are a million miles away from a hard sell, and a few came and gave their advice on how to work with external people. Treating suppliers like people and making some effort to include them in a meaningful way means you actually get more out of the whole relationship. Who knew?
I was looking forward to Gareth’s talk based on the topic and the knowledge that he is one of those strange people that don’t seem to get nervous and actively enjoys public speaking. He didn’t disappoint.
The whole concept of task switching is something that everyone does, yet no-one has a plan for dealing with it. Until now.
Super interesting process talk about the detail of doing knowledge work. Expertly delivered.
Gareth also cited a research paper into task switching, which then got me googling, Task Switching as a concept. Framing work in terms of micro tasks if super helpful to try to account for where all your effort goes and why you might feel you’re not achieveing as much as you’d like. (even if you are)
I don’t think I’ve done the talk much justice, but if you head on over to the talk page you can get the slides and the full talk. Well worth your time – if you can concentrate for long enough!
Stress…and what to do when everything starts falling apart, Andrew Millar, University of Dundee
Andrew’s opening bit about the severe panic attack that he experienced was a great way in to one of the conference highlights. If you saw his talk last year, you’ll understand that Andrew and his team at Dundee have been doing tons of great work, and perhaps this talk showed a little of the personal cost of such demanding work.
A great counterpart to Alison’s talk this one also struck a chord.
This tour around some great content really got me scribbling down things to go and catch up on, steall and try. Dave even managed to make me reconsider my boredom with Campus shots of Buildings. And the advice about Press Releases was very pertinent.
In the context of the conference it was nice to have a talk that works as a primer for lots of homework.
User Needs, Content Design and Culture Change: Digital Transformation at the University of Southampton
Ayala Gordon, University of Southampton & Padma Gillen, Llibertat
Another good exposition of real world work, and the challenges along the way. Even though there are teams doing lots of similar transformation exercises, there’s always unique little things that come out of these. I particularly liked
Place technology at the end of the discussion
One for the people in the audience hungry for detail about good tools to do something that will be increasingly important for Universities as they up their competitive games. It was nice to have a meaty talk with plenty of detail about tools alongside how they are important.
Tactics are as important as strategy. (my take)
Another case study about content. There was a consistent theme emerging of content out of control, lack of expertise across the org added to the very unique needs of such a federated University. Got a big thumbs up from me for the
> Leave document culture behind.
and fortunately, this recent post comprehensively covers why.
Big finish for the conference with a cracking talk, ending the conference on a nicely evangelistic note. Also loved the way that it wasn’t just an exhortation, but there were examples of Jenni and her team putting their own advice into practice.
All the talks can be found at http://iwmw.org/iwmw2018/timetable/ along with slide decks, notes and video.