Management and Professional Development
Monday, Oct. 17 8:30 - 9:15 a.m.
One of the biggest mistakes made by web teams is thinking about the web as a project. Projects by definition have an end and the project mindset is the primary reason the overall quality of websites deteriorates over time. When web teams define their work as a series of projects, the live site is often ignored as new projects become a priority. The result is content that quickly goes out of date, spelling errors and broken links undermine the credibility of the site, branding is compromised, and there is increased exposure to legal risks. In addition, many web teams have not created the internal processes and procedures necessary to efficiently manage the ongoing support of the site. In this presentation, Mark and Doug will introduce the audience to the field of web operations management which provides a framework to efficiently manage ongoing operations to meet business objectives and maintain the operational integrity of the site. Topics will include: • The differences between project work and operational work • How the project mindset is damaging your website. • How to move from project management to operations management • How to develop a website operations plan • Demonstration of an operations management system that streamlines requests and task management, improves internal and external communications, and provides resource tracking and reporting.
Monday, Oct. 17 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.
Ever seen a blank look while you talked to your boss or a client about your project? Between coding and designing, we often use jargon that can make non-web people feel stupid. When we convey our ideas clearly, we can change our supervisors and customers from confused and disconnected to happy and supportive. Genevieve has been a member of Toastmasters International for more than four years and has been active in developing effective public speaking skills for more than ten. In this session you'll learn 5 concrete skills you can use immediately and other suggestions to keep building your career.
Monday, Oct. 17 10:45 - 11:30 a.m.
Redesigning and relaunching an academic website is a complicated and often difficult process. There are multiple stakeholders and most of them have some say in what does and does not happen during the process. In 2015 the ILR School at Cornell University relaunched their website under severe time constraints that left many internal and external groups feeling marginalized. Surprisingly, the resulting fallout gave their web development team the opportunity to change a long-standing siloed culture in the school. Participants will learn: - the process and methods of moving a site from commonspot to Drupal - the pros and cons of moving a site quickly without ideal input - the content strategy behind this kind of move - the process of migrating content - how to clearly identify their audiences and stakeholders - how to foster culture change in your organization after something goes wrong
That is Not My Job. (MPD4)
Monday, Oct. 17 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
We all know that person — the one who stays focused solely on the task at hand, doing only the work dictated by his or her job description. They may have incredible depth of knowledge and specialized skills — and quite possibly, a lot of education to back it up — but is that what it takes to be successful? Or can the common generalist’s outlook help your team step up their game? What if…everything was your job? What if we are working from the wrong job descriptions? What if, rather than focusing on our own success, we started to ask different questions that focus on our team’s success? How do we promote the success of the team as a whole? What would that look like? How would our focus change? This presentation takes a look at how, by turning the question around, we can change our culture and create stronger teams as a result. We’ll discuss why teamwork matters, and how you can contribute to the team in ways outside any job description, that will result in success not only for you and your team, but your institution as well. And really, isn’t that our job after all?
Copy and Paste Is Easy, but Let’s Make Your Site Shine: Helping Non-experts Thrive as Web Managers (MPD5)
Monday, Oct. 17 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.
I’d never trained a hunting dog before, so when an eight-week-old pup joined my family in the spring of 2013 I was as clumsy and confused as she was. We went to a trainer and the first thing he said to me was, “I’m not teaching your dog a damn thing. I’m going to train you to train her.” I can’t work with your content managers, but I’m going to train… I mean teach you to teach them how to thrive in their role, even if it’s an “other duty as assigned.” As a former English teacher I jumped wholeheartedly into the training aspect of my role as web communications manager in a decentralized system with more than 200 content managers. I will share tips and tactics for planning your training sessions; helping your content managers embrace their responsibility; demonstrating the function of a well-designed, well-written page and how to make each page useful to their audience; and share some of my favorite IA, UX and web writing resources that novices can use—and actually enjoy—to build their confidence and skill sets. My university’s site is far from perfect, but as you improve your content managers so shall you improve your school’s web presence.
Monday, Oct. 17 4:15 - 5:00 p.m.
Sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music: “Stakeholders pausing and missing their deadlines, Engineers working to tag all the headlines, Scheduling has me all tied up with strings, These are a few project management things!” — All great musicals tell stories of some sort of journey. It’s usually a tale of overcoming some type of adversity, with plot twists, occasional heartbreak, and humor. And isn’t that what a web project is? Musicals simply include songs to help move the plot along. We’re going to give an overview — with a soundtrack! — of how to best manage a website design and development project from contracting to post-launch. We’ll share tools and spreadsheets, steps to take, how to work with clients, and how project managers overcome the odds to navigate it all towards a fantastic product at the end. It’s going to be informative, and at times very very musical. Along with learning how good your immediate neighbor is at audience participation, you will learn items such as: — how to get your project organized for success right from the start — what analytics and KPIs to review — what to do when stakeholders disapprove — how to handle scope creep — how to survive a project with humor through use of the occasional show tune This session is not technical, and is great for both beginning and advanced project managers alike. A general knowledge of popular Broadway musicals is helpful, though not required. There will be one or two opportunities for sing-a-longs, and the audience should feel welcome to join in.
Tuesday, Oct. 18 8:30 - 9:15 a.m.
All too often, web projects are destined to fail before they begin due to pitfalls in the traditional RFP process. The results of these pitfalls can range from months of lost time and effort to hundreds of thousands of wasted dollars. Trinity University, in collaboration with their agency partner, ImageX, has found a way to put web projects on a rocket ship toward success, straight from the get-go: they’ve transformed the traditional Request for Proposal process into a new kind of RFP: a Request for Partnership.
The Making of a Web Team (MPD8)
Tuesday, Oct. 18 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.
A year ago our web shop went from a couple full-timers to three full-time staff, one part-timer, two interns, and a partnership with another unit. The two people whose idea of communication meant yelling across the hall at each other suddenly expanded to 6+, and with it came the inevitable requirements of management, and growing pains of organization and oversight. This session will talk about how we addressed our sudden influx of staff and met requirements for training. It will also review the technology we've adopted to help us day-to-day: Slack, Asana, and ServiceNow. And we'll discuss the effort to shut that technology off to help improve our communication and share ideas.
Tuesday, Oct. 18 10:45 - 11:30 a.m.
At Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences, we've seen it all: a nursery school, an archaeology collection, a slang dictionary, a collection of 10th century manuscripts, and a wide variety of academic departments, interdisciplinary programs, and research projects. We’ve redesigned over 50 websites in the last two years - and we make it a priority to learn and reflect on each one. What makes a client well poised for a web redesign, and how do we get them there? Why do plenty of big agency projects fall flat? How do we educate clients about project costs? When do sub-sites make sense? And of course how do we balance projects vs cross-cutting initiatives vs time for the team? Learning Outcomes * Matching projects to different redesign formats * How to be the most attractive option for a website redesign (cost, security, branding, accessibility, support, and maintenance) * How to allocate a team to invest in initiatives and create long-term dividends * Design thinking tips to build an effective team
The Art of the Presentation (MPD10)
Tuesday, Oct. 18 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Whether you're pitching a new project to your senior leadership, or you're talking about an idea or successful campaign to a conference audience, knowing your audience and how to communicate to them is key. In this presentation, Karlyn Borysenko and Jeff Stevens will share best practices on how to identify your audience needs, how to craft the perfect presentation proposal, how to construct slide decks that communicate key ideas and keep the audience fully engaged, and tips and tricks from award winning presenters.
Tuesday, Oct. 18 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.
I've often been told, "I wish I was a creative person like you," as if creativity were a static trait, that some people are simply creative and some are not. But creative problem solving is, in fact, a concrete skillset that anyone can learn, practice, and master. With the aid of an apt metaphor - fishing - I will share key concepts, strategies, and tools for finding novel solutions to difficult problems. This package of skills can be applied to challenges in any of our disciplines. Whether you are a developer, project manager, writer, social strategist, designer, or just someone who needs a good idea from time to time, expect to leave this session with some new ideas for coming up with ideas. No prior experience with creative problem solving techniques required. If you are a total pro at this you might not get as much or if it, although you will hopefully appreciate the metaphor.
A Day in the Life of an Analyst (MPD12)
Tuesday, Oct. 18 4:15 - 5:00 p.m.
Aaron Baker, Digital Analytics Lead for Harvard University Public Affairs & Communications, will walk through his editorial calendar for analytics reports, touching on everything from how Google Analytics and Tag Manager work together to how that data should be interpreted and reported to managers and executives. Aaron will also talk about the process he used to build a data landscape for Harvard.edu and the Gazette news website, investigating and integrating multiple data sources for combined analytic data on email, social, and web. You will learn how to map out your own data landscape of what data you have, where it comes from, where it resides now, and what your access is to it. You will learn how to pick which KPIs you should keep track of and what metrics you should use to report to your leadership.