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Agile Not Fragile! an Institutional Project Management Solution

Clark Shah-Nelson (Johns Hopkins University & Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 10:15am
Institutional Strategies & Innovations
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Theory/Conceptual Framework
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Oceanic 7
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 6

As institutions grow and expand online & blended offerings, organizational culture evolves: customized modern project management tracking systems are needed for transparency & agile collaboration.

Extended Abstract

Institutional Strategies & Innovations track

Agile not Fragile! An Institutional Project Management Solution

project management, institution, agile, instructional design, online learning, course development, organizational culture

As organizational culture evolves and institutions grow and expand online and blended offerings, highly customized modern project management tracking systems are needed for transparency and agile collaboration.

As institutions grow and expand online and blended learning offerings, the teams behind the course development and support juggle a complex array of projects at various stages with varying deadlines in fast-paced, geographically-dispersed, and/or complex organizational environments. These institutions, and their centers for teaching and learning need ways to foster collaboration among many teams (instructional designers (ID), audio producers, editors, tech writers, multimedia specialists, quality specialists, illustrators, web developers) to manage the production, which leads to a need for streamlined and transparent communication and project tracking.

In addition to developing online and/or blended courses, ID teams often manage faculty development, training and support as well as lead initiatives in blended learning, pedagogical frameworks and technology integration. Getting everyone on the same page can be difficult, and requires us to establish underlying principles and values of openness that lead us toward practices, procedures, and tools that can help us work most efficiently and effectively.

Our team of instructional designers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) was previously using spreadsheets and email as the primary tools for project management. But the data and tracking were getting unwieldy and increasingly difficult to manage, and the lack of transparency was becoming a hindrance. In this presentation, we'll apply an AGILE framework of principles, values and practices to project management for instructional design teams that can also be applied at the institutional level. This framework can be used to assure your team is open, nimble, and efficient. We'll also look at a project management software solution that can facilitate openness in your institution, and we'll highlight our journey toward a project management system for better communication, collaboration, tracking and reporting of our activities. Witness how we repurposed a tool that was originally meant for bug tracking (Atlassian Jira), into a highly customized facilitator of transparency, prioritization, workflow, time tracking, and our project knowledgebase. Take away ideas for ways to enhance your institution's project tracking and communication as well as lessons learned in the process of implementation.

Presenter Bio:
Clark Shah-Nelson
Since 1993, I have developed, designed, taught, coordinated and managed distance, online and blended learning programs. I am currently Senior Instructional Designer, Team Lead with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Some past international projects include faculty development at the University of Ghana School of Public Health in blended and online learning technologies and techniques, and facilitating blended learning with the SUNY Online International Learning (COIL) Center with the European Humanities University in Vilnius, Lithuania. Recently published chapters include: "Synchronous Tools in Support of Teaching and Learning." Learning Management Systems and Instructional Design: Best Practices in Online Education. Ed. Yefim Kats., 2013, & "Open Synchronicity for Online Class Support." Learning Management System Technologies and Software Solutions for Online Teaching: Tools and Applications. Ed. Yefim Kats., 2010. Past awards include a 2010 Sloan-C Effective Practices Award and a 2006 Excellence in Online Teaching award. I was a featured presenter at the New Media Consortium's 2007 Online Conference on the Convergence of Web Culture and Video, recently presented at OLC and other conferences, and am one of the co-founding Master Chefs for the OLC Technology Test Kitchen.

Lead Presenter

With over 20 years experience in educational technology innovations: teaching, designing & leading award-winning online and distance learning teams, end user support, training and professional development, I am currently Senior Instructional Designer, Team Lead with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. I am one of the co-founding Master Chefs for the OLC Technology Test Kitchen. Aside from fostering rich learning environments, I love biking with my family, dub reggae, brewing beer, snowboarding, raising hens and lunchtime yoga.