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NASIG will be an online conference, June 9-11. It will be free, but registration will be required. Registration closes 5 June. Please see our Code of Conduct.

Times listed below are Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4). The sessions listed at 5 PM on 11 June will be prerecorded and will be available when the conference begins. Please tweet about this session using the hashtag #NASIG2020.

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Tuesday, June 9 • 12:45pm - 1:35pm
Analyzing Workflows and Improving Communication Across Departments: A Simple Project Using Rapid Contextual Design

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In summer 2017, the unit heads for electronic resources cataloging and acquisitions at a large research university undertook an analysis of the workflows between departments. We used a user experience research method called Rapid Contextual Design, a method designed principally for digital product management and evaluation that also lends itself well to workflow analysis.

We were able to design a quick and simple assessment within our limited available time. We discovered that communication was the main problem. Our current methods were not very effective, especially with the staff who are doing much of the work; each department tends to focus on its own issues and not communicate outside. The result was confusion and inefficiency.

As a result, we have worked to create venues for sharing information across the departments to increase efficiency and to build a sense of community among the staff. We also plan on discussing the results of an assessment of these changes that we conduct in early 2020.

The presentation will provide people with simple techniques for analyzing their local workflow and information-sharing practices, some ideas for interrogating and improving intra-technical services communication, and ideas for simple changes that can improve communication and build a sense of community/joint purpose within or across departments.

Session outline:
1. Discuss the reasons we undertook the initial workflow analysis, and the process we used to conduct it using Rapid Contextual Design. We will show how Rapid Contextual Design was adapted to our particular needs and schedules
2. Discuss our discovery that communication was our largest problem, and describe our approach of implementing small changes to address this in small, simple ways
3. Discuss the assessment of these changes: have there been improvements in staff understanding through the use of these changes?
4. Conclude with discussion about how others might adapt the Rapid Contextual Design method for their own needs

Learning outcomes:
1. Understand more about the Rapid Contextual Design user experience research method and how it can be adapted to analyze workflow issues and other user experience assessment projects
2. Apply to apply Rapid Contextual Design techniques for their own institutional needs

Slides (Slideshare)
Recording (YouTube)
Discussion Forum

avatar for Jharina Pascual

Jharina Pascual

Electronic Resources Acquisitions Librarian, University of California, Irvine

Sarah Wallbank

Electronic Resources & Serials Cataloging Librarian, University of California, Irvine

Tuesday June 9, 2020 12:45pm - 1:35pm EDT
Live - Zoom