Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Hoping the moderators for each section will convene groups to brainstorm ideas for the SWOT lists to drive them toward greater coverage. Also hoping the moderators will drive those lists to conform to the following style:

  • Strengths - This < condition exists > making asu.edu < have this benefit >

  • Weaknesses - This < condition exists > making asu.edu < have this handicap >

  • Opportunities - This < action > will improve asu.edu < by providing this advantage >

  • Threats - This < condition > may < create this disadvantage >


Nancy October 6, 2005 at 10:12 AM  

Things are going along nicely, wiki-wise. All of the topic areas have, at least to some degree, populated SWOT charts. But we are only partly through this process and I'm already feeling the effects of fragmentation and information overload. Trying to read all the articles and keep track of all the POVs is quite a job, and yet it's important that we do so. I've been wondering if there's a way to simplify, to reduce the complexity to some comprehensible framework of meaning?

A few days ago, I found a note in Guy’s personal Idea Bucket that led to an IBM Research Center article titled “Participatory Design: The Third Space in HCI". It’s about using games, theater, workshops and other social devices to help end users and software designers collaborate on application requirements. The ASU-TechPlan wiki is such a device, so the findings are pertinent. I put a bullet summary in the wiki but wasn’t sure how it fit. Spent some time organizing the bullets, trying to see whether a helpful pattern emerged. Here’s what I get:

To solve the same old problems in new ways, or new problems that you’ve never seen before, you can...

:: Establish a “collaboration space” where participants can share concerns and feelings as well as knowledge and experiences.

:: The space must be ambiguous, unfamiliar to the participants, so that they are forced to invent new language and create new paths for communication, and new relationships.

:: No participant knows everything; all participants must educate one another.

:: Each participant must seek to find his/her own voice, to share views and needs.

:: Individual voices will combine to create a collective voice or voices.

:: Participants must work together to negotiate meaning, developing shared understanding and thereby, shared commitment to a joint plan of action.

Then I took a short break to shake off the overwhelmed feeling and talk to Kathy about it. We decided that we’re still in the “Tower of Babel” phase (embodied in the first three points above) and we wish that EVERYONE who has views, needs, knowledge and experience would contribute their voice... before the Tower phase is over and the synthesis phase begins.