Tag: directors and managers

Scrum Hell or High Water: 3 Easy Ways to Make Agile Efforts More Effective (MPD1)

Do you want to deliver better products and services to a more satisfied client base? Do you think adopting an agile team strategy is the way to achieve those goals? Well buckle up, Dixie cup, and let us explain exactly how your efforts are about to go awry. Jennifer Chance has spent the past year bringing the agile development model known as “Scrum” to The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas. She’ll be the first to tell you that it hasn’t been easy. Mistakes and failures are opportunities to learn, though, and those opportunities are even more appealing if you’re not the one doing the failing. Whether you are considering Scrum, another agile initiative, or none at all, Jen’s no-nonsense approach to a better workflow offers simple, useful solutions for scenarios all of us are likely to encounter. Come and see what you and your team can learn from someone else’s bumpy, blustery journey to become agile--come hell or high water.

Engaging Prospective College Students and Their Parents Online: New 2014 E-Expectations Findings (MCS2)

In recent years, social media and use of mobile devices by students have changed how prospective college students and parents research and interact with campuses. How can campuses adapt their content and e-recruitment strategies to effectively engage with these very different audiences? Geyer and Merker will discuss research from a 2014 first-quarter survey of 1000 college-bound seniors and 500 parents; examining the feedback from both groups affecting web and mobile content strategies, recruitment through social media, direct communications such as email and text, and many other essential online and e-recruitment topics. Tracking data from previous E-Expectations studies will also be discussed, showing how student and parental preferences and behavior have changed over time. Attendees will leave the session understanding how they can optimize their strategies and content across multiple digital platforms.

Moving to Git-based Version Control with Small Teams (DPA2)

Version control has become increasingly important as websites have matured into complex, data-driven applications. The execution of a version control solution, especially with smaller teams, can be daunting. This presentation is meant to provide a brief overview of the various reasons for version control, how to properly plan a migration to version control (especially those leveraging content management systems and/or have no version control in place), and how to execute that plan based on first-hand experience. Just because you have a small team does not mean that version control is not important, nor does it mean that it is intended exclusively for bigger teams. Have a small team? You, too, can join the version control club!

Own the Second Paragraph (MCS3)

Faculty are an institution’s most important asset. At a fundamental level, the academic reputation of a college or university is the aggregate expertise of the faculty. Unfortunately, most campuses have done a poor job of showcasing their faculty, especially in the age of the real time newscycle which demands a steady stream of expert content. There is a great opportunity for colleges and universities to own the second paragraph, which is where the “why” of a story gets explained. In this session, Greenfield will explore how to use faculty expertise as the cornerstone of content marketing, how to uncover invisible campus experts, how faculty reputation influences college rankings and impacts both student and faculty recruitment, and ultimately how to improve media outreach by owning the second paragraph.

Be Yourself: Embrace Authentic Content (MCS4)

"Authentic content" is a common term for describing social media. Indeed, this desirable quality is one of the great benefits of social media. It's often perceived as raw and unfiltered. It's “authentic.” However, authentic content is not reserved for social media. In fact, all content should be authentic. Authenticity represents a fundamental quality of clear communication, but many shy away from authenticity because it appears risky or to avoid opening an institution to critique and criticism. However, the risk of creating inauthentic content that can dull or misrepresent a brand can be a much worse consequence. Allen will discuss how institutions can "be themselves," including several examples of authentic content at work for colleges and universities. Attendees will learn how to turn perceived “flaws” into positive qualities that reflect and distinguish brand, culture, and values of colleges and universities.

Essential Strategies for a Student-Staffed Social Team (MPD4)

Engaging students on social media is a difficult task, but guess what? No one knows how to engage students on social media better than the students themselves! But how do you even start leveraging their skills, insight, and perspectives as part of your social team? Hint: it isn’t as simple sitting students in front of a computer. This session will review how to hire and manage your student team, tools to use for team management, advice on recruiting the best candidates, and other helpful things to keep in mind when working with students.

All Together Now: Mindfully Integrating an Increasingly Disparate Brand (MCS6)

Who owns a brand? How can a college or university develop, grow, and maintain its identity while staying abreast of changes in the marketplace, such as demographics with shifting online preferences, as well as new tools, platforms, and technologies? How can a brand grow with all of these challenges along with an increasingly engaged community of faculty, staff, and students, eager to act as advocates for the college? With employees, students, alumni, prospects, donors, and more to consider, these questions are becoming increasingly challenging for all institutions. Berklee’s marketing leadership shares the struggles and successes of an ongoing brand unification initiative to assimilate disparate campuses, degree programs, institutes, and other programmatic offerings into a coherent brand experience to a wildly diverse audience. Browning and Tracy will discuss working with both outside agencies and internal stakeholders as well as the ongoing process of aligning and developing brand architecture and marketing strategies. Topics and platforms include search and display advertising, web structure, social media strategy, and data analysis.

Agile in higher ed? Yes you Kanban! (MPD7)

Chances are you run a team or belong to a team of trained digital professionals with a very particular set of skills. Are project management and client services among them? In this session, we demonstrate how to eat the elephant on projects big and small that come across your desk every week while staying relatively sane. By adopting a modified Agile methodology to manage workflow, a team can improve efficiency, create an iterative development environment, increase campus collaboration, and tackle large-scale projects, all without sacrificing creativity. The takeaways: • How Agile came to be and how it can be used everywhere from the corporate world to the ivory tower • Some of the tools of the trade (including the free ones) • What the process feels like, from boards to sprints • Our hits and misses – we tested out a lot of approaches before finding the right fit • A (nearly) surefire way to introduce the rest of your campus to this brave new world

Try before you buy: user experience testing in your RFP process can save you time and money (UAD8)

Learn how user experience testing can save your university money, reputation and headaches. This session will cover the University of Minnesota’s efforts to incorporate user feedback into the software purchasing process. The session will cover several use cases that illustrate the considerations and challenges faced by teams at UMN making major software investments, and will show how user feedback helped those teams make data-driven decisions, avoid choosing the wrong tool, and prepare for the tools’ rough edges ahead of rollout. You wouldn’t dream of buying a car without taking a few options for a test drive. Why would you spend what could be millions of dollars on a software solution for your campus without taking the opportunity to test it?

All 'Growed' Up: Social Media Matured (MCS9)

By now, we’ve all drank the proverbial Kool-Aid and understand the importance - and requirement - of social media in marketing for institutions. There have been a variety of creative appeals from admission, to student engagement to annual giving. But how can social media be used across an institution at the highest level, and what is an institutional social media strategy? Krywosa will provide a way forward by investigating integrating the best of discrete social media strategies (informative, fun, engagement and transaction focused) to a brand enhancing platform, as well as defining "best practices" specific to an institutional social media strategy. She will also examine the difference between campaign and organic social media strategies, while discussing means of collaboration to build a consistent brand message from content with social media in mind.

Let Your Data Run Free and Run Your University (AIM9)

Data driven applications have been the norm for years, yet the availability of university data is often lacking. Many of our universities’ data is locked up within departmental silos and closed systems. Our requests to access this data usually result in blank stares, laughter, or confrontation. After all, it’s “my data”! And all the while our applications aren’t as robust as they could be, and users have suffered. At The Ohio State University their campus mobile app has been a cross-departmental collaboration, aggregating lots of campus data. Other departments have begun to see this as a model to follow. Building on this success, OSU launched its Enterprise Integration Platform initiative. The goal is for all campus data to be available via web services/APIs primarily RESTful accompanied by a user friendly searchable API where any person on campus can easily find data available and request access. It will give developers the ability to create robust applications that extend far beyond the silos that fall within their departments. This is a technical change as well as it is a cultural one. Developers can create the applications their departments are asking for. It also creates an awareness of the collective capital that resides in campus data. We’ll share our wins, losses, challenges, and long term plans. We’ll describe the technologies we’re using and things we’d do differently.

Lessons from other sectors in driving culture change. Or, how to stop working the HE way (MPD10)

Doing things the 'HE way' is often used as the excuse for accepting inefficient processes, slow uptake on innovation and stubbornly refusing to change. In a relatively small university like Goldsmiths, we consider ourselves more than aware of these shortcomings, which means encouraging an institution to work digital first is a challenge. So, what lessons can be learned from experience in other sectors to help break out of this mindset? Unsurprisingly, a lot. At Goldsmiths we're in the midst of a 'digital transformation', where we're building the foundations for a fundamental, and completely essential, culture change. But, wherever you'd position your organisation in terms of digital uptake, most of these lessons could be applied to the next phase of your digital journey, and give a fresh way to approach those all too familiar challenges. As well as the tips from outside HE, there will also be a celebration of why digital CAN and SHOULD be easier to embrace in HE, and some of the advantages we have as a sector.

Making Love to the Admissions Staff: Enrollment Management 101 for Web Professionals (TIE10)

Enrollment management -- what we all used to know as "admissions" back in the day -- is more data-driven than ever before. The funnel is changing, and communication streams are getting more complex. Ensuring that your web team and enrollment team are on the same page is a great way to make sure that your school is maximizing its potential to enroll the right students. Higher enrollment (yield) = more $$ = more HighEdWeb! (What else are you going to do with that? Hire an assistant?!)

Centralized or Decentralized? The Hybrid Social Media Approach (MCS12)

New York University is home to more than 40,000 students, attending 18 schools and colleges in Manhattan and around the world. Though the NYU community is large, the individual schools and colleges are small—each with its own traditions, programs, and faculty. The Digital Communications Group and Office of Public Affairs have used NYU’s central social media accounts to celebrate the successes of each of its schools, and have encouraged interdepartmental and collaborative social media efforts over the past year and a half. Given the size of the NYU student and employee population, and the extended reach of the NYU global brand, clear guidelines for social media use are essential. In coming together online, through a Google group for social media administrators, and in person at monthly campus meetings to discuss industry news and strategy, NYU’s social media ambassadors participate in the creation and maintenance of data-driven University-wide social media guidelines, while retaining autonomy over the platforms they manage for individual schools and departments. The Digital Communications Group also offers training and workshops on topics suggested in feedback from the social media ambassadors. In addition to improving the quality of social media messaging to the NYU community, these collaborative initiatives also support efforts to streamline communication within and among University departments.