My Director challenged me to come up with a way to allow for virtual participation in our Resource Lab.
The Resource Lab was designed to get the managers from the different groups actually talking to each other and sharing projects that are coming down the pike (vs the traditional practice of “Oh crap – I need someone from X team NOW!” )
Because our university is on 2 campuses about 30 miles apart and requiring navigation through the DC area’s notorious traffic – there was a lot of requests to make it so that the mangers didn’t have to spend 1-2 hours each way going between campuses.
My initial thought:
- Leverage breakout room functionality in WebEx Training Center
- Have the project managers for each in the room – with their project loaded in the whiteboard
- Have the resource managers go into each room
Since all parties involved are not familiar with the WebEx Training Center interface, breakout room setup could get really complicated and there was no good way to show everything at once – I set this aside.
- Continue to encourage people to show up in person
- Those who can’t make it – use WebEx Meeting Center and our Voice over IP phone and chat client (Cisco Jabber). Everyone is comfortable with both tools
- WebEx Meeting Center – for the introduction
- Jabber – For communicating between the project managers and resource managers, chat first. Everyone is expected to be available on this during the session.
- Leverage a “card” tool to quickly show the pertinent information for each project
- Project Name
- Project time frame
- Contact / person requesting the resources
- Link to details in our project management tool
- Resource needed (preferably by role) and approximate time frame needed
For the card tool, I decided to use Dotstorming.
(Full disclosure – I am working on a side project with Dotstorming.)
You can use other card tools as well (Trello comes to mind).
I just wanted to make everything visible up front and allow comments on each card.
I figured that the comments could be used to track who got assigned to the role.
Or – edits directly on the card to show the assignment.
There is a chat feature in Dotstorming if you want to have a more widespread chat on the overall resource lab.
The video below shows a brief navigation tutorial for this board. Enjoy.