Agile Library Operations: Introduction to Scrum and the Agile Manifesto
Instructor: Aaron Collie
Dates: January 8th to February 2nd, 2018
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Technology is blossoming in Libraries, Archives and Museums and with it emerges a new workforce with a decidedly more collaborative approach to getting work done. On the way out are the top-down, command-and-control, and delegation-oriented administrations and on the rise are new management practices, such as the Agile management principles, which portend to be a better fit for the modern library operations portfolio – and, most importantly, for the critical mass of people and projects working in support of a technologically-evolved mission. This course will examine how new management practices arising out of the software development and technology sector are being adopted in cultural heritage organization such as Libraries, Archives, and Museums.
Whether it’s understanding the community contribution and technologic governance models of open source projects or how incremental improvement keeps customers happy this course will identify, name, and observe emerging practices that are influencing library operations. After completing this course you will be an informed agent poised to take strategic actions in your organization (such as immediate workflow improvements, new quality control measures, or even identifying further coursework and certification programs) in order to fully realize recognized benefits of agile practices: improved quality, morale, efficiency and teamwork. This course is introductory and its aim is to equip students with the vocabulary and context necessary to pursue further education.
- Week 1: Read about contributions to the agile philosophy from founders and influential thinkers such as Shewhart (Bell Labs), Deming (Toyota), Takeuchi, Nonaka, Sutherland (Easel), Schwaber, and more
- Week 2: Identify distinguishing characteristics of new management practices such as Agile, Scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP), Kanban, Systems Thinking, as well as Waterfall and SDLC in order to make informed recommendations for adoption
- Week 3: Read from library, museum and archives’ literature including the code4lib Journal, Library Management, the International Journal of Digital Curation and influential blogs, among others, to better contextualize the organizational nuances of library adoption
- Week 4: Finalize your organizational preparedness narrative and create an adoption and implementation recommendation
By the end of this course you will be able to:
- Explain the basic process and ideas of Scrum, one of the Agile management frameworks
- Hold an informed conversation with colleagues, managers and administrators regarding the benefits, similarities and differences emerging management practices such as Agile
- Assess your organizational preparedness including extant synergies with Agile principles; learn directly from the L/A/M literature including reports, case studies and research
- Create a plan for adaptation, adoption and/or implementation from simple workflow improvements to full utilization of Scrum
Aaron Collie is the Head of Digital Curation programs at Michigan State University Libraries. He has over a decade of progressively responsible experience in library and information centers and over five years of experience leading digital curation operations in an academic research library. He is a certified Scrum Master and in his primary role leads the development of a 10 person team supporting Michigan State University Libraries digital collections. He received his M.S in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois in 2010 and was a Graduate Fellow and graduate of the Data Curation Education Program.
This is an online class that is taught asynchronously, meaning that participants do the work on their own time as their schedules allow. The class does not meet together at any particular times, although the instructor may set up optional sychronous chat sessions. Instruction includes readings and assignments in one-week segments. Class participation is in an online forum environment.
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