One Decision at a Time: Reimagining Decision-Making for Democratized Technology Projects
Embarking on a large, shared systems project, which was four years in the making and the first of its kind at our public land-grant research university system, the largest and oldest in the state, led us to reimagine and implement a new set of shared principles and philosophies around decision making. This talk will share how we reimagined our decision making to overcome traditional challenges we face based on our institutional structures, siloization, and existing hierarchies for inclusion - which are probably no different than challenges that most large and medium sized libraries face in just about any local technology project. The talk will describe how we as an organization unlearned our existing practices, repeatedly had to reaffirm our shared principles, and learn how to empower and support decision making at the lowest level possible, where the operational expertise resided. Rather than be bound by long-standing individual practices, we sought to design new practices that created success at a local and system level and instilled that new changes did not equal retroactively maligning past decisions. This talk will delve deeper in the “how” to reimagine, teach, and empower staff with diverse skillset to make decisions at the lowest level possible especially when they are not used to it, and we are hopeful that it will also serve as a launching pad for others to make these challenging yet vital changes around decision-making when embarking on technology projects.