Yesterday, the Web Services team at North Carolina Central University conducted its 24th Sprint Demonstration. What is a Sprint Demonstration, exactly? A Sprint Demonstration marks the completion of a project. For us, we invite our Web Liaisons and customers into a conference room, where we highlight our finished web products. For visitors, this is an opportunity to see new things, provide feedback, and ask questions directly to the developers. For the developers, we get to watch the reactions and gather feedback that may enhance the outcomes of the next iteration. In theory, this is a win/win opportunity.
In reality, few people take the time to follow changes made to the NCCU.edu web site. That is until those changes go to production. Second, many of the wonderful things the team designs are simply lost in cyberspace until an unforeseeable future arrives. The team and I held many discussions amongst ourselves concerning our audience's readiness to adopt new things. Until the masses understand the value and are prepared to use a web application, the tool is only valuable to its creators.
Our job, as I see it, is to help create excitement. First, we have to understand the customer's needs and second, offer solutions that they are willing to use. For those applications that are allusive, we need to educate our users and find support in early adopters. I believe once this is accomplished, the team will see more visitors at the demonstrations. Not only will we see more people, we will see more individuals fighting to get the best seats in the room.
One day, I envision a campus full of bloggers and web affectionados. Today, we have a few departments and individuals that fully embrace the technology of social networking. This fact reveals a light at the end of the tunnel. So far, these individuals have been so supportive and do their best to spread the good news. I believe with increased education comes greater adoption of web technology. Until then, we have an uphill battle to win the hearts and minds of this campus one person at a time.
Until next time...