by Liz Wallach, Washington, DC Chapter, Environment & Resource Management Division
As we work to demonstrate our value to our organizations, we may be asked to participate in projects with other groups or divisions. Being asked to contribute to a project is an opportunity to showcase our skills and knowledge as information professionals. Here is a new project management concept that I recently learned about.
Agile Project Management gives a flexible framework for completing a project with an iterative approach. Agile is not new (only new to me) and it is not something that you learn quickly. There is a whole industry devoted to training seminars, consulting, and software tools. I had never heard about the Agile concept before attending a 3 day “boot camp” seminar last summer. I realized very quickly that I had a lot to learn.
The main advantage of using an Agile approach is that it allows you to make changes to your concepts as you move through the process. Agile participants accept that there is no way for you to know exactly what the end product will look like – no matter how many requirements you write. Ideas should evolve as you gather more information. So Agile allows you to refine and revise your concept as you learn more about the possibilities. These few sentences are just scratching the surface of how the Agile method works.
There are 2 reasons that I connect this with our FutureReady blog:
- It’s healthy to be challenged by learning about something with which you have no experience.
- I am building new relationships with other groups within my company by working on these projects.
I am an SLA member who has always worked in a “nontraditional” library position, but I have strongly associated myself with the information professionals in SLA. As we move into the future, we should remember to challenge ourselves by learning about new ideas to keep our profession “agile”.
Liz Wallach has worked at BNA for 22 years in various research positions, most recently as a Manager of Special Projects. She has been a member of SLA for almost that long, since completing her M.S.L.S. at Catholic University.