There’s been an awful lot of talk in the past few days about Governor Pawlenty’s plans for the fishing opener. The Governor has asked a sportsman from White Bear Lake to be his guide and they are scheduled to leave at 3:30 a.m. Yup – in the middle of the night. Yikes! Is catching a fish worth getting up that early?
As I thought about the steps the Governor is taking to ensure a successful opener, it seemed to have many similarities to University Relations' approach with the interactive campus maps project.
Identifying a subject matter expert
Governor: The fishing host the Governor selected has been hitting White Bear Lake since he was a little boy. Presumably, the fishing guru knows his stuff.
University Relations: The Geographic Information System (GIS) team within University Services is comprised of experts who live and breathe latitude and longitude. These folks are super-smart and are the ones UR is relying on.
Preparing for the event
Governor: There’s a picnic and all other sorts of festivities planned for the night before the opener. And, from the sounds of it – White Bear Lake has been sprucing up its venues for the official’s visit.
University Relations: I don’t think there’s a way I can compare this project to a picnic. But, what I can say is UR is in midst of lots of preparations including consulting with Disability Services, holding focus groups with faculty/staff/students, working hand-in-hand with Parking and Transportation Services, and seeking the wisdom of the Cartography Lab.
Using proper tools
Governor: Odds are the Governor will be using a fishing rod, proper tackle and lure, as well as some sort of fishfinder electronic gadget.
University Relations: The U has invested in the top-of-the-line software from ESRI. ESRI is the world leader in GIS (geographic information system) modeling and mapping software and technology.
Timing the launch
Governor: Yes, he is heading out at 3:30 a.m. to achieve the most successful results.
University Relations: Okay – we do not wake up at 3:30 a.m. to work on this project. However, we have a schedule and are sticking to it in order to achieve our goals.
Measuring key performance indicators
Governor: I think every fish story I’ve ever seen has included the weight and length of the poor fishie.
University Relations: No doubt about it. UR will be reviewing analytics, measuring traffic, and working with colleagues across the campus to ensure the map is meeting the University’s business needs.
Governor: With all the right timing and tools, it seems the Governor has a fairly decent chance of landing a prize-winning Nemo and getting his photo op.
University Relations: By dividing the project into manageable phases, partnering with key stakeholders, and keeping our eye on the prize, most certainly completing the interactive maps project will be like catching the big one – hook, line, and sinker.