About this blog post

The IWMW 2020 event will feature a series of structured discussion groups, know as lean coffee sessions. In this post we describe how lean coffee sessions are organised; provide a list of topics which the event advisory group feel will be of interest and provide details of an online Slackchat meeting on Tuesday 21 January in which additional suggestions can be made.

About the IWMW event

The IWMW 2020 event will take place at the University of Dundee on 30 June – 2 July. The annual event, the Institutional Web Management Workshop, is the main professional development event for those with responsibilities for the delivery of institutional web services and management of other digital channels.

The theme of this year’s event is “Evolution and Revolution in the HE Digital Community“. 

As the use of “workshop” in the event name suggests, the event is not a scholarly conference; rather it primarily provides an opportunity to hear about how the sector is delivering digital services from peers across the HE digital community and to  learn from each other about practical steps to implement change.

About the ‘Lean Coffee’ sessions

In addition to the plenary talks and the workshop sessions we will also be hosting a number of discussion group sessions on topics of relevance to the community.

As described on the IWMW 2019 website, last year we introduced ‘lean coffee’ sessions, which are designed to allow all participants to shape the agenda for the discussions. In brief:

The discussion is conducted as follows:

  1. Everyone in each room thinks of a few things they would like to discuss around the topic and writes each idea on a post-it note.
  2. The group reviews each idea, working to group together similar topics, clarify any unclear post-its and de-duplicate.
  3. Everyone gets to vote on the ideas they would like to discuss most.
  4. The top prioritised item gets 5 minutes discussion.
  5. At the end of each 5 minute segment, the group votes whether to stay with the current topic or move to the next-most popular topic.

The feedback we received for the innovative format we introduced last year was very positive:

  • Great concept as it’s a great way to see what’s important to other people.
  • Great to do something new
  • Really great concept that I’ll be using very soon at UoN. Everyone engaged in discussions. A must for iwmw20 and beyond.

We will therefore be hosting lean coffee sessions at the IWMW 2020 event. One change we will be making is to engage the community in deciding the topics to be discussed. 

Discussion topics for the Lean Coffee sessions at IWMW 2020

The IWMW 2020 advisory group suggested the following topics:

Focussing on users and information providers
1AccessibilityAll things related to the accessibility of digital resources
2End-users (non-digital folk) and creating quality accessible contentHow to get content providers (who may not be digital or accessibility experts) to create higher quality accessible content.
3Content All content-related matters
4User experienceA deliberately broad title, which will enable a wide range of topics to be raised
5PersonalisationIssues related to the specific area of personalisation.
6UX testing methods Issues related to the specific area of UX testing.
7User research (on a shoestring)Discussions around how to get actual user input when you don’t have a person or budget dedicated to doing so
8Editor trainingHow do we go about providing training and support for web editors?
9Engaging your community of editorsAre our web contributors engaged? Let’s discuss how we can increase engagement and awareness.
10Digital skills across the institutionAre colleague digitally literate enough to enable the institution to be as effective as it needs to be and as agile as it needs to be
11Getting out on the road and meeting your users Why you should be proactive in meeting your users and listening to them
12Keeping on top of our users in terms of the channels they use, etc How we can identify digital channels and tools used by our users so we can provide support and advice
13Working with academics and researchersThe challenges we face in providing services for the academic and research community
Focussing on the web and digital community
14Community building & collaborationHow do we go about building and developing the digital community and foster collaboration?
15Transformation, change and the futureDigital is driving institutional transformation!
16Inclusion in the workplaceHow do we ensure our workplace is inclusive to ensure everyone can achieve their full potential 
17Digital governanceWhat a digital governance framework is, how to go about developing one, and getting the buy-in needed for it to be successful
18Leadership What it means to be a leader and why we all need to be one. 
19Influencing upDiscussions highlighting the value of digital and how to educate and influence those who would invest in it
20Team structuresAn opportunity to understand the team structures in place across the community and their strengths and weakness of 
21Ways of workingSharing experiences of the different working practices we have in our team
22Demonstrating technical impact while embedded in a non-technical department – demonstrating value.With many digital teams being placed within non-technical departments, explaining the impact and benefits of technical work can be tough. This discussion will focus on how we report our technical activity to the business.
23Tools, frameworks and developer must-havesOpportunity for developers to share suggestions on best tools and frameworks to use (and maybe those to avoid!)
24The wider technical opportunities, issues and challengesOpportunity for developers to discuss topics of interest to developers: you’ll know what the key issues are!
25Legal compliance Sharing experiences of legal issues and responses and /keeping up with changes
26Mistakes we have made and lessons we have learntAn opportunity to share your mistakes and lessons learnt in a trusted environment

A Slackchat meeting to refine the discussion topics

We expect to host about 10 discussion group topics at the event, so the list given above needs to be pruned. But also there may be topics which members of the digital community would like to address which aren’t covered in the list.

On Tuesday 21 January we will be hosting an online discussion on the #iwmw2020 channel of the HE Digital Slack group at 12 noon.

If you are not yet a member of the HE Digital Slack group a page on the IWMW website provides further information.

Note that in addition to discussing the topics to be covered, the feedback from last year’s event suggests another area in which we’re welcoming feedback:

  • Interesting and productive discussion, wish we could’ve kept going another half hour. And what a great format! Definitely going to try this.
  • I could have stayed at this session much longer

Rather than a session lasting for 60 minutes, should it be longer?