As of September 1, 2016, I work with our Operations Team (OPS) as Product Owner (CSPO – Certified Scrum Product Owner) and IT Analyst Developer, so my official job title is Digital User Experience Librarian/ Product Owner and IT Analyst Developer. I believe that this new responsibility allows me to contribute more to development and improvement of scholarly communication systems in the backend.
Although my job title is (sort of) brand new, I have been already exposed to some of the work related to scholarly communication systems as digital user experience librarian like IUPUI Open Access Policy Portal and IUPUI ScholarWorks. I have also participated in the Scholarly Communications Systems Working Group led by our scholarly communications librarian, Jere Odell. Honestly, I didn’t know how my efforts to work for scholarly communications turned out at that time, but in retrospect, I think that these projects helped me be equipped with knowledge, skills, tools, and people in order to be successful in my new role as Product Owner and IT Analyst Developer.
My main responsibility is still to ensure user experience in all of our digital products including IUPUI University Library website. However, I don’t think that my role as DUX would conflict with the new role as PO and IT Analyst Developer. Rather, they would support each other. One thing I have learned as digital user experience specialist is that technologies are just tools, rather it is more important to understand how users think and use, solicit what their needs and wants are, and then identify a gap between how it is now and how it should be in the future. These user-centered principles should be applied to any projects on which I work to develop or enhance, not really based on my assumptions or interests in coding.
In order to be successful in my new role, I had two-day CSPO training offered by Tom Mellor, the Braintrust Consulting Group. Even though I have had several workshops on project management previously, the CSPO training was really useful and practical in terms of better understating of foundation of being agile and overview of Scrum framework. Since technologies in scholarly communication are in the complex domain, Scrum could be a perfect methodology to develop applications (Our OPS team already use Scrum as well). After workshop, I was able to apply the Scrum principles to my first project – Open Access Tracking system, originally developed by Andy Smith – as PO and IT Analyst Developer. Jere Odell and I agreed to work in the two-week Sprint cycle in order to deliver it by the end of next January.
I work for people and with people. Without Andy Smith, Lisa Calvert and liaison librarians, any DUX projects wouldn’t be completed with success. In order to be successful in my new role, I should be surrounded by team players and I feel that I am lucky to have Jere Odell – from his passion for open access, I get inspired and motivated to work hard and move forward – and Andy Smith – his willingness to share his valuable IT analyst and developer’s skills and knowledge.