I don't love the smell of consulting in the morning

The paper that I've been editing this weekend is our 15-page Use of Information paper. In this class, we have practical experience doing whatever it is exactly that they're trying to teach us to do. We are divided into groups and sent to a University office, non-profit organization, or library site for the semester, to examine their work processes and tell them how they could improve their communication or workflow or things like that. It smells suspiciously of consulting.

Last week in our discussion section, our groups convened to discuss our cultural models, diagrams showing the interactions in the offices. Each group drew their own, then we had to share them with another group and get their input and critiques.

We started with tbone and Mr B------'s group's cultural model. They were a bit confused about how to draw their Venn diagrams to best represent the interactions between the different groups at their site, but we offered some input and suggestions and I think they may have felt better or had more ideas about where they were going.

Then we moved over to our drawings. Which had to be explained. And the whole culture of our site had to be described, because it is so complex and tied up in bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo and internal and external links that no one who hasn't been studying the group for weeks could understand. So here it is, summed up:

Us to them: "Hmmm, I think maybe you could be clearer in that label. And maybe you could have another arrow pointing over here."

Them to us: "Damn, your site is hard."

You better believe it, baby. After explaining it all to the other group, though, I think we came out with... oh wait, nothing. Nothing but more confusion. And a sense of failure. Thankfully, we seem to have formulated something over the course of the weekend. And also thankfully, I am only editing and was not given any responsibilities for drawing anything or understanding the point of making stupid cultural models.

srah - Sunday, 26 October 2003 - 8:37 PM

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Comments (5)

gravatar Erica - October 26, 2003 - 9:14 PM -

This sounds suspiciously like a Total Quality Management class I took, which consistently seemed way more interesting in theory than in practice.

gravatar Justin - October 26, 2003 - 10:59 PM -

I'll have you know that I didn't understand a single word of this entire post.

gravatar srah - October 26, 2003 - 11:00 PM -


gravatar Mr. B------- - October 26, 2003 - 11:39 PM -

Your site -is- hard!

gravatar katie - October 27, 2003 - 1:45 PM -

It's good that you have a sense of failure now. This way, you won't be deluding yourself for weeks and months. ;)

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