46 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 292 2017 So, after an afternoon of training on the agile project approach— creating a workplan and roles of project leads, stakeholders, and team members modeling formation of team agreements and some practice with the Trello team-productivity app as a tool to capture it all—we were off.3 Each team developed its own character and its own cadence. Each delivered increments of work that could be reviewed and shared among the teams. Very quickly these small pieces of work began to provide us with insight into why the work of collections had proven so challenging. There were unexpected twists and turns. Each team needed data— cleaner data than we had at first. The teams realized they needed many of the same data elements, and they discovered this fairly early in the process. Although data scrubbing was time-consuming, there was a larger group available to support the effort than otherwise would have been the case inside of siloed functional areas. Crucially, the Communication & Data Visualization team reprioritized their work to jump in, reduce duplicative efforts, and help prepare important data. Not everything about our effort to improve collection development outcomes by working in teams was easy. Some teams clicked immediately, but others needed more time to hit their stride. We also surfaced some uncomfortable truths that we can now do the difficult work of confronting. The difference is that today we hold those truths in common, across the boundaries of departmental function. We are working to become less conflict avoidant, to share feedback more openly and directly, and to take collective ownership of all the work we do. In that work, there can be no “us” or “them.” Did it work? I eyed the spending burndown report nervously as we moved into the last quarter. I mentioned to our finance director that the remainder
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