This Week in LIS - 9 November 2012

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Headline of the Week: Quality

I have been thinking a great deal about quality. I had several days in the woods this past week sitting and watching… and thinking. We have a number of important systems under construction or consideration. Each supports and impacts large portions of the community. It is essential they go out with big “Q” quality.

Back in October, I shared some thoughts about big “Q” quality as it relates to software systems. At that time my focus was on the communication and linkage between those that build systems, those that support systems and the users of systems.

When I returned to civilization I came across this blog post – Never Compromise the Q: Quality . Here the author shares a transition in his thinking as it relates to quality. His original mental model had been that cost and speed and quality are the tradeoffs with software systems. He thought one can get two out of three – but not all three. His new insight is one that is part of the project management discipline. The tradeoffs are time, cost/resource and scope but under all circumstances quality is essential. In the triangle with the tradeoffs at the vertices, big “Q” proudly sits – immovable.

That is how I want to think about the systems we implement and deploy. First, that the quality in question is the big “Q” quality. That is the quality that the end user perceives, and it encompasses function and performance and usability and reliability, etc. To get systems to big “Q” quality it is important to have deep end user involvement, strong design and thorough implementation. When there are many building blocks integrated within a system it is essential to do system testing to find the missed expectations between complex components that no reasonable amount of “dry-lab” analysis will pick up on.

“I got it to work” is just the beginning. “I can no longer make it break” is the aspirational goal.

Suggested Reading/Viewing:

Never Compromise the Q: Quality, Feb. 10, 2011 by Marc Chesley

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LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

The following articles are sampled from those available on the LIS Blog:

Notes from LIS Council

LIS Council is the leadership team within LIS. Among the topics discussed this past week were:

  • LIS Operational Agenda
    • Council members will be reporting on LIS operational views (metrics for processes and status of projects) regularly at LIS Council meetings. This week’s reports included the following:
    • Archives
      • Sasha has largely completed the work at Vesterheim for the Journeys to America project. The project will be substantively complete at the end of November. Vesterheim now has an online catalog of their collection.
      • Sasha will join our team for 3 years starting in December at .4 for the ALI grant and .35 for digital archive work.
      • We received a call from Pacific Lutheran University. They have some items related to Luther to put in Luther’s collection including some photos.
      • Rachel reiterated the need to continue the conversation on space for researchers and for archives offices and collaborative student work space.
      • Lights have been installed in the display case in Loyalty. Currently the display is the C.K. Preus Gym fire. Coming next will be 100 Years of Luther Biology based on the presentation that was given during Homecoming.
    • Network & Systems
      • Metrics
        • Adam reported on wireless network usage.
        • Adam shared that each building is assigned to one of our three Internet connection providers. If the assigned connection fails then the building switches to another ISP network connection.
        • A chart was shared showing sites with the most sessions. The top session is Open DNS. The question was raised if that indirection could be causing traffic slowdown.
        • We also looked at data showing bandwidth usage. During the time the chart captures there were no extraordinary bandwidth consumers.
      • Projects
        • On the intrusion testing project contract negotiation is underway led by the Finance office.
        • We discussed how much work is involved in patching and updating all the systems prior to the proposed testing.
        • The firewall work to isolate the data center from the rest of the internal network continues.
        • Towers wireless issues continue. One idea is to configure a 5 Ghz only network to lure those devices to expected better performance that can operate at both 2.4 and 5 Ghz. This will free up some connections/bandwidth for other 2.4 Ghz users. Some are reporting they have to use the guest network to be able to do homework, but there isn’t good evidence to support that. We continue to look for reproducible cases to develop better understanding of the issues in the pursuit of solutions.
        • Adam is considering a potential upgrade to a new network equalizer version. Adam will be in touch with the Help Desk to alert them a priori.
    • User Services
      • No report this week because Diane was at the CLIR Workshop in St. Louis.
  • New Items
    • Katie System Testing Plan
      • Ideas were shared on helping with Katie system testing. Further discussion related to building new Katie “professor perspective” skills at the Technology Help Desk. Maybe there is a connection.
    • Financing
      • There will be a short window in November to bring forward instances where budgets are insufficient for essential must have work/projects. A number of ideas were discussed. Bring items.
    • Program Support Coordinator
      • Search committee for the open Program Support Coordinator backfill will be formed.
    • IT Security
      • We had further conversation on information technology security leadership staffing.

Upcoming LIS Training, Instruction, and Professional Development Opportunities

Click on the event below for specific information and for a link to register. More information on training and development events is available.

Course Format Date Location Enrollment
New Katie Version Workshop Nov 14 2012 – 2:45pm 3:45pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Intro to SAS Workshop Nov 20 2012 – 11:00am 12:00pm Olin 113 Open
LIS Summer Faculty Workshop Brown Bag Workshop Nov 26 2012 – 12:15pm 1:15pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
Remote Access Options Product Demonstration Dec 3 2012 – 12:15pm 1:15pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
ZOTERO Workshop Workshop Dec 5 2012 – 7:00pm 8:00pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Open
Remote Access Options Product Demonstration Dec 6 2012 – 11:15am 12:15pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open

Training and instruction is provided to the Luther Community through Faculty Development Sessions, Library Instruction Sessions, Product Demonstrations, Skills Training, Workshops, 1-on-1 Sessions, and Online Materials. To schedule a session, contact the LIS Technology Help Desk at x1000 or enter your request online at

This Week in LIS is published most Fridays by Paul Mattson, Executive Director of LIS at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

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