Iterations and revectoring

So this project is re-vectoring again. The workshop schedule for Thursday has been cancelled. Already it had a very low sign-up rate – only 5 people signed up and one of them was a resident (I think one was a nurse). Then when the reminder went out two people cancelled. Things came up, and it wasn’t too hard for them to prioritize something else over the iPad workshop.

I interviewed DY yesterday – in part to get her expertise, and her opinion on the program. The perspective is different – when the questions aren’t focused on the assumption of the program, we start to see that the program is ill conceived. There is a lack of sense of need. People are busy, and so without a pressing need, people won’t make a special trip. Now, if you add a workshop onto something they are already doing, then they will come … they just won’t come solely for the workshop. That in and of itself is interesting. I will need to ask that specific question …

So, now I am revectoring. Had a meeting with CJ today to go over changes in the program – and talk about how things don’t at all look like they did at the proposal stage. Afterwards, it occurs to me that the iterations in DBR are happening, they just aren’t happening at the workshop level – they are happening at the program level. Each new bit of information is causing the program to be re-structured – redesign. It isn’t each “workshop” that is being iterated, rather it is the program as a whole. It is like ‘click’ a piece of the puzzle just hit me – I needed to be thinking about the bigger picture – because it is the bigger picture where the insights are happening.

Another important insight is that I don’t have a true “early adopter” champion. I should have seen this gap sooner, as all the literature talks about the importance of it. I thought I could make do with the folks I have, but I see now that I don’t have the  champion support that I need. One of the assumptions of this workshop is that iPads can improve resident education. This is proving to be a false assumption, that this a challenge. There might be a few earlier adopters out there for whom this is the case, the problem is, I don’t have any of them at uO DFM – so the organization I’m working with does not have the champion earlier adopter that I need. Without that, the program just be “Rebecca’s” pet project – it will not be the program it needs to be.

So, here is a summary of what I’m emailing to CJ – talking about the iterations and where I’m currently at …

I was thinking about research and iterations. When we talked today, I found myself thinking that I did not see a problem with where things were. It occurs to me that it is in part about perspective as to what makes an iteration. If you take my research at a “program” perspective, rather than a workshop perspective, then the design of the program has already gone through several iterations. I think that is the better way to describe it. The workshops are just a portion of what makes up the program. My focus is on the program as a whole, rather than the individual workshops.

So, the first iteration is the one based upon literature and my knowledge at the time. This is what I wrote in the proposal.

Iteration two happened after I did the interviews. In meeting with Jay and Mad before presenting the first workshop, we restructured how the workshops were formatted – this represents the second iteration of the program. This version of the program was written up for the MainPro application. It already looked quite different from the version that was in the proposal.

Iteration three happened after we finished the first workshop and responded to the evaluations. I’ve build an iBook, a website, and handouts for the workshop. I also make some changes to how the workshop was to be delivered. The plan was to test this version of the “program”, in part through delivery of the workshop, but it got cancelled.

Iteration four is happening now – as a response to the workshop being cancelled. This is causing a re-reflection on the program as a whole. I will look at what the current program looks like based upon the new information, and create a new design. The testing of the new design will begin at the retreat.

In essence, what is happening is the “program” as a whole is being re-designed as a result of each piece of new information. Something happens (either interviews, a workshop, or in this case the cancellation of a workshop), that causes a design change in the program.

Of course, this demonstrates an issue with DBR, and one of the questions that comes up – when do you stop iterating? When do you stop making changes to the program, as this could go on forever. It is actually a known issue with this type of research.

So, over the summer, I shall re-conceptualize the “program” based upon the information that I currently have, including the interviews I did last week with Mad and Dee. My thought is that iteration four will be the last iteration of this project – at least as far as my dissertation is concerned – although depending on how things go, I may be convinced to do an iteration five. I am not short on data.