[Michlib-l] Fwd: UM School of Information offers consulting services (Fall 2017)

Kristin Fontichiaro font at umich.edu
Wed Jun 21 16:22:04 EDT 2017

Free consulting services available for Fall 2017 from U-M School of
Information grad students -- see details below!


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: University of Michigan School of Information <mechalms at umich.edu>
Date: Tue, Jun 20, 2017 at 9:25 AM
Subject: UM School of Information offers consulting services (Fall 2017)
To: font at umich.edu

Dear Kristin,

The University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI) is now seeking
clients for consulting as part of a Fall 2017 master’s degree level course, SI
501: Contextual Inquiry & Consulting Foundations. During this one semester
course, UMSI master’s degree students work with clients to identify,
analyze, and recommend solutions for client problems related to products,
services, and information processes. There is no cost to client

Over the years, SI 501 students have worked with more than 200 partner
organizations including corporations, government agencies, non-profit
organizations, libraries, and schools. Ideal client projects fit within one
of the following categories:


   Improving or repairing an existing information or communication process;


   Improving or repairing an existing product or service;

   Evaluating service design, such as processes for walk-in customers at
   service desks.

To propose a project for your company or organization, please complete this
very brief form <https://goo.gl/forms/gwXzFNXMs8VxfYtM2> as soon as
possible, and no later than July 31, 2017.

If your project proposal appears to be a good fit, a member of the SI 501
teaching team will contact you to develop and refine your project scope
during the summer. Please feel free to email with any questions you may
have, and share this email widely with others who might be interested. We
have provided additional information below, which may be useful for sharing.

Thank you!

Kentaro Toyama (faculty), Melissa Chalmers (staff)

SI 501: Contextual Inquiry and Consulting Foundations

University of Michigan School of Information

si501projects at umich.edu

= = = = = = =

About SI 501, Contextual Inquiry and Consulting Foundations:

This master’s degree level course provides professional training and
skill-building in user-centered design via the basic principles of an
established process known as “contextual inquiry.” In their capacity as
consultants, faculty-coached student teams collect data related to your
client project through meetings and interviews with project stakeholders,
observations of work practices and information system usage, and
examination of artifacts (e.g. physical workspaces, databases, social media
accounts, etc.). The student teams then synthesize and analyze this
qualitative data, and produce formal reports through which they present
their analyses and recommendations for future action. (Student teams will
not be expected to implement solutions as a part of this course, though
many will be available the following summer for internships.)

Clients should meet the following criteria:


   Have a product, service, information process, or communication process
   already in place that needs repair or improvement.

   Be able to provide at least five relevant people who would be willing to
   be interviewed and observed in person for 60-90 minutes by the student team
   in September-November, 2017.

   Are within 50 miles of Ann Arbor (preference is given to local projects).

   Can accommodate the timeline below.

Timeline for Fall 2017 clients:


   Summer 2017: client proposal and refinement of parameters with SI 501
   teaching staff

   September/October 2017: initial meeting, interviews and observations

   November 2017: feedback and follow-up interviews

   December 2017: final report and presentation

Problems that affect organizational and communication efficiency and
productivity are a good match for student teams:


   “We have channels for distributing information to our constituents, but
   the right information isn’t always shared.”

   “We keep adding staff to our service desk, but the lines haven’t gone

   “We have a database, but we aren’t putting in or taking out the
   information that we need.”

   “A patron ordered a book, and they got it -- but it took weeks to get it
   to them.”

Examples of past projects:


   Reviewing a health clinic's telephone queue and voicemail system, with
   attention to why call abandonment rates are so high.

   Investigating how an online job-matching company could improve retention
   and engagement of its resume-posting users.

   Exploring how a public library's process to acquire and weed materials
   among its three branches could be integrated and streamlined.

   Understanding the bottlenecks of a non-profit organizations complex
   reporting requirements, and how to relieve them.

Client testimonials:


   A private company: “The team did a good job learning about the context
   of our company and the challenge we were having, which ultimately allowed
   them to make recommendations that were relevant and helpful for us.”

   An academic library: “The team did a great job! I appreciate the final
   report immensely, and really appreciated the production of tangible
   deliverables I can use.”

   A university service department: “They understood our complex
   challenges, and came up with some good ideas for us to tackle to improve
   our communications and relationships with our customers.”

   A non-profit organization: “We have some complex systems very specific
   to our industry that usually take people a while to catch on to but the
   students really picked things up quickly.”

About UMSI: The University of Michigan School of Information was chartered
in 1996 as a new school within the University with the mission to conduct
research in, and to teach about, topics at the intersection of people,
information, and technology; its roots trace back to 1926 as a library
science department. Our award-winning faculty have training in computer
science, library science, business, psychology, economics, education,
history, and other fields, and they investigate topics ranging from
digitization of archival documents to relationships on social media, from
data analysis using machine intelligence to the economics of information.
The school comprises about 50 faculty, 50 staff, 60 PhD students, 400
professional master’s degree students and 150 bachelor’s degree students.

Kristin Fontichiaro
University of Michigan School of Information
4427 North Quad
105 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285
Blog <http://fontichiaro.com/activelearning> | Book an Appointment (school
year only)

Michigan Makers <http://michiganmakers.si.umich.edu> | Making in Michigan
Libraries <http://makinglibraries.si.umich.edu>
Data Literacy in High School <http://dataliteracy.si.umich.edu> | Public
Library Management MOOC
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