My Rescripting Project

This is “My Rescripting Project” because it is a transformational (or rescripting) process that I am going through in many different areas (ARENAS) of my life.

I am literally re-writing my career, transitioning and rescripting my personal brand, and reinventing my roadmap for my future…my future career, my outlook on life at work, home, as a parent, a co-worker, a leader, and a friend.

As I mentioned above, the word “ARENAS”…I’m rescripting my life based on different ARENAS that I want to SHOW UP in, BE SEEN, and LIVE BRAVE. This is how I want to live my life going forward…the DARING WAY.

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I want to strive to do a better job of being more present for my kids, taking better care of myself and my health, doing a better job of staying on top of things around my house, making more of an effort to make personal connections, and developing and evolving my career…all of it is a very personal journey, My Rescripting Project, that I am going to share.

I truly am re-writing or reinventing the way I think, going through some deep, thoughtful personal discovery and self-awareness, gaining insight to clearly identify and analyze potential career options to help get a better feel for what fields or careers I should focus on pursuing.

I am also gaining strength and bravery through my resources and connections as I learn about the teachings of Brené Brown. This is where I’m diving into defining my ARENAS, learning to be vulnerable and to have self-compassion, learning about resilience, which I discovered I already have…I have fallen and gotten back up, put myself together, gone straight back out there and did what I had to do, most of the time better, so many times.

This is going to require a lot of courage, vulnerability, and bravery. I’m carrying with me my shields of resilience, self-compassion, and authenticity. And, I’m going to remember this quote from Brené Brown which resonated with me the second I heard it and it literally made me laugh out loud. I’ve already used it dozens of times and it works because it is SO true:

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I don’t give up. If there is one quality about me, one strength that I know I have for sure, it is persistence. And that is how I want to live my life and how I hope my children live theirs.

Persistance
With intention, purpose, and hope. I love Brené Brown’s definition of hope:

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I don’t want to be afraid to be me, my authentic self, and to be appreciated for being me. That is the only way we can make true connections, and I have missed out on too many of those over my lifetime, being too afraid to be me. From now on, I plan to create real connections. After all, it is one of my top 5 themes identified in the Clifton Strengths Finder. And I believe it, if I believe in myself:

Connection
Through the Bounce Back Project, I have attended The Daring Way and Rising Strong programs, and through Brené Brown and Courage Works, I have now become Brave Leader Recognized. Being a Brave Leader means I am certified and able to coach in the following areas. with access to the learning materials and resources:

Daring Leadership: The Four Pillars of Courage

  • 01_VULNERABILITY

    Facing risk, uncertainty, and emotional exposure with courage and clarity

    02_CLARITY OF VALUES

    Identifying, operationalizing, and practicing the beliefs that we hold most important

    03_TRUST

    Creating or deepening connections in relationships and teams based on the seven elements of trust

    04_RISING SKILLS

    Learning and growing from the failures, setbacks, and disappointments that are inevitable when we are brave with our lives

  • 10 Courage Deep Dives 

    1. Empathy 1: The Power of Connection in the Workplace
    2. Empathy 2: The Six Most Common Barriers to Empathy and Connection
    3. Overcoming Perfectionism: Putting Down the Armor that Gets in the Way of Good Work
    4. Backed into a Corner: The Power of Leading from Connection and the Dangers of Using Shame as a Management Tool
    5. Never Enough: Confronting Scarcity in Individuals, Teams, and Organizations
    6. Rising Strong Part 1: Resetting After Disappointments, Setbacks, or Failures
    7. Rising Strong Part 2: Braver, Smarter, Stronger
    8. Assuming Positive Intent: The BIG Work of Putting Generosity into Practice
    9. Daring Feedback 1: How to Give Courageous Feedback
    10. Daring Feedback 2: The Courageous Way to Receive Feedback

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This is a journey, not a destination, but at this point so far in My Rescripting Project, I feel like I am ready to:

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The purpose of my portfolio is to provide insight into my work style and my approach to solving business challenges. As you will see, my main focus is on not leaving the needs of the most important stakeholders, our users, behind.

Please see my resume for more details on my professional background Here you will find more of a narrative summary about me. I have included below the best illustration I have found that describes how all my interests and background and areas of expertise comes together. It is from Earley & Associates, a resource I use frequently.

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As a consultant for much of my career, I have been successful in many roles. I have been lucky to have been exposed to all of these subject matter areas in the image above and I believe they all overlap each other and intersect and compliment each other and need to work together. It has been so helpful in my career to have knowledge in all three of these phases of a solution: the content itself and the content strategy; the framework and foundation; and the page layouts, navigational flow and the features and functions that will provide the best user experience. Then the developers bring it to life for me and the designers make it beautiful.

I am on the Board of Directors of the MN Chapter of AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management). This is an association that provides the tools, resources, knowledge and subject matter expertise for any and all professionals that deal with information and images in any capacity. Those in UX Design, Information Architecture, Business Intelligence, Digital Asset Management, Content Analytics, Business Process Management, Information Governance, Content Management, Image Processing & Management, Knowledge Management, Web Content Management, etc. I’m helping set the standards and best practices for this association and build a new, more social, interactive and collaborative website and guide the direction we will go as a member-driven umbrella of experts to connect the community of information and image professionals.

My Approach to Accessing Knowledge 

I  use innovative methods to identify my user’s needs in addition to traditional stakeholder interviews. Not only does it make requirements gathering sessions more fun, but it gets users more engaged, more interested, thinking more, participating more and contributing more.

Examples of Elicitation Techniques

I believe gathering requirements is all about asking questions, digging deep, being curious, focusing on the user’s intent, listening, asking why, then asking more questions to make sure you’ve covered things your stakeholders may not have thought of.  Anticipating a ‘need’ that someone has in a way that is planned and deliberate is the key to designing a user interface that is intuitive, a.k.a. a great user experience.

Elicitation Techniques

Card Sorting Examples

Following are photos from several card sort sessions that I held at Stearns County in late 2013 to identify user needs across the organization on the redesign of the county-wide Intranet.

First we brainstormed about what type of content we would need to be able to find on the Intranet, which was also serving as a gateway to our Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system.


 

 

Then we did a card sort exercise to group all our content into categories. This information could be gathered and analyzed and could be transformed into a site map.

Then a group of IT professionals got together and did their own card sort to help define the Intranet/ECM taxonomy.

Speedboat Examples

Ground rules of a Speedboat session are:

  • Don’t put your name on your sticky notes.
  • Be honest.
  • Share your thoughts.
  • Hold off on problem solving.

The following examples are from various organizations, left to right: J&B Group, results from a process analysis that was done of their current processes; Travel Leaders, used this form of gathering requirements as another way to get different answers from the same set of stakeholders; Stearns County, focus on providing a high-quality enterprise-wide service.

Sketching Examples

Sketching during whiteboarding and/or brainstorming sessions helps visualize features and functions and other elements. Following are some examples from different requirements gathering sessions. From left to right: Hennepin County LOB Template, Hennepin County Capture and Search, Microsoft OEM Dashboard, Microsoft OEM Page Layout

Following are a few whiteboarding sessions that were captured at TCF Bank in 2015. I facilitated these sessions to define the process and a home page for a site that was requested for managing the process around security certificate renewals in IT.

I Create Precise Documentation

Attractive, accurate and well-written documents can help illustrate user journeys, process flows and research outcomes. They not only provide the narrative user story behind the wireframes but also the framework behind the technical layout and structure, the plans behind the testing and implementation, the supporting documentation behind the training and communication, policies and procedures and the templates behind the initial request forms and requirements documents.

Documentation

Requirements Documentation

Following are examples of high-level requirements that I documented in my current position as a SharePoint Business Systems Analyst at Winthrop Resources. The following two projects involved helping Accounts Payable and the Credit department improve their processes to reduce paper and saving content to their shared drives.

[Insert Prospect Management Site Requirements Here]

The following document captures the high-level requirements for an idea/innovation management and collaboration site. This site serves as an area where employees can submit ideas, peers rate one another’s ideas, top ideas rise to the top, management scores top ideas using weighted ratings spread across different criteria and discovers leading ideas to put into action. There is also a Discussion Board where employees can talk to one another, discuss topics, solve problems and discover solutions.

Link to Scanning Solution Requirements
[Insert Idea Management Site Requirements Here]

Personas

Following are some examples of user personas I have created to represent intended users of a system or application.

Toad World User Personas

[Insert more User Persona samples here.]

Governance Plans

[Insert samples here.]

Forms/Templates

[Insert samples here.]

When I talk about documentation, that also includes wireframes. Wireframes help visualize page layouts, navigational flows, interactions, features and functions.

Wireframes

Idea Management Site

Following are wireframes I quickly threw together in Visio in my current role as a SharePoint Business Systems Analyst at Winthrop Resources. These were used as a visual aid in team meetings when discussing the Idea Management site we were building.

< Insert Link to Idea Management Wireframes >

Microsoft Partner Consolidated Experience Prototype

Following are interactive prototypes that I created for Microsoft while working as a User Experience Architect at Gage Marketing in early 2015.

Link to Microsoft OEM Interactive Prototype

Walmart Interactive Statement of Ethics Site

Following are wireframes that I created while working as a User Experience Architect at Gage Marketing in early 2015. These wireframes were for a key content center we were creating for Walmart to design an Interactive Statement of Ethics.

Progression of wireframes from low-fidelity to higher-fidelity:

Link to Walmart Interactive Wireframes (very rough draft version).

3M

The following are wireframes that I created while working as a User Experience Architect at Gage Marketing in early 2015. These wireframes were created for 3M’s Industrial Marketing Campaign for a new product launch.

Zep Craft Brewing Site

The following are wireframes that I created while working as a User Experience Architect at Gage Marketing in early 2015. These wireframes were created for Zep Craft Brewing to launch their line of cleaning products.

Link to Zep Craft Brewing Interactive Prototypes

Stearns County Intranet

Following are the wireframes and a separate document containing the annotations for the Stearns County Intranet Project that I was the Project Lead and Information Architect for from 2013 – 2014.

Link to Stearns County Wireframes
Link to Stearns County Wireframe Annotations

Toad World

Following are wireframes I created while working as a UX Designer at RBA Consulting in early 2013. Using Axure 6.5 RP Pro, I created these wireframes for Dell to create a more socially engaging experience for their users.

This is the Functional Specification document which includes all the wireframes and annotations describing the functionality of the features:

Link to Toad World Functional Specifications (Wireframes with Annotations)

Navistar International Truck Configurator

Following are wireframes I created as an Information Architect at RBA Consulting in late 2012. Using Axure 6.5 RP Pro, I created these wireframes for Navistar International to create a truck configurator so their clients could build a custom truck before stepping foot in the dealer.

< Insert Link to Navistar Functional Specs here. >

 Blue Cross Blue Shield Mobile App

Here I have included some wireframes from a mobile app I worked on while at RBA as an Information Architect. There is a Functional Specifications document with the wireframes and annotations and a Features document which lists each feature and weighs the user priority and technical complexity of each one and assigns its scope within the project.

Mindset

Mindset is the window through which you view the world, yourself, and your experiences. It is formed of your core beliefs and has a massive influence on how you behave, interact, and walk through life. Mindset matters.

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Believing that you are capable and resilient will increase your ability to rise after you fall and rise even stronger, more confident and focused than you were before.

Remembering that even if you fail you yourself are not a failure permits you to take risks, to go on adventures, to try, to take action,…for “only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly” – Robert Kennedy.

Assuming that most people in this world are kind and doing their best, just as you do, will diminish fear and competition while opening up a spirit of generosity and cooperation.

A core belief that even the most painful experience can teach you something helps you look for the gifts and refuse to give up. Sometimes your most painful experience is your best teacher.

A belief that all human beings have worth increases your capacity to forgive, to interact with compassion, to remember that everyone has a story.

An openness to change creates space for new relationships, new adventures, new opportunities – holding tightly to what was shuts you down and stifles growth and happiness. “Change. It has the power to uplift, to heal, to stimulate, surprise, open new doors, bring fresh experiences and create excitement in life. Certainly is worth the risk.
– Leo Buscaglia

A belief that your past does not dictate your future prevents you from feeling hopeless and stuck; today is a new day and opportunity to become who and how you want to be. Today is always fresh with no mistakes in it. You own the story to your life…you get to write the ending.

Remembering that while you are imperfect, you are also gifted, needed and that you offer a unique gift to the world can break the destructive power of comparison, and bring freedom for you to just be you.

A belief that you have great worth enables you to walk with greater confidence, avoid abusive relationships and advocate for yourself when needed.

Keeping in mind that genetic predisposition does not guarantee your future encourages to you to make positive lifestyle choices today, not out of fear, but simply because you choose the best life for you, not just one you have been told you will fall victim to. You own the story of your life, and you choose the ending of your story.

Acknowledging that stress and challenge can be positive, rather than numbing or running away from all fear and stressful situations, will empower you to have the courage to take purposeful risks in life and do the work you love in the world with more joy and ease, and try things you never dared to try before, maybe discovering new passions in life.

The belief that most of your happiness resides within your control compels you to stop thinking negative thoughts and start taking action to think more positive thoughts and do what you can to make your life a happy one while you’re here, living it.

Understanding that those who succeed at their craft are often not just born more gifted but have put more work into honing their skills propels you to sit your butt down and practice. Then practice some more. Practice make perfect.

A belief that baby steps count will release you from the destructive all-or-nothing attitude and empower you to create sustainable, significant changes in your life. One step at a time. Continuous learning.

Understanding that we do not have to agree on all things to be kind creates an amazing opportunity for learning, building bridges, enlarging our understanding, meeting new interesting people, and being the change we hope to see in the world.

A sense of personal responsibility shelters you from a victim mentality and inspires problem-solving and seeking out the next possible step that can move you forward. You have emotional intelligence and the communication and relationship skills to know how to maintain healthy relationships.

Remembering that your weaknesses are most often the opposite of your greatest strengths breaks shame and encourages you to embrace the way you are knit together, to find healthy ways to compensate for your weaknesses, and to figure out how you can shine using your greatest strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses.

Mindset matters.

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