Sometimes Hand-Offs Are The Hardest Things To Do

Dropping the Ball – Or the Baton – During Hand-Offs

34 Second video…

My Experience in Hand-Off Situations 

I’ve seen it work well – rarely – and poorly – often. And it is very frustrating. Very.

In my professional life I’ve witnessed hand-offs while on the Board of ISPI (1999-2002), as ISPI President-Elect and President (2002-2004), as the co-founder and President-Elect and President of ISPI Charlotte (2009-2011), as the Deputy and Chair of the NSPI Awards of Excellence Committee (1996-1998), as a member of 3 successive Marketing Committees for NSPI Conferences (1983-1985), and numerous other professional society committees, task forces and ad hoc groups.

I witness these hand-offs between CAD and MCD efforts – Curriculum Architecture Design to Modular Curriculum Development/Acquisition efforts going from the establishment of a modular Path of formal and less formal and totally informal Instruction for development of targeted Performance Competence capabilities – where folks not involved in the upfront CAD efforts would do their client a favor by combining Events and blending all of the carefully segregated content intended to increase the ease and lower the costs for future ReUse.

And within MCD effort between the Design and Development Phases – so much so that I created a new Role in my methodologies – the PACT Lead Developer – whose role was to participate in the entire Design Phase and carry that design forward into the Development/Acquisition Phase and kick-off the development/acquisition efforts with a formal meeting to convey the critical modularity of the design so that developers would discontinue doing everyone a favor and combining things where they saw that possibility – thinking only of the target audience at hand and not all future audiences and attempting to lower the ReUse costs and cycle times further on down the road – er track.

Lessons in Making Lemonade

I’ve also witnessed this in my personal life – but never-mind the details on any of that. You get my point. It’s EVERYWHERE.

Hand-Off Issues Are Both Problems and Opportunities

To be quite pollyannaish about it. So that we can all stay positive about stuff that is often VERY frustrating.

And to make forward progress.

Often they are flip sides of the same coin – the Problems and Opportunities.

The two biggest Problems IMO are – 1) unnecessary rework and re-inventing the wheels – and 2) the discontinuation of key initiatives.

The Opportunities would therefore be:

1) use of “communications technologies” (in the broadest sense of that term) to capture and disseminate or make easily accessible that work you wish to have “lost” creating the need for rework/reinvention.

2) use of ” communications technologies” to capture the initiative plans and details – and track progress toward milestones – and to communicate about it in any manner about any topic that is germane to the initiative.

Being pollyannaish and hopeful and all….

Communications Is Key

But by that I mean both types – written (or maybe video-ed/audio-ed) – and verbal.

Something concrete – 1 way – that can be referred back to as needed. Right there it says/reads: ABC. No kidding.

And something less concrete – the possibility for a verbal exchange, a 2-way exchange – or a digital exchange. Where things can be tested… “do you mean that in the case of XYZ we should do 123?” That can be done on the phone, in person, an email exchange – or an exchange on Social Media.

But it’s important to share both – without making the sharing of the looser verbal/digital exchange so difficult – you know, 999 responses to a question that no one has time to review and interpret. Something/ someway that doesn’t bury the interested parties in a deluge of Information overload. Something that organizes the “bottom line” response to topics or tasks – something organized/architect-ed.

I particularly like Kick-Off Events/Meeting with handouts (written documents) – that could include links to audio podcasts and video podcasts and web pages, etc., etc. so that both types of Communications can occur. Of course that’s a bit “old school” and synchronous – but it can be recorded for asynchronous deployment/access – making it perhaps, somewhat “new school”  – whatever.

What’s Been Your Approach to Avoiding This Dropped Hand-Off – Or Your Recovery From Such?

Please share your comments or links to relevant Blog Posts, articles, videos, etc. – in the comments below.

And may all of your Hand-Offs be successful!

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