Project Strategy at OEIT

A lost post, likely from circa 2010-2012, publishing now as a historical artifact.

When I was researching OEIT in 2008, one of the things I found most interesting was its organizational strategy. If one looks at the cycle of innovation, OEIT wants to operate in the experiment and incubate quadrants, and work to transition incubated projects. On the whole, OEIT believes that there are other organizations on campus that are better suited to on-going service.

I think many academic technology organizations see themselves in the experimental space, and have unknowingly or as a result of circumstance taken on service roles for enterprise (i.e., running the learning management system for campus) and other campus-wide services. OEIT is different.  It evolved from the typical academic technology organization at MIT and is about two years old. I think it’s a bit too early to tell what will be our long term impact.

We’ve been spending some time on my team recently examining our current projects and what we’re doing with them. Previously we had taken the approach of working with a client, and helping them meet their needs and goals. All completely reasonable and client-focused activities. However, is this the best thing for our team? We’re starting to temper this customer-focused with a renewed focus on what we as OEIT want to promote and focus on. We’re starting to develop a process, within the team, of better understanding how what we work on advances our larger thematic foci (i.e., content and the curriculum) and takes better advantage of our skills (i.e., while we can develop HTML-based input forms, that doesn’t necessarily mean we should do those projects).

What we’re trying to do is better communicate how we work in collaboration with clients on campus. And that we want to do create win-win scenarios for all involved.