Is your research team performing as best it could? Jinfo's director of research, Robin Neidorf, provides some tips, insights and models on how to position your #information #research department as internal consultants, how to find ways to add value to the business and how to cope with the fast-pace of changes impacting on the profession.
If you're responsible for optimising a team of researchers or information professionals, here are the latest Jinfo insights and resources for you:
Understanding "the right stuff"
The current Research Focus, "The information team with the right stuff", is served to order, to support new thinking on what a research team should be doing, as well as what individual members of that team should be doing (or not doing). If you haven't yet done so:
High-level headline of this project: the best information teams are increasingly positioning themselves as internal consultancies. Check out "How to refashion information teams as client-facing consultancies" for practical tips on making this shift towards higher value.
Strategise, streamline or stop
Every team we work with is finding ways of adding value. The flip side of this exercise is to shed the things that no longer deliver value - often a very difficult exercise for customer-loving research teams to complete.
A clear-eyed view of the pros and cons of your service model can help overcome barriers to making this shift. Two common models, and how to work with them to optimise your team, are detailed in, "Streamline your department using the artisan or the optimised model".
This mental shift requires practice to master. Bring your questions, successes and frustrations to a group of professionals who understand your struggles: we're hosting a Community session specifically for managers responsible for team optimisation on 2nd July - learn more and register here.
On a more practical level, get tips for coping with the pace and intensity of change you may be experiencing as you first start the team reengineering process. Our 5th June webinar, "Can you cope with continuous reinvention?", will help you maintain a good pace without overwhelming your team or yourself (attend live or catch up with the recording).
New skills for optimisation
It's not unusual in the process of optimisation to discover skill gaps (check out the recording of our May webinar on this very topic). Should that be the case, consider the wide range of resources available to you to upgrade team skills - find some suggestions in our report "Market landscape - continuing education programmes".
Use the tools
Finally, a key principle of optimisation is to use available technology wherever possible to streamline or automate elements of the workflow. We're a big believer in getting the most out of spreadsheets for managing your contracts - start with the products outlined in our "Market landscape - managing subscriptions" report.
Similarly, if you're trying to manage inbound queries through an inbox and manual tracking, you are spending precious time on something technology can do better and faster. Our recent Product Review of RefTracker from Altarama will give you a view of what's possible.
Or go even further with "The evolution of chatbots in the workplace", and learn about an approach that's gaining traction in many forward-looking organisations.
Find out how Jinfo supports team optimisation
Jinfo resources support management, reengineering and value-alignment of your research or information team to meet the goals of the organisation. Our original research, models, case studies, and Community session discussions will shape your thinking and your leadership. If you have a Jinfo Subscription, you have access to all our Content. If your account includes Community access, you also have access to upcoming Community sessions and the notes from previous sessions.
We publish research-based insights, facilitate peer-to-peer discussions on them and offer consulting services to tailor those insights to your needs. Learn more about the benefits of a Jinfo Subscription.
Recent Subscription resources of particular interest to our customers involved with team optimisation:
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This Research Focus provides tools, research and the original data you need in order to benchmark your information service against peers. (July - September 2018).
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Latest: Jinfo Newsletter No.500 08 Aug 2018
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