Our job is about managing change. Change is about altering behaviors.
Hereâ€™s another example of how technology offers students and others new services but requires us to rethink how we work.
Consider the PSU printed directory. Itâ€™s the yellow pages for PSU. In order for the publication to be produced each fall, significant work is required from people in HR to get all the information current. Calls and calls to department contacts who are not always here during the summer. Lots of manual data entry, data that exists elsewhere in our information systems for employees and students. And as soon as the work is finished, it is sent to the printer. Every week after it arrives, the directory becomes more and more dated.
Hereâ€™s the rub. Many employees want and use the directory. It can sit by a desktop or bedside, it is quick to look up a name. You donâ€™t have to be online.
Yet in the past few years, we have developed alternative methods to look up the same information via the web directories, PSUâ€™s Google Search and the new automated voice directory system. If you dial (535) 3333, you can name any employee or student and get directly to their phone or voicemail. Go ahead, try it. Itâ€™s new this year and weâ€™re still working out some bugs, but itâ€™s coming along nicely.
With these new technologies, why should we continue to go through the paces of producing a printed directory? Students donâ€™t use it, they operate online.
Managing change is about changing behaviors. We need to train ourselves to look up information in new ways. We expect that for some people, especially those that need information quickly at all hours, they may still want a printed form of directory info. We can provide that in an alternative format that people can print on their own. For the rest of us, lose the print and get online. That data is always current.