Validation session for our DM Team Competency Chart in Halifax

Held the last of our validation sessions for our DM Team Competency Chart in Halifax today. A foggy rainy/snowy Maritime day. But the warmth of the group which gathered at The Hub to give us their comments on the chart eclipsed the dreary weather!

As it turned out, this session included only creators. At every other stop we have had more producers, managers and educators in the mix. At our Halifax session we had, among others, Joel Duggan, a cartoonist, illustrator and podcaster who released his first published work today! (We bought signed copies :-))

The creator perspective on how a DM Team works is essential and integral to the whole. Our Haligonian creators offered up several adjustments to the chart that ensured that perspective. For example, the skill to “Write a proposal” which both creators and business people need on a DM Team should be described more broadly as “Create a proposal”. This change in verb will better reflect the approach to proposals that a creative person might take, while still applying to a business person.  A nuance – but one that enriches the DM Chart to apply to all three “functions” in DM content creation: creation, project management, and business.

Our task now is to compile the comments and critiques from DM workers across the country in a final DM Competency Chart. We have faithfully recorded what we heard and will review all suggested changes with our Expert Advisory Group. They will make the decisions on what gets incorporated into the final chart.

For example, we heard in several sessions that creators, along with project managers and the business people, should be able to “Determine technology needs”. All three functions need this skill. The draft chart associated this skill with the project management and business functions. The final chart will associate it with all three functions. 

What does that all mean? Well…. for example… an educator developing a curriculum for visual artists who want to pursue a career in the DM industry will want to ensure that their students have the ability to “determine technology needs”.

As our focus now shifts to the release of the DM Team Competency Chart and its uses, our CHRC staff are exploring ways to make this valuable tool easy-to-use. Given its complexity, we are looking at an interactive version rather than a print version. Seems to make sense not only in terms of the content, but also in terms of the target users!

We are also developing other related products – more on that in upcoming e-newsletters and future blogs!

Hitting the east coast and back to TO

We closed out last week with 2 great validation sessions for our DM Team competency chart.

In St. John’s we met with several DM industry experts, pulled together by Steering Committee member Deirdre Ayre of Other Ocean. It was a lively exchange from mostly “gamers”. They brought years of experience to the table, and a keen grasp of where the industry is going. Especially insightful were the comments about the ongoing nature of a DM “product” or “experience”. It is not necessarily a final piece of content that then needs to be “marketed”, but is often a work in progress that evolves with the users. So, “going to market” can have a different meaning in the DM industry. We also had strong and helpful comments from one who is a “programmer”. He felt he was not represented in the few high level technical “skills” currently identified in the chart – and we concurred. That is what we’re trying to get our heads around. How do we define and describe technology skills in balance with artistic skills? He has helped us grapple with this issue. His comments will find their way into the final chart.

(Note to File: Murray Premises is a great hotel and meeting place! And the Gypsy Tea Room around the corner is a very cool restaurant/bar. St. John’s is starting to dress up for Christmas – it was made for that :-))

Don Henderson and Interactive Ontario were our hosts in Toronto. As it turned out, building on our “take aways” from the St. John’s session, we got from this group our best understanding of how the chart must incorporate technology skills. While the participants were somewhat cool to the process as we began, they warmed up to it quickly and were fully engaged right up to 12 noon when everyone had to leave for other meetings!

Time now to identify the consensus and compile the learnings from across the country.  In early December we’ll hold one last session in Halifax to test drive the revised chart – then hand it over to our own technology wizards to turn it into an interactive tool.

A bold new step for CHRC.