Tuesday and the morning of Thursday of our 2017 Team Meeting (March 28 and 30) were dedicated to workshops focusing on tactical issues, involving a combination of training, dynamic interaction, case studies and teamwork around specific issues. We bring you an overview, and impressions of the workshops from some of the team.
Each morning or afternoon session saw two workshops running in parallel, each attended by one of two groups selected at random using a draw. The groups would then switch so that everyone attended each workshop, and new groups were drawn for each session so that we would be working and exchanging ideas with different colleagues.
Our first set of workshops looked at deployment, with one workshop on implementation activities – including baseline data collection, installation, data migration, training, and on-going support – and the other on formalizing relationships and projects, considering work orders, contracts and service terms.
On Tuesday afternoon our newly-remixed groups moved on to the issues of participating in development, or how to provide feedback and what happens to it next, and external communications, including key messages, which we tested out with a practical exercise.
Our final session on Thursday morning featured workshops on educational deployments and training tools, focusing on demoing with appropriate tools and collecting user data, and on molecular breeding, including the role it can play as part of the breeding modernization effort and what we can do in this area.
Impressions from the team:
"Every time we meet like this (as we did in Montpellier, France in 2014 and now in Kampala, Uganda) I am always impressed when learning of the tremendous amount of work being carried out by the team. These are very dedicated people and more gets done than we realize." —Shawn Yarnes, Regional Deployment Manager for North America
"One of our great achievements since the last time we’ve met has been the implementation of a new approach to development. It is a truly professional, top-notch process, and our closest stakeholders are now getting to take a peek into it this week – hopefully they will soon start feeling its impact and benefits too." —Graham McLaren, Global Deployment Manager.
"It surprised me to see the progress in documentation and how it has been organized, and in the database of users who have participated in trainings. I didn’t know that all that information was available to allow us to contact users who have been exposed to the BMS [Breeding Management System]. I also learned more about the commercial aspect of the BMS and how to work efficiently with private-sector clients." —Julian Pietragalla, Regional Deployment Manager for Latin America
"I’m relatively new to IBP, so there were some things I didn’t know so much about. I work mainly with the BMS, so I really liked getting more depth on the other services that we offer to users, and how we work with clients in different parts of the world. I learned a lot about what IBP is." —Mariela Laborde, Systems Analyst
"For me the workshops were the real “work” part, but they were formulated in a very fun way, so I think we were able to meet our objectives while being creative and enjoying ourselves. The most crucial one for me was the BMS deployment workshop on implementation, because that’s where I need to pattern the work that I’ll be doing on deployment in Asia. It’s very good for us to have the opportunity to sit together and finalize the steps we need to take." —Clarissa Pimentel, Data Manager/Training Specialist
"It’s been very productive. I think the strategy we have developed regarding information gathering and sharing is a bit of game changer, in terms of the way we understand what people need and the way we manage the data that we have, and ultimately it will give a much better service to our users." —Stewart Andrews, Commercial Manager
"At every one of the workshops that I attended there were good, constructive comments, there was useful information passed on, and at every one I learned something – and I hope that others learned something from the ones we presented. So I think they were very valuable, in combination with the plenary and the break-out groups dealing with specific issues.
[On leading the molecular breeding workshops with Manilal Williams and Magni Bjarnason] We want to position IBP as proponents of modernizing breeding, with more diagnostic marker information deployed as a component of that. We have something to offer in terms of marker-assisted selection, and of course the BMS will be very important, but we also want to direct people to the other products and services that IBP offers, like the diagnostic markers and genotyping services." —Robin Wilson, Breeding Consultant
"I think the format of splitting us into groups was very good, as it helped is to mix and perhaps connect with colleagues we had not talked to for a while. The exchange was very frank and open, and certain issues were put on the table that perhaps we had not thought enough about before. We were able to clarify organizational and technical matters, and some of these issues we will be following up on.
Regarding the molecular breeding workshop that Manilal, Robin and I led, the exchanges there were also very valuable. We got some interesting new ideas that we should take into consideration when we plan our work forward, and I think it’s going to be helpful – not only maybe we are not for us but also for the leadership of the IBP." —Magni Bjarnason, Breeding Specialist
|One of Thursday's molecular breeding workshops.|