We continued our exciting series of SIFE Summer Think Tank 2012 meetings last Friday with a discussion on internal and external communication tools and strategies for our team. One of the key items of discussion in the meeting was how to  utilize each of the three core communication tools (OrgSync, Team Website, Facebook Groups) as effectively as possible in our team. Based on recommendations from the Think Tank, well-aligned with similar input from our team President, we will be working in the coming weeks to implement new strategies based on the following ideas: Our team website will be the primary hub of all news, information, and resources for the team. This includes general information on projects, official project updates, and toolkits of resources for project directors, among other content. We will continue utilizing Facebook groups to facilitate frequent and increased general communication among team members and within project-specific groups. Orgsync will primarily be used as a means of reaching potential members, organizing our official team database, and for member documentation purposes (i.e. recording hours of engagement to support the university’s new “Engagement Transcript” documentation needs and student portfolios.)      

We are currently in the process of redesigning our website to better support our growing team and projects. Watch in the coming weeks for more information. With the efforts of several members of our team, including our Communication Team, we will be making targeted improvements in the following areas. Simplified Upcoming Event Display Individual Project-Based Sites for Larger Projects Reader-Friendly Design More Frequent Project Updates Simplified “How-to-Join” Information on the Team and its Projects More Pictures and Video Increased Organizational Support for Project Teams Simplified Authoring of Posts And More!!! And this week, we are working specifically on our new homepage, as well as new sites for our Colombia Project and R.E.A.L. Healthy Program. Stay tuned for more, and as always, we would love your feedback and ideas.

Episode 2 of our Summer Think Tank Updates is now available. In this episode, we discuss our new Project Development Process, designed to increase our effectiveness and impact, and supporting our new efforts to engage in long-term operations. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtF3EMnAfQQ]

Since identifying a series of operational categories this summer (see Think Tank Episode 1), the team has been hard at work refining a fully-functioning process designed to support how we research, propose, select, develop, implement, assess, and improve projects and programs. The result is the cycle displayed above and a series of supporting documents below. Project Development Process Overview Research, Ideation, and the Project Justification Document (Detailed Version) Project Initiation Document (Proposal) and Selection (Detailed Version) Check back later this week for a full video walk through of this new development in the team. 

We’ve been hard at work this summer, engaging in some intensive strategic planning to develop our team and operations. The following short video is an overview of our latest development: Project Categories. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVnP-xBO-pk]