ITS 4910 - Information Trends/Research and Design Project

Module 11

This lesson presents some background on the eleventh week. Objectives important to this lesson:

  1. What is this week about?
  2. Current assignments


The assignment for this week just says to complete the assignment you started last week. The completed version is rated for twice as many points as the draft assignment from last week.

As a part of the lesson prep for this week, I did a web search for available plans and templates. There are many available. There are also a lot of people running ads that say you should hire them to put a plan together for you. In a way this is a better idea if you are starting from nothing, but a better point is that you can't start from nothing. You have to have people involved who know a few things.

  • Know your environment
  • Know your systems
  • Know when something doesn't look or act right
  • Know how to diagnose

I talked with a manager once who was amazed that one of his employees was "no good at troubleshooting". The manager could not believe that the employee had so little success at determining the cause of a particular problem. The problem was in a system that the employee did not know well. The employee spent what seemed like a long time exploring ideas that the manager would have rejected had he been consulted. When the manager finally checked on progress, none seemed to have been made, so the problem was reassigned.

This could have been handled in other ways.

  • The employee could have asked for help, admitting lack of familiarity with the system. Learning might have taken place.
  • The manager could have assigned the problem to an employee experienced with the system in question. That would have required knowing the experience each employee had, and recognizing the sort of problem that was at hand.
  • The organization could have had good plans for various sorts of problems, each documented in with procedures for determining and resolving known iterations of those problems. That is the one your assignment wants you to use.

There will always be problems, and there will not necessarily be a manual to follow or an Internet to query. Whenever a new problem comes up, people should work together to find a solution. If you can't see a solution to test, ask more questions. When your methods are not working, seek other methods from someone you respect. And when you fix something, or see that is fixed, document what was wrong, how to recognize it, and what to do about it.

Regarding asking the next question, read this short article about asking questions and having different points of view: The Most Obvious Question.


  1. Complete the assignment made in this module, including all features that need to be added to your draft version.
  2. Review notes from previous classes.