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Chapter Four: Guidelines for Action

The guidelines for action itemized in this chapter were developed by CTG in collaboration with the XML Testbed teams based on findings from the project. Throughout this Testbed, it was found that in addition to the training and workshop framework, each of the teams needed to be supported differently based on four specific dimensions.
  • Readiness, which is a team’s ability to act. Did the team have a shared vision? Did the team have a project lead who took responsibility for managing the work and expectations of the team? Did the team have the right members participating? Did they have representation from the appropriate areas? Did they have time to learn and experiment? Was the team knowledgeable about the work processes they were investigating?
  • Confidence, which is the team’s collective expectation that they would be successful in achieving their goals. Did they have the executive support they needed to devote time and resources to the project? Did they have a champion to assist them in gaining the necessary support? Did they have an evangelist who would assist them in garnering the organizational support? Did they feel they had the skills required or a plan to acquire the skills necessary to complete their task?
  • Communication, which is the team’s ability have open communication among its members as well as with its executive sponsor and champion. Did they have a communication plan? How were they going to keep their executive sponsor advised of their progress? How were they going to gauge or evaluate their progress?
  • Knowledge, which includes the team’s technical, organizational, and political skills. Did the team have the specific knowledge set within the team? If not, did they have a plan for acquiring those skills or supplementing their knowledge with outside resources? Did they have the organizational knowledge or programmatic knowledge to understand the bigger picture of how this project fit into the larger organizational strategy or scheme?
Photograph of XML Testbed Work Session
These capability dimensions provide a framework for an organization when taking the recommended actions described in this chapter to help mitigate the barriers. Many of the recommendations apply to any innovation; some are specific to XML for Web site management. All of them are intended to help other organizations apply the lessons learned from the XML Testbed to their own environment in a practical manner. The final guideline in this chapter, “Use Comprehensive Prototyping within a Testbed Approach,” encompasses most of the findings of the XML Testbed project and serves as the major recommendation.