Big Ideas Delivered at Connect 2014

Connect 2014 just concluded on April 16th in San Antonio, Texas. It was by far Tyler’s biggest conference ever, with over 3,000 clients, 500 staffers and a cadre of industry expert partners. The theme of the conference was “Big Ideas, Delivered” and I believe all in attendance would agree that that promise was fulfilled.

The conference began with opening sessions for both Tyler as a whole and for the individual products, including the Versatrans suite in particular, to share the good news on where we’ve been and where we are going. We were greatly honored at the Tyler opening session by a personal welcome from the justifiably proud Mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro. Tyler leadership then shared their vision for the future with attendees.

The Versatrans sessions, which I participated in, included the following tracks:

  • Technology — helping users keep up with the ever-changing world and the tools available to them
  • Training — including everything from new user sessions to advanced tips and tricks for the veterans
  • GPS — a look at the rapid growth and utility of this technology
  • Best practices — with a special focus on service and efficiency
  • Resource room — where attendees could get individual assistance from Versatrans staff
  • Future product improvements — where users could share their suggestions and insights

Set up conveniently so that attendees had to pass it every time they entered or left the facility was the Tyler Community lounge, emphasizing the importance of this exciting new platform that has been growing by leaps and bounds. Just past the Community Lounge was the exhibitor area where Tyler partners shared their expertise with attendees. Attendees were also afforded the opportunity to earn Continuing Professional Education credits for a number of session offerings.

But all work and no play makes for a dull conference. I think all would agree that they took great care of us. The Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center was a wonderful facility, giving truth to the legend that everything is bigger in Texas. Its location was ideal, right in the heart of beautiful downtown San Antonio, on the River Walk and next door to the historic Alamo. We were treated to delicious food with a local flavor, watching with awe how the convention center staff could deliver sit down meals for 3,500 folks at a time without a hitch. Meal seating was organized by product groups, facilitating informal connections and sharing throughout the conference.

Tuesday night was dubbed “The Big Event,” with entertainment to match most tastes. From a rollicking piano bar simulation to authentic Texas swing provided by national recording artists “Asleep at the Wheel,” attendees got a chance to put on their jeans, kick up their heels and let their hair down for a couple of hours. The evening even included an “all for fun” version of a night on the town in Las Vegas.

But without question, the biggest idea delivered at Connect 2014 was the chance to make new friends and forge important new connections. That is the true and enduring value of our commitment to events such as Connect.

See you at Connect 2015 in Atlanta!

Isn’t It About Time We Saw Your Blog?

We live in a new age, what one might call the age of communication. The line between our physical lives and our virtual lives has disappeared. Every time we step away from our desktop computer we have our portable computer (aka our smart phone) in our hands the very next moment.

Content is king in this age of communication. Some of us can develop content. Some of us can share content. Some of us are consumers of content. Whichever way you slice it, our need for smarter, faster and better content grows by the day.

Joining the blogger ranks is a way for you to stand out in this new age. Blogging will help you develop your writing skills, a talent that will serve you extremely well professionally. Those who can communicate effectively are an invaluable resource for any organization. Blogging will enable you to shape and influence your peers. What do you really care about? What do you think about this issue? Where do you think your industry should be headed? Blogging will give you a platform.

Where to publish your blogs? LinkedIn is a great place to start. How about submitting your blogs to the trade magazines in your industry? Our own Tyler Community platform offers a terrific opportunity to share with your colleagues. WordPress is perhaps the best known of the many blog sites that provide a venue for your thoughts.

Next you have to actually write the blog. My process is as follows:

  • Ideas can pop up at any time. A quick jot of the main concept of the idea and it will be ready for further development when you are. When it is time to write I review my list and select the topic that best captures my interest at that moment.
  • My first step is to get as many ideas as I can written down. I use a brainstorming approach in this step, trying not to filter out anything that might be useful to the finished product. I do this step using a “mind map” app on my tablet. A mind map is a user friendly visual diagram of an outline. I put all my thoughts into the mind map as single entries and then move them up, down or sideways as I start to put the narrative together.
  • It is important to think of the structure of your blog. It needs to have an introduction that will make your reader want to continue, a body that develops your point, and a closing takeaway that makes your point memorable.
  • I then find it very helpful to let my draft sit for at least a few hours, or most commonly overnight. I begin again for the final edit the next day with a fresh eye and often better insight into making it great.
  • Lastly, share your draft with a trusted editor (friend, colleague, spouse). Being open to suggestions before we publish can be a lifesaver. Now you are ready to get your blog out there.
  • The final step is the most important — repeat! This is not a one-time exercise but rather a commitment to a regular and productive writing schedule. Like any acquired skill, the more we do it the better we become.

We are waiting anxiously to hear what you think.

To Be or Not to Be a Project? Part Two

In my last post, I discussed the difference between operational functions and projects. If you haven’t read that post yet, please do before continuing on here where I will be discussing project methodology.

Once something is defined as a project, you must recognize and understand the most effective approach you should take before you can move forward with the task itself. A defined methodology helps to keep the project on track (schedule, budget, scope, and quality). It also provides a structure to follow throughout the life of the project, and can be applied to future projects. In this post we will look at the basics of a traditional approach to managing a project.

The Project Management Institute (PMI®), a globally recognized leader in project management, identifies five essential process groups for every project:[1]

1.       Initiating
Initiating is the process of identifying the purpose, establishing objectives, identifying the stakeholders and receiving authorization to proceed with the project or phase.

2.       Planning
Planning contains the most components of all the processes and is a critical step in the overall success of the project or phase. The scope needs to be defined in detail. Once the scope has been defined, the list of tasks needs to be created and resources need to be identified. Budget and costs then need to be determined and planned for all project activities. An effective communication plan needs to be established during this phase. Throughout the planning process, risks should be identified and analyzed. In addition, it is important to develop a plan to effectively manage stakeholder needs and expectations.

3.       Executing
Executing is the process of taking action on the planned activities. This involves the coordination of people and resources to complete defined tasks. Managing communications, procurement, and stakeholder engagement are all part of the executing process group.

4.       Monitoring & Controlling
Monitoring & Controlling is the process of making sure that the project is staying on schedule, within scope, within budget and meeting defined quality levels. Throughout this process it is important to make sure communication is occurring as planned, risks are being tracked and addressed, and procurement of resources is staying within planned constraints. If adjustments need to be made for any activity, then those would go back to the Executing process to complete and repeat the process between Monitoring & Controlling and Executing as needed.

5.       Closing
Closing is the final step of any project or phase, which includes conducting “lessons learned” in order to improve project performance in the future. Concluding all closing activities for procurements and any other outstanding tasks is also part of this process.

These processes apply to the project as a whole as well as the different phases of the project. How much time and effort is spent in each process will depend on the scale and scope of the project or phase, however each is an important part to the overall management of any project.

Demands on school districts continue to increase and change is inevitable. Recognizing the difference between what is a project and what is not helps us understand what approach to take to manage the related activities. Using recognized and proven methods for projects creates a standard which everyone can follow and measure their work against. Managing the project using that standard is the key to project success.

For more information regarding project management and project related articles, check out the Project Management Institute’s (PMI®) website at


[1]Project management body of knowledge (5th Ed.). (2013). Newtown, PA: Project Management Institute [PMI].

To Be or Not to Be a Project? Part One

School districts are often faced with numerous tasks which must be carried out over significant periods of time, some accomplished throughout the year and some even carrying over several years. In this post and in follow up posts I will be going over some ways that you can tackle tasks like these, including some best practices, methodology and techniques that can be scaled to meet any objective.

The first step is to know and understand the difference between operational functions and projects. Essentially, you should ask yourself, is this task simply something that happens continuously as an integral part of running a district? If so, it is probably an operational function.

What makes a project different? First, let’s define what a project is and go over some examples of projects in a school district. A project meets the following criteria:[1]

  • Temporary; has a defined beginning and end
  • Defined scope and resources
  • Unique set of operations to meet a specific objective (not a routine operation)

When thinking about some examples in school districts of what would be considered a project, look at the criteria above and see if it meets all of them. In my school district experience, boundary planning is an excellent example of a project. Boundary planning can mean opening new schools, balancing student population among schools and even closing schools.

This boundary planning process is definitely a temporary event and has a stated beginning and end. Scope and resources are defined based on the district’s needs. It is unique, because it is meeting a specific objective or set of objectives, and is not a routine operation.

Other examples in school districts that would fall into the definition would be the following:

  • Upgrading the phone system across the district
  • Reconfiguration of offices or classrooms
  • Implementation of new software (i.e. payroll system, student information system, transportation routing system)
  • Changing bell times

Sometimes it is easy to be confused about whether an event is unique or not. Although changing bell times will have a permanent result in the district, the process of determining new bell times is only temporary. This task is unique because it is meeting a new objective.

Payroll is a great example of something which is sometimes a project and sometimes an operational function. Payroll processing is an operational function because it is repeated regularly and has no defined beginning and end. However, the process of selecting and implementing a payroll system would be a project.

Of course, these are some larger examples of projects, and you will encounter smaller projects as well which may be less formal. When you receive an assignment, use the criteria above to help identify what it is that you’re dealing with. If you determine that a particular task or job is a project, then approaching it with defined methodology will set the stage for the project to be successful. We’ll discuss that methodology in my next post.


[1]Project management body of knowledge (5th Ed.). (2013). Newtown, PA: Project Management Institute [PMI].

Cycling Through the School Year

The school year is a well defined cycle consisting of phases: planning, startup, maintenance and close out. One of the very interesting characteristics of life as a K-12 professional is the way our work needs to mesh with this cycle.

First of all, we need to understand what these phases are like for school staff:

The planning phase is that time when school district employees are able to think strategically about the coming school year. We address changes, study trends, solve problems, advance goals and plan for a better school year than the one just completed. As a note, if you find that your district has a “not much changes from year to year” mentality during this phase, this is a sign of an operation that is not improving.

The startup phase, which takes place during the first month of the school year, is always the most intense time of the entire cycle. Stability, which will be provided by familiarity and routine later in the year, has not yet arrived. New relationships, connections and movements all must mesh seamlessly. Adding to this intensity is the fact that there is no gradual ramp-up to opening school. Opening day arrives and it is full speed ahead for all phases of K-12 operations.

There will inevitably be problems during startup, even in the best run operations. It is critical to document these problems as they occur so their contribution to the “lessons learned” for the upcoming school year — discussed during the planning phase — is available and understood. 

The maintenance phase is, of course, the longest phase of the school year cycle, essentially covering all of months 2-9. We have survived the opening phase and spend the rest of the year providing high quality services day after day with the greatest possible efficiency. A critical focus during this phase should be the regular capture of data. Without accurate and timely data, we cannot manage and plan throughout the school year with the degree of excellence demanded by our stakeholders.

The close out phase of a school year, say the last month or so, unfortunately might find us on autopilot, looking forward to a well deserved break after the full year of activities. We need to be on our guard against this kind of professional exhaustion. Hopefully at least part of this time is spent in a careful assessment of the year as it concludes, so that we can enter thoughtfully into the planning phase, beginning the cycle over again.

Recognizing that this cycle is a systemic part of being a K-12 professional, it is important that we align our work activities with this pattern. When we consciously prepare ourselves for this cycle, we can recognize and experience its many exciting benefits:

  • The cycle gives us a built-in chance to start afresh with a new approach, attitude or process for the coming school year.
  • Similarly, it gives us the chance to reset our operations, to conclude some activity or characteristic that is less than effective.
  • There is a definite start and end to a school year. This definition gives us the opportunity to easily assess finite periods of time, contributing to successful longitudinal analysis.
  • By its very nature, the cycle means that our work is never routine. We enjoy duties and responsibilities that constantly change with the phase of the school year.

Recognizing this cycle and the impact it has on our work as school business professionals is a critical tool to include in our toolbox. When we approach our profession with thoughtful plans for improvement we all benefit: staff, students and stakeholders alike.

Do you take advantage of the many benefits of the school year cycle, aligning your work and goals to its rhythms, or do you just let it wash over you? How can you use the close out period of this school year to your advantage?

From KPIs to Benchmarking to Best Practices

As responsible school business officials, we know how important it is to be completely certain that our district operations are well managed. To do so we must constantly ask ourselves questions such as: “How are we doing? How do we compare with others? Are we making progress fast enough? Are we using the best practices?”

That’s where these three things come into play:

  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
  • Benchmarking
  • Best Practices

These disciplines form a critical skill set which are important to use as a regular part of our management routine. Their practice ensures that we provide high quality services to our students.

A KPI is simply defined as a measure of performance: “How many runs does Bus 100 do each day?”

Analyzing KPIs allows us to establish a Benchmark: “For the 12-13 school year, our busses averaged 3.9 runs per day each.”

A Best Practice then allows us to gauge and improve our performance. “Controlling bell times helped us to increase the number of runs per bus and therefore use fewer buses.”

How do we know what needs to be fixed? The three disciplines allow us to identify problem areas in our operations: “Our on-time performance has slipped from 98% compliant to 93% at the Johnson yard.”

How do we know if our corrective actions are working? The three disciplines allow us to measure our progress at correcting identified areas: “My runs per bus went down from last year.” Knowing that the problem exists is the first necessary step before you can learn what caused it and what can you do about it.

How do we know what is going well? Again, the three disciplines allow us to provide a data-driven opinion on the effectiveness of our actions: “Consolidating our bus stops has allowed us to lower our daily bus mileage by 5% compared to last year.”

As a note, I believe that the use of KPIs, Benchmarking and Best Practices is applicable across all areas of K-12 operations. Try turning these sorts of questions on any program in your district and see what happens.

Our daily goal as school business officials is to deliver high-quality programs that support the instructional mission with the greatest possible efficiency. KPIs, Benchmarking and Best Practices allow us to focus our effort on the things that matter most for improving our programs.

Information-Based Decision Making: Part Two

I remember reading a study performed three years ago by US News and World Report where they evaluated the thirty largest industries in the US and discussed how each performed their business functions. Education, being one of these industries, was described with the byline, “Education generates more data than any other industry, and uses it the least.” This, in my opinion, is a highly accurate statement. Education generates massive amounts of data through the various applications used to manage students, staff and operations. These data sources include student information, financial and human resource management, assessments and tests, transportation records and many others. New data is generated as attendance is taken every day for every student for every period, as each grade is entered into a teacher’s gradebook and as many (sometimes dozens) of student assessments are taken multiple times a year. And every assessment contains as many as dozens of scores as each detailed area of a student’s performance is measured. The result is that the education industry is highly adept at generating data. What we’re not so great at is using it.

In part one of this post, I talked about the many issues that arise when districts implement reporting systems that don’t have information-based decision making as their end goal. Today I’d like to discuss some strategies that work. I’d like to start with some basic assumptions your district staff will need to make.

First of all, good information-based decision making demands accurate, raw data.

Secondly, we must decide that it is not data that we’ll be channeling to the district decision makers, but rather our goal will be to provide them with information. (The difference being that information must be easily consumed and quickly acted upon.)

Last, we must agree that decision makers are time pressured. From this we can construe that they are looking for the important trends and issues first, and only then do they need to see the details to support them.

Obviously, if we begin from this point the appropriate conclusion is to simply provide consumable, actionable information to managers in a way that demands as little time from them as possible. Of course, this is easier said than done.

A common problem you’ll run into is an understanding gap between decision makers and data processing personnel. The expertise of the data processing staff is to perform technical tasks to manipulate raw, numerical data. They’ve learned to read dense, technical facts and to glean information from it. They don’t always necessarily realize what a strain that same process can be for a worker in another role.

So, to effectively generate management information your team needs to understand two things: the technology needed to combine large and diverse sets of data into a single resource, and what information is needed at the highest levels to actively support decision making. This requires that data management teams meet and communicate with their administrators to understand what information will truly be useful to them.

Then this information must be provided to the decision maker in an immediately consumable format. A well designed set of information provided to a decision maker should have adequate white space to reduce data density. The information should be to the point and presented with little fanfare for maximum effectiveness.  It should be graphical and summarized in images and charts. It should also be easy for the user to access more detailed information if further evaluation is required.

Lastly, the system should be flexible enough to provide decision support at the operational, managerial and educational levels. For example, Principals manage their school operations, staff and teachers as well as their primary task of managing student achievement. For a tool to be effective, it must address all of these areas.

I wish you luck in implementing a data management system like this at your own district. It takes work, but it’s worth it if it means that your district can make decisions and set policies based on accurate, well-understood information. If you’re not sure that your current systems or processes can meet these requirements, feel free to contact Tyler Technologies. We’d be happy to discuss solutions that meet these needs, like our Tyler Pulse application, with you at any time.

Information-Based Decision Making: Part One

A lot has been said and written supporting the concept of data driven decision making. But far less has been published about how decision makers actually get from raw data to a final, real-life decision. And even less about the ways in which decision makers have to first interrogate that data. In reality, even the most “data-driven” decision makers rarely use actual, raw data in their deliberations. They are far more likely to make decisions based on information that has been derived from that data. Moreover, the quality of their decisions is largely dependent on the quality of that derivation.

If you think about it for even a second, the idea that decisions should not be made from raw data should not be a surprise to anyone. Decision makers may or may not have the ability to interpret large sets of data and even less often have time to invest in doing it. As a rule, it is other people in the company who are responsible for the accuracy of the data generated for reports and analysis. The information-based decision maker then relies on that pre-computed information to improve the quality of their decisions.

The general marketplace approach to providing and maintaining data for decision making is to assign this responsibility to technology staff or technology-based companies. These folks are usually left to develop policy and procedure for this data collection on their own. This isn’t a problem in and of itself, but without clear communication from decision makers about the end-goal of the process, the data is often channeled in a way that is not actually supportive of the best decision making.

In my opinion, the worst way to provide the kinds of data meant for decision support is via traditional reporting like user-managed report or query writers. Why? Because, for the most part, these processes require a decision maker to spend unnecessary time reading and analyzing data that is too raw and non-contextual to glean useful information. Raw data is constantly changing and updating. These reports are static, meaning that decision makers have to remember to continually update and renew their reports.

Think about any decision maker you know — a manager, administrator or chairman. What do they all have in common? They’re time pressured. They feel like there is not enough time in a day to get their jobs done, all while attending meeting and managing their staff. Do we honestly think that people in these positions are going to give up extra time every day to ensure that they have downloaded live reports, and to read huge swaths of raw data until they have full comprehension of the daily changes? Me neither. In reality, these obstacles lead to a kind of decision making that is little more than educated guessing.

Adding to this is the result of studies which have shown that decision makers respond negatively to a high density of data in reports provided to them. Just watch a manager’s face as you drop a traditional report on their desk. In other words, instead of ongoing data lines in reports, they respond positively to information in the form of highly processed conclusions, graphically represented with graphs and charts.

This is the very reason why so many data warehouse implementations fail or seriously miss the goals that were established in their acquisition. The technical staff that has developed those systems has not realized what the actual goal and context of their data collection will be. Any data delivery system that demands the time and patience of the user is destined to fail or be largely underused.

See part two, where I go over some suggestions for implementing a data warehouse solution that will actually encourage real information-based decision making.

Budgeting for Outcomes

As budgets these days tighten and the public’s scrutiny mounts, traditional budgeting, which focuses on costs rather than results, no longer works. When you budget for costs, you get more of them. What many school districts don’t realize is that they need innovation and accountability for results in order to win the local public’s support of their budgets.

Winning back the public support of school budgets lost over the past 40 years is one of the greatest challenges schools face today. Unfortunately, many school districts have been resorting to politically expedient budget and accounting practices that only increase the public’s cynicism and skepticism.

When faced with budget shortfalls many school districts resort to measures such as eyeing the “off budget” funds, pretending that money expected next year will actually come in late the current year, selling off assets or, even worse, borrowing funds. Many school districts have even tried to creatively cut costs at an extremely granular level by unplugging coffee pots, delaying needed maintenance on equipment, cutting back on heating or air conditioning, or even denying basic professional development.

While such actions may send a cost cutting message to the public, they don’t save much money and they kill morale.

There has to be a better way than this to solve the monumental budgeting shortfalls in school districts.

Well, I have good news: there is.

In 2002, faced with state wide budget cuts and a crisis that could potentially cripple the state of Washington, Governor Gary Locke decided it was time to try something different in his state budgeting. He came up with the concept of “Budgeting for Outcomes.” In essence, he wanted to present a budget to the citizens that emphasized value that they could feel and perceive.

The following steps set the core requirements for Budgeting for Outcomes:

1. Set the price of education.
Establish up front what citizens and parents are willing to pay in order to get the results they expect from your district. Establish what percent of their income citizens are willing to pay. As an example, the price of government for the U.S. as a whole, including all federal, state and local governments, has averaged about 36 percent of personal income for the last 50 years. Try and come up with a general percent you can refer to.

2. Set the priorities of education.
Establish the outcomes that matter most to citizens and parents. This can be accomplished by polling citizens and parents, selecting focus groups in the communities, conducting town hall sessions, engaging the local media to attend sessions and inviting website and social media feedback.

3. Set the price of each priority.
Divide your total revenue among the priority outcomes on the basis of their relative value and ask citizens and parents for guidance. One idea is to give them $100 or 100 percent to divide among the priorities, based on their assessment of relative value. Conduct a local poll somehow. The goal is to put a relative value on each result that citizens and parents seek.

4. Develop a purchasing plan for each priority.
Sit down with teams of people in your organization and come up with purchases that affect those desired goals. Qualify the factors that have the most impact for reaching the goals and ask members to start creating the requests from that point. See which purchases deliver the greatest value for the desired outcome.

5. Solicit offers from providers/vendors to deliver the desired results.
Instead of asking your vendors, staff and department heads to add or subtract from last year’s costs, ask them how they can deliver the requested results for the set price.

6. Buy the best and leave the rest.
After all the results are in, move down the list in order of priority until the funds have been exhausted. Then draw a line from that point and all those below the line are out. (For this year, at least.)

7. Negotiate performance agreements with all providers.
Frame your budget as a collection of performance agreements. These should spell out the expected outputs and outcomes, how they will be measured, the consequences for poor performance and the flexibilities granted to help the provider maximize performance. As a result, accountability is built into the budget.

The above idea and method is just a sample, for more great information about Budgeting for Outcomes, the following book is an excellent resource: The Price of Government: Getting the Results We Need in an Age of Permanent Fiscal Crisis, written by David Osborne and Peter Hutchinson (Basic Books, 2004).

A Brief History of the Computer User Experience

The way users interact with computers and software has changed dramatically over the years, and continues to evolve as technology advances. Some of you may remember the days of green and black text on a monitor displaying the commands that were typed on the keyboard, when only rarely did you have a reason to use a mouse. With a shelf full of paper manuals to refer to when you needed to find answers and a box full of floppy disks to save the data you needed, you couldn’t help but hope for an easier way to do things than the manual methods you were used to. Those unfamiliar with computers found them intimidating to learn and generally were able to avoid using them.

Then operating platforms such as Windows came along. They changed the user experience from keyboard-focused to mouse clicking, and brought along many new visual changes. It felt much “friendlier” to use a computer, which made it possible for many people who were hesitant to use computers to try them out. Big thick paper manuals were still around, but you could also sometimes find answers you needed in help files.

Time passed and technology advanced, as did software and the experience of using it. The internet opened opportunities, and more powerful computers allowed for more powerful solutions to run on them. As capabilities increased, so did the demand for bigger, more powerful solutions. It seemed everyone needed to see everything they needed all in one place all at the same time. The motto of the day was “give me everything, and give it to me now!” The user experience actually started to become more of a challenge, because of the difficulties caused when developers tried to fit every bit of information onto one screen. This often resulted in users barely being able to find what they really needed. The designs were focused on getting all the information out, rather than the experience of the person who was using the system.

Fast forward a few more years to the age of the smartphone, Wi-Fi, cell networks and tablets. Anything you want, right at your fingertips — literally! Touch screens are replacing the traditional mouse and keyboard and smaller, more mobile devices are dominating the market.  All the knowledge you want, quickly accessed without paper. It’s no longer all about getting everything you need all at once, but has refined to getting what you need when you need it in such a way that you can easily digest the information. The solutions still need to solve complex problems, but more emphasis is being put on the experience the users face and providing solutions that fit their needs, instead of forcing the user to fit the solution.

We are seeing a significant trend towards simplification. The user experience has gotten even friendlier to those who are less inclined to use computers, tablets or phones. Where once people were able to easily avoid using any computers or digital devices, now they are so deeply integrated into our society they can no longer be avoided.

The user experience has changed dramatically over the years. As software solutions (like Tyler’s) move forward with technology, we all must adapt to the changing expectations of users and the experiences they want and demand. What do I see on the horizon for the near future? Bigger, more interactive touch screens everywhere, virtual screens on display and prompting interaction, motion detection responsiveness, glasses that display information, easily and instantly accessible data everywhere…

Changes keep coming, and the user experience will change with each one.  What do you feel will impact you the most going forward? How do you expect your experience to change?