MULTIMEDIA PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Managing Multimedia Design Projects
Producing effective Multimedia is a very challenging task which involves several
people, several steps, a definite financial commitment, and normally a final
product or deliverable. In other words, there are usually several steps and
processes, which need to take place in order to successfully produce
This section deals primarily with Project Management Techniques and the
techniques are customized from the generic project management schema and
used to design, develop, and produce multimedia products.
Multimedia Production involves a series of processes and it can be best
described as a team effort. The Project Manager is the catalyst and coordinator
of the project, managing all resources and overseeing the progress of the
design and development team. Some of the key people in multimedia
development are the following:
1. Project Manager
2. Multimedia Designer
4. Video specialist
5. Audio Specialist
6. Multimedia Programmer
Multimedia designer includes information designers, graphic designers,
illustrators, animators, image processing specialists, instructional designers, and
Often, the individual members multimedia production team have the several
The graphic designers may also do interface design, scanning, and image
processing. A project manager may also be the video producer. Depending on
the scope and content of your project and the mix of people required, a team
may also employ animators, art directors, composers, and musicians, content
developers, creative directors, digital special effects engineers, editors,
photographers, researchers, videographers and others.
1. Role of a Project Manager
The Project Manager:
1. Must be adept and experienced at managing complex projects, preferably
with large corporate accounts.
2. Must have solid understanding of interactivity and experience with interactive
media- ideally interactive television.
3. Must have several years of experience with interface design or management
thereof and have good design sensibilities.
4. Communication skills a must; must be articulate and effective communicator,
an excellent listener, and act as a conduit for information between his own
team & the client's team.
5. Superior attention to detail & ability to coordinate large amounts of
information a must.
6. Prefer entertainment experience - ideally television or video production.
7. Solid computer or digital media experience and knowledge a must.
8. Travel required to visit focus groups and gather consumer information.
9. Must function well in fast-paced team-oriented environment.
10. Position must be filled immediately.
A Project Manager's role is at the center of the action. He or she is responsible
for the overall development and implementation of the project as well as for the
day to day operations. The Project Manager must hold the Budgets, schedules,
creative sessions, time sheets, illness, invoices, team dynamics.
A good project manager must completely understand the strengths and
limitations of hardware and software so that he or she can make good decisions
about what to do and what not to do. Apart from this the most important skills
are the people skills i.e keeping the team happy and motivated. He should also
have good organizational skills and attention to all the myriad details of the
project. At the same time, it's crucial to keep the big picture, the vision, in mind
so that everything that needs to get done does in fact get done.
2. Role of a Multimedia Designer
An ideal candidate for Multimedia Designer must have
1. A solid experience in interface design, product prototyping and marketing
2. A knowledge of image manipulation.
3. experience in designing large information and/or entertainment systems.
4. experience in creating system flows and program architectures.
5. solid organizational skills and attention to detail.
Multimedia Designers need a variety of skills. You need to be able to analyze
content structurally and match it up with effective presentation methods. You
need to be an expert on different media types and be a capable media
integrator, in order to create an overall vision. The ability to look at information
from different points of view and a willingness to shift your own point of view to
be empathetic with end users are absolutely essential. So are interpersonal skills,
because you spend so much of your time interacting with other team members,
with clients and extracting information from subject matter experts. You must
understand the capabilities of your resources both technological and human,
and know when to push ahead and when to stop.
3. Role of an Interface Designer
An Interface Designer's best work is always transparent. An interface provides
control to the people who use it. It also provides access to the "media" of
multimedia- the text, graphics, animation, audio and video- without attention to
The role of an interface designer is to create a software device that organizes
the multimedia content, that lets the user access or modify that content and
that presents the content on screen. In the real world design responsibilities are
often assigned differently depending on the project. An interface designer may
also be the multimedia designer or the graphic designer.
1. A good interface designer will create a product that rewards exploration
and encourages use.
2. A good interface designer must have a crucial skill of being familiar with a lot
of multimedia interfaces so that he is able to visualize ideas as they are
discussed. Like, what is the best way to represent this function? Will this program
look better using a hierarchical menu or a book metaphor? What will be the
user's experience? Being familiar with film or video editing can be helpful,
because telling a story with sounds and images is what most multimedia
experiences are all about. From a visual perspective, cinematography and film
editing are the closest parallels to what is called interface design.
3. Knowing an authoring system is also crucial so that you can develop the ideas
in some interactive fashion and be able to present them to your design group.
4. A good interface designer should also have basic drawing skill as it help him in
describing how a screen looks using pencil and paper.
4. Role of a Multimedia Writer
The role of a multimedia Writer is the same as a scriptwriter.
1. They write proposals, script voice-overs and actor's narrations, write text
screens to deliver messages and develop characters designed for an interactive
2. They are also referred to as content writers- they glean information from
content experts, synthesize it and then communicate it in a clear and concise.
3. Scriptwriters write dialog, narration, and voice-overs which can become
involved in the overall design.
4. Multimedia writer must be familiar with interactive design and user interface
5. The Multimedia writer must have the ability to work under tight deadlines in a
The role of the writer changes with each different project, depending on the
people you're working with. But multimedia writing is always different from writing
a film or video script. In a film or video you're plotting a story the way a dramatist
or novelist would. With multimedia, it is more tedious as the writer has to think
dramatically in smaller and more discrete units that have to interrelate to each
other, that have to be compiled in a puzzle of sorts.
In a traditional drama, there are characters and an inevitability about what
happens to those characters. You build circumstances that have certain
significance for the characters as they go on to meet their destiny. In
multimedia, the writer plots out stories that can go many different ways. Writers
should be involved at the conceptual level of a project. But in many projects, it
is the flowcharts that are generated first. Then as the writing process unfolds, the
writer finds that the flowchart doesn't work because the material isn't what the
flowchart wants it to be. When you're working on a dramatic script, you have to
make the characters and the drama work first, before you start doing
5. Video Specialist
A video specialist on a multimedia project may be just one person and a
camcorder. Or for projects requiring extensive amounts of sophisticated video, a
video specialist may be responsible for an entire team of videographers, sound
technicians, lighting designers, set designers, script supervisors, gaffers, grips,
production assistants, and actors. In a multimedia project, a video specialist
must be a seasoned professional, skilled in managing all phases of production
from concept to final editing. In addition to knowing the basics about shooting
good video, multimedia video specialists must also be thoroughly familiar with
the tools and techniques used for digital editing on computers.
A multimedia video specialist does much more than just shoot & edit video. He
or she must understand the potentials and limitations of the medium, how these
limitations affect the video production itself, and how to get the most out of the
video. He or she must also understand interactivity and how it will affect the
A good video specialist must have:
1. Strong background in video direction and editing.
2. Good understanding of shooting for interactive programming.
3. Strong background working with blue screens.
6. Audio Specialist
The quality of audio elements can make or break a multimedia project. Audio
specialists make a multimedia program come alive, designing and producing
music, voice-over narrations and sound effects. They perform a variety of
functions on the multimedia team and they may enlist help from composers,
audio engineers, or recording technicians. They may be responsible for locating
and selecting suitable music and talent, scheduling recording sessions and
digitizing and editing recorded material into computer files.
A good Audio specialist for a multimedia project must :
1. have a strong background in studio recording techniques-preferably with
time spent in the trenches as an engineer in a commercial studio working on a
wide range of projects.
2. be comfortable working with computers and be open and able to learn new
technology and make it work with high quality results.
3. have familiarity with standard recording practices, knowledge of music
production and the ability to work with artists.
4. have a fluency in MIDI.
5. have an experience with the sequencing software, patch librarians and synch
6. have a good knowledge of sampling/samplers, hard disk recording and
In addition to having a solid technical foundation, he must be able to survive
long hours in the studio riding faders and pushing buttons.
An audio specialist needs a hybrid of talents and interests. Working with
multimedia, he needs to have more creative and technical knowledge than a
traditional sound artist/engineer.
7. Multimedia Programmer
A multimedia programmer or software engineer integrates all of the multimedia
elements of a project into a seamless whole using an authoring system or
programming language. Without programming there can be no multimedia.
The programmer on a multimedia team is called on to perform a number of
tasks, from assisting producers in organizing their code more effectively to
enhancing the production and playback tools. The most important skill a
multimedia programmer can bring to a team is the ability to quickly learn and
understand systems. And not just understand the various calls, but know why
those calls are needed.
Requisites for a good multimedia programmer:
1. He must have a thorough knowledge of any programming language like C++.
2. He must have working familiarity with digital media particularly digital video.
3. He must have a demonstrated track record of delivering quality programming
on a tight schedule.
4. He must function well in a fast-paced team-oriented environment.
PHASES OF MULTIMEDIA DEVELOPMENT
Suggestions to improve your Gantt chart plan:
• final deadline – hand-over of project to client is fixed (29/3/07)
• contingency measures (top mark band) – allot extra time to allow for
• problems (identifying risks was part of your first stage)
• review meetings with client/manager (e.g. prototype design)
• testing of final draft product - both with client and with a group of
users (build in contingency here, improvements/changes may be
• training period before final handover (client)
• end of product review meeting – crucial! Evaluation stage is based on
this as well as your own review.
• user instructions – need to be written
Multimedia has many different meanings to many different people. To some,
multimedia means their computer has a CD-ROM. Multimedia can be defined
as using a combination of elements to create a dynamic, visual presentation
that catches the viewer's attention and maintains their interest throughout the
There are seven elements -- text, graphics, photographs, sound, animation,
video and interactivity -- that can be included in a multimedia presentation.
Obviously, a TRUE multimedia presentation combines all of these elements.