Digital Project Management UCC Nov 2013

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Digital Project Management UCC Nov 2013

  1. 1. Digital Project Success: Vision + Execution ! Digital Arts and Humanities MA UCC • 26 November 2013
  2. 2. Learning Objectives ‣ You’ve Got a Great Idea? - What are 1st Steps ‣ How to set goals for the digital project ‣ How to plan projects ‣ How to communicate • with collaborators • with users • ! and with future stewards of the digital resource ‣ Why finishing should be a first thought ‣ Tools ‣ Tips
  3. 3. Exercise 1 ( 15 minutes ) ‣ Break into small groups of 3 or 4; ‣ Decide on the top five (5) things that you learned from previous projects—things project participants should never forget - These can be dos or don’ts. ‣ Brainstorm and then one member from each group to report back
  4. 4. Reporting Back...
  5. 5. Defintions ‣ What is a project? ! “one-off, non-repeated set of tasks, which achieves clearly stated objectives within a time limit" ! ‣ What is a typical project lifecycle? ! Define -> Plan -> Implement/Control Close/Handover -> Evaluate ->
  6. 6. Before you jump in …the ‘cycle’ Study /Consider the likely Audience for your Research Product in order to Set Project Goals and Create a Project Plan in order to Manage the Project and Achieve those Goals
  7. 7. Study the likely audience of your digital collection (or resource) Think like an editor, indexer or cataloguer: • Who will use the resource? • What will they do with it? • What questions can you ask of your digital creation?
  8. 8. Study the likely audience of your digital collection (or resource) Think like an editor, indexer or cataloguer: • Who will use the resource? • What will they do with it? • What questions can you ask of the digital creation? ! Conduct focus groups and/or surveys Get feedback at early stages of website or database design Project presentations or poster sessions at conferences will keep people updated
  9. 9. Not just at the beginning … Study users not only at the beginning but at all stages of the project. User testing is on ongoing, iterative process. In addition to focus groups at the beginning, have these or other potential users look at mock-ups and test out site prototypes.
  10. 10. Set Project Goals and Create a Project Plan It’s important to define exactly what the project aims to achieve. What will be achieved, and under what conditions and partnerships will it succeed? Rank your goals in terms of importance. In case time, money, or both run out, what is most important?
  11. 11. The Cynical View Good Choose any two: Fast Cheap
  12. 12. Project Management Triangle
 The triple constraints Scope Quality Schedule Cost See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Management_Triangle
  13. 13. Again before you start... ‣ Take a good look around - Environmental Scan • Don’t re-invent the wheel • Good digital project managers don’t re-invent • They adapt and innovate ! • Was it Caolan that suggested the Jobsian ideal: ! Great Artists Steal!
  14. 14. Write it down - Document! ‣ Not everyone interprets or recalls the same initial or subsequent project discussion the same way! ‣ Often when groups involved, it’s crucial to have memos of understanding...but these make sense for individuals too. ‣ Write out your objectives and plan and turn to it throughout ‣ Revise and document why revised
  15. 15. Your project plan should contain ‣ Project phases • In case limited resources prevent you from accomplishing all that you plan to, the most important and/or easiest work (in the earliest stages) will still get accomplished - remember our priorities? ‣ A timeline showing how things come together: ‣ what and when, including dependencies
  16. 16. Projects and Time Management ‣ ‣ • • • ‣ ‣ • • ‣ Divide (as much as possible) the project into discreet and manageable tasks Identify all tasks that need to be performed for a particular activity divide tasks into component parts don’t overlap of tasks within different sub-elements don't leave gaps Be realistic about the time an activity will take Break down tasks into reasonable time-units no point in setting unrealistic goals assess progress and revise Leverage the Tools
  17. 17. A Gantt chart Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ File:GanttChartAnatomy.png
  18. 18. You are the project manager ‣ ‣ • • • • • The PM is responsible for implementing the project plan (and perhaps formulating it in detail). The PM is proactive: Seeking out information Involving people who are critical to the project Sharing information with those who need it Putting information in writing The PM must be committed to the project’s success and must encourage others to also be committed.
  19. 19. Working the Plan ‣ Perhaps the most crucial part of project management is an ongoing process involving: • Flexibility: know when to stop and change plans • Adherence: know when to stick to the plan • Communication: know who needs to know what when • Damage Limitation: when things go wrong how to fix them
  20. 20. Things Go Wrong ‣ Delays often arise because time estimates are too short. That’s why you plan for project phases. ‣ On the other hand, internal deadlines are useful for keeping forward momentum, especially on any longterm project. ‣ Revisit the project plan often and decide when to revise the plan and when to stick to it. • Project planning is iterative … like user testing!
  21. 21. People have different communication styles and preferences Asynchronous (delayed) Synchronous (instantaneous) in writing ‘live’ does not necessarily break concentration requires interruption from work allows time for reflection easier to keep track of discussions Find an appropriate mix of the two and appropriate tools for each.
  22. 22. Some communication tools Asynchronous (delayed) Email Online forums Word Docs Wikis Some of both Synchronous (instantaneous) Google Docs Google + PiratePad Instant Messaging VoIP (like Skype) Meetings Chatting at someone’s desk Over the phone Later we’ll talk a bit more about some of these, plus look at software designed specifically for project management.
  23. 23. Types of documentation ‣ • • ‣ • ‣ • For the project and future stewards of the digital resource: Internal documentation on decisions reached and how to carry the work forward (in case of changes in people involved or in case the project is revived in the future) Commented computer code For stakeholders (institutional funders, grant agencies) and the PR division: Promotional material (online and/or in print) For users: Documentation (if necessary)
  24. 24. Like user testing and project planning, project management as a whole is iterative Evaluate Design Monitor Implement
  25. 25. The Big Picture ‣ All the projects you will be working on will reside in a larger context of digital arts and humanities projects worldwide • What is the current expectation by potential users? • What new communities may benefit from your resource? • What other projects will yours be in dialogue with? • Digital arts and humanities projects in Ireland • how will these projects fit together? • what interoperability and synergies can be achieved • in the rapidly changing environment of the web • how do new technologies affect your project plan? • changing expectations of users?
  26. 26. Exercise 2 (in groups again 10 Minutes) Would you change your answers to Exercise 1? If so, how and why?
  27. 27. Digital Project
 Management Tools
  28. 28. A Selection of Tools ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ Planning/Documenting Compiling Managing Delivering/Sharing
  29. 29. Planning and Documenting ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ Evernote Google Docs Google + Zoho Projects PBWorks Suggestions?
  30. 30. Compiling ‣ ‣ Zotero + Extensions Evernote
  31. 31. Managing ‣ ‣ ‣ Zoho BaseCampHQ Trello
  32. 32. Delivering/Sharing ‣ ‣ ‣ Omeka Neatline Simile Exhibit 2.0 or 3.0 (note Zotero connection)
  33. 33. Thank You @iridium shawn.day@ucc.ie 2 Elderwood 1st Floor

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