Entries categorized "Project Management" Feed

Keystrokes and Word Count

Working PagesBernie Goldbach in Clonmel | Photo shot on my desk 

EVERY SUMMER I try to get ahead by organising course notes. To stay on track, I need to add words to themes. My current problem is I don't have the themes and memes organised.

I know enough about the creative multimedia modules ahead on the academic calendar to actually write exams before I start teaching so I have started an outline of those exams in Simplenote. Then it's over to Scrivener to flesh out model answers to the questions. I intend to revise 10 PowerPoint lectures for each module and need to publish one Slideshare deck during each of the next 12 weeks so I have materials online before classes start.

In the meantime, it's back to the Moleskines, Evernote, Pinboard and Zoot glue.

Bernie Goldbach curates links about GTD.

My Zoot

Zoot software
Bernie Goldbach in LIT-Clonmel | Zoot Software logo

I'VE DIPPED BACK INTO Zoot XT now that it's a very stable and very fast beast. However, its learning curve can easily intimidate the tap and swipe brigade.

I started out on laptops in the early 90s with AskSam, a flat text filing system. I live in a world cluttered with digital loot (aka zoot in my mind) and that's why I need Zoot XT to handle simple text, RTF and HTML for my feeble brain. Zoot is much more powerful that both OneNote and Ultra Recall.

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Four Years of Basecamp

BasecampI AM TRACKING several important projects with Basecamp at the moment and believe that if you need a minimalist project management program, you should try Basecamp.

For creative multimedia students who are new to project tracking, Basecamp provides simple e-mail advisories and easy tick-off boxes that require minimal effort to use. I like seeing my Basecamp projects on my Xperia Arc handset and also find the RSS feeds of the projects very helpful. I have seen more complex project management tools before but Basecamp has all the fundamental parts: multiple user management, task management, milestones, message boards, whiteboards and file upload/download. I am currently tracking seven projects within one major tasking. I like the way Basecamp's web-based service works fast and without any sort of software. And I also like how quickly you can leave Basecamp and never get a nagging email trying to get you back on board. That's been my experience after working with Basecamp on and off during the past four years.



THE FASTER WE GET to a shematic view of group project management, the more efficient our creative multimedia project becomes. I made a five-minute Camtasia clip (see above) that points to Delicious links supporting group project management at LIT-Clonmel. Three main points arose in my lecture, related to the value of GANTT charts (and the usefulness of Gantto.com), the relationship between primary and dependent tasks and the usefulness of the Model-View-Control design pattern.

x_ref125pm gantt

Planning Strategy Sorting Tactics



Pure Play

I TEACH A project management module in the creative multimedia degree programme at Tipperary Institute where I've discovered the importance of highlighting the difference between strategy and tactics. I think it's useful to point to established professionals like Keith Bohanna, especially since Keith has a track record for getting things done. My operational definition of the words "strategy" and "tactics" reflect my background, so I have to lay the seeds for meaningful classroom discussion where both practical examples of well-founded strategy and tactics come into the open for clear understanding. My first port of call in this classroom exercise is my blog, where I've noted a few public references to both strategies and tactics in the mainstream Irish media.

Strategy and Tactics


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Learning Project Mgt by Reflecting

I LEARN A LOT by reflecting on what has gone before. At the moment, I'm listening to audio tracks made by students as they highlight items of information from their first week on a project management module in Tipperary Institute. I'm teaching a basic module, with an emphasis on agile development. I've asked students to offer up their own viewpoints next week because I want to learn from what they cite as the high points of the first four hours of directed classwork.

Direct link to YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut7yw6JTXgw



Creative Multimedia Project Management


I STARTED THE 2010 autumn semester at 9AM with a two-hour session covering multimedia project management. I made an 8-minute Audioboo about the main points and a five-minute screencast too. I'm asking students to provide reflective feedback via audio and their commentary will influence how far we can push out the boat this semester. The best result was getting an Audioboo from Helen Murray because she did not attend class but her thoughtful comments suggest she has caught up with the flow. I'm looking forward to continuing this kind of creative recap and I'm trying to figure out if I can get students to produce the four-minute summations throughout the next 12 weeks. Stay tuned for the result.

Project Managementboo


View on YouTube or see related links.




Managing through Handheld Touchpoints

Handheld Project Mgt TaskingsWITHIN A FEW WEEKS, my creative multimedia teaching workload at Tipperary Institute will spin up to its normal pace and I'm trying to manage my interaction with the flow by porting as much of it as possible onto a handheld device. The first step involves creating a mobile learning scratch space. I'd like students to access the learning materials on their mobile devices with the minimum specifications being (1) a browser, (2) MP3 player and (3) Bluetooth connectivity on the device. We meet for 12 weeks. I want to beam audio revision notes to the classrrom via Bluetooth. I want to offer an RSS feed that prefaces each class with working notes and follows every class with lecture notes. I may use InsideView.ie as the main hub of activity since the information flow should not bother the long-standing readers of my blog. The photo at left shows one of the views of the project management module. The N86 handset is looking at a working Google Document (bit.ly/tipp-pm) that will be revised during the academic term to show what's up next.

Without Me (Ragtime Mix)



Seeking Stable Three

Looking through the Ballingarrane CourtyardI FIND CREATIVITY in serenity and just down the street from my assigned work desk at Tipperary Institute, I have walked through some of the most serene spaces in County Tipperary, Ireland. The spaces form part of the Ballingarrane Estate, a large piece of land safeguarded by South Tipperary County Council for use as a science and technology park. It will take some time and money to operationalise the vision of a thriving industrial park and along the way, some of the special character of the place might be subordinated. So I take a half hour every week to walk the grounds of Ballingarrane, thinking of the creativity that could thrive inside Stable Three, a notional place that's actually a stable for horses, complete with bales of hay and rusting door hinges on the gates. I can hear creative voices in that space already. I can see the simple steps necessary to convert the stables into an audiovisual workspace. I know the people on our third level teaching staff who are able to specify how to renovate the space with insulation, overhead windows, and 21st century fittings while also keeping the character of the premises intact. So I'm going to document my vision on my blog, including ideas that will fit into a third level project management module, knowing that creative ideas often spark collaboration when shared.


Bonus Link: My photos of Ballingarrane.

x_ref125pm ballingarrane

Working Within a Group

Mic the ScreenA GUEST POST from the Tipperary Institute project management Skunkworks.

Several things become very obvious when working within a group. On one hand, there are things you expected along with things you did not. Things you thought you knew quickly become things you don't know. On the other hand you can find a subject you like and become quite good at it. As a mature student in a creative multimedia project group, I mingle with men and women of mixed ages and differing backgrounds. Most of us are mature students and we find it can be difficult to touch base outside of the classroom. We have, however, achieved several important initial goals by using a number of tools. Our success goes beyond diligently managing our e-mail. We attribute part of our success to Skype. Free online conference calls through Skype have proven invaluable to us. Skype is free, easy to use, and can be done from the comfort of your own home. Google Talk and Google Groups have both been useful too. The great thing about these forms of communication is that if you use text it will save it for you and you have your transcript ready to drop into your weekly or monthly diaries.

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