FROM APPLE comes some important thoughts that prove good multimedia projects don’t happen by accident. There are many steps along the way that help to ensure a quality presentation and an Apple document pulls ideas from Dr. Charles Friesen, Director of Instructional Technology for Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln, Nebraska. He has developed the Multimedia Project Development Cycle to provide insight into the interactive process students and teachers engage in while creating multimedia.
I teach these concepts now and plan to integrate Friesen's ideas with highly targeted project management. Both of these project planning concepts play complementary roles in the effective development and launching of creative multimedia projects.
Step 1—Define the project. This initial step involves determining the boundaries of the project as well as identifying how the project relates to the overall curriculum. Students should be encouraged to select topics that are neither too broad nor too narrow in focus. It is also important that students learn to focus on the audience that will be receiving the information.
Step 2: Locate resources. In this phase, students and teachers identify traditional and unconventional sources of information about their topic. These may include resource CDs, Web sites, encyclopedias, magazines, journals, video tapes, audio tapes, and books.
Step 3: Organize resources. Once resources have been collected, students will need to spend some time selecting the notes, data, computer files, and Web links they will include in their project. It is important to guide students to select project resources based on the informational value they will add, and not simply because they are glitzy or look cool.
Step 4: Design the project. At this point, students are ready to produce a storyboard or flowchart of their project. They can create an outline, draw a diagram, or use a software program such as Inspiration to organize their ideas.
Step 5: Develop the project/ In this step, students will design their project using digital media tools such as video, sound, graphics, text, and animation.
Step 6: Present the project. This phase of the project is very important, but is often overlooked. Students take great pride in projects they create. Therefore, it is important that they be allowed to present their project to audiences such as their class, their family, or other members of the community.
Step 7: Revise the project. Based on the feedback received from instructors and peers, students will review their project and make changes to improve it. In the process, students will understand how successful they were in communicating with their audience.
Step 8: Publish the project. In this final step, students will save their work to a Web site, CD, videotape, or other resource that can be accessed by others. Building a library of multimedia projects is also very valuable to the instructor as it provides additional resources and examples for future students.
Beyond Friesen's work lies the concept of Scrum Project Management. Several important principles are at work with Scrum.
Self-Organized: The scrum team members are motivated individuals who do not wait for their superiors to assign the tasks. They take the responsibility, share the risk, take decision, and work collectively towards a common goal.
Empowered: The Scrum Team or the development team is supplied with the required resources to deliver the desired products or services along with the authority to take the decisions. If the team has only the responsibility but no authority to take decisions, the continuous/iterative development is difficult.
Collaboration: Project management is a shared value creation process with teams working and interacting together to deliver greatest value. The scrum team should share the knowledge, ideas, risk and responsibilities, and work in harmony with the team members to deliver desired results.
Shared Goal: The individuals within the team should work collectively towards a common goal. The team goal should superimpose their individual goals like growth, appraisal, and money.
Optimum Size: A small Scrum team may not have the required skill to develop the product or service and a large Scrum team may spoil the work as the collaboration within the team will be difficult. As defined in the SBOK, the optimum size of the Scrum team should be six to ten. This will ensure that, the Scrum team is large enough to possess necessary skills to deliver the project and small enough to collaborate.
Diverse Skills: The Scrum Team should collectively possess the necessary skills to deliver the project deliverables. During scrum team formation the team members should be selected keeping in mind the skills required to deliver the project deliverables.
Collocated: It is advised to form a Scrum team with the members collocated. This ensures collaboration and coordination within the team members.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business on the Clonmel Digital Campus. Image from work by Ruth Maher for Pet Stop.]