In my last post, I talked through some of my experiences with the organizational aspects of project management. Here, I want to talk about one of the aspects of project management which can be more difficult to articulate and to learn. While each project needs a timeline, deadlines, and clear goals, a project manager does more than keep track of the organizational aspects of the project. The way I see it now, a successful project manager is able to facilitate the coordination of her team in a way that maximizes the team’s potential.
This involves both the ability to be a liaison between various aspects of the project and team members and the ability to learn how each team member works and which kind of guidance (or opinion) is either useful or disruptive. For example, I found that some Praxisers preferred very specific guidance on tasks, while others preferred just general instruction and to be left (more or less) to their own devices. In this way, knowing your team members and how they work is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to identifying milestones and tasks to track.
I have to say that I only figured out this aspect of project management through trial and error. Most weeks I would send out an email that recapped our Monday meetings and outlined goals for the week. Sometimes those emails worked to facilitate the work plan for the week, and sometimes they did not. It was only over time that I began to realize that some of my teammates were not getting the kind of guidance that they expected from a PM and that I was able to start adapting my strategy for thinking about tasks and goals.
Having said that, I am looking forward to an opportunity to work on multiple projects with the same team. It is only through time spent together and learning experiences brought on by both failures and successes that you can really get to know your team members. While it may be true that anyone with decent organizational skills can set up a calendar and track tasks, I think the best project managers know and understand how a team works and can use that knowledge to shape their own approach to leadership.
EIFL has released The European Orphan Works Directive: An EIFL Guide. Here's an excerpt from the announcement: This Guide sets out the background and key provisions of the Directive. It makes recommendations for libraries for implementation in EIFL partner countries that are members of the EU, and advises libraries in EIFL partner countries with EU [...]
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SPARC has issued a call to action for the California Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act (AB 609). Here's an excerpt: The California Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Legislation (AB 609) was introduced into the California State Legislature in April of 2013 by Assembly Member Brian Nestande. On May 30th, AB 609 was [...]
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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University Library is recruiting a Digital Scholarship Librarian. Here's an excerpt from the ad: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University Library seeks a creative, forward-thinking, innovative individual for the position of Digital Scholarship Librarian in the Carolina Digital Library and Archives (CDLA) (http://cdla.unc.edu). The [...]
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The University of Houston Libraries are recruiting a Digital Operations Librarian. Here's an excerpt from the ad: Reporting to the Head of Digital Services, the Digital Operations Librarian oversees day to day digitization activities of the Digital Services Department. The position coordinates with Special Collections, Metadata and Bibliographic Services, and other units to shepherd digital [...]
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The Confederation of Open Access Repositories has released Incentives, Integration, and Mediation: Sustainable Practices for Populating Repositories. Here's an excerpt from the announcement: There is an active, thriving community of open access repositories worldwide and their visibility is rising as funding agencies and governments implement open access policies. Still, repositories must continue to adopt strategies [...]
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G8 Highlights Open Data as Crucial for Governance and Growth, http://t.co/r5yeN0NrS1 In Eventful Year, Wiley Sales, Earnings Fell, http://t.co/ZFmwA9dyqr Announcing ALM Reports—A New tool for Analyzing Article Impact, http://t.co/sdNYNKtN78 Digital Discord, http://t.co/9dCyrFKzyR ePub Metadata What Gets Shown?, http://t.co/FlXJnYpijV Jobless Forced to Pay for Library Internet Access Just as More Services Move Online, http://t.co/6YjITJbo2t Digital Scholarship
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Trust and Digital Preservation [Presentations] What People Are Asking About Personal Digital Archiving Open Research Challenges in Digital Preservation: Call for Contributions! Scholarship in the Networked World: Big Data, Little Data, No Data [Presentation] Digital Scholarship | DigitalCurationNews
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The DaMaRO Project has released Research Data Management Training for Support Staff: A DaMaRO Project Survey. Here's an excerpt from the announcement: A few weeks ago, in collaboration with our colleagues from the DataPool Project in Southampton, we ran a survey for staff involved in supporting researchers at the University of Oxford. . . . [...]
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The University of Kansas Libraries are recruiting a Metadata Librarian. Here's an excerpt from the ad: Reporting to the Assistant Dean for Information Technology and Discovery Services, the Metadata Librarian is a member of the Metadata, Data, and Discovery Services department. The Metadata Librarian is oversees projects, workflow design and training involving metadata and use [...]
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Vincent Lariviere, Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Benoit Macaluso, Stasa Milojevic, Blaise Cronin, and Mike Thelwall have self-archived "arXiv E-prints and the Journal of Record: An Analysis of Roles and Relationships" in arXiv.org. Here's an excerpt: Since its creation in 1991, arXiv has become central to the diffusion of research in a number of fields. Combining data [...]
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The University of Kansas Libraries are recruiting a Data Services Librarian. Here's an excerpt from the ad: Reporting to the Assistant Dean for Information Technology and Discovery Services, the Data Services Librarian works in a team environment as a member of the Metadata, Data, and Discovery Services department and in close collaboration with colleagues in [...]
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Last week I was interviewed by Judy Aldous on the CBC programme alberta@noon Monday June 10, 2013. We took calls about social media. I was intrigued by the range of reactions from “I don’t need anything other than messaging” to “I use it all the time for my company.” One point I was trying to make is that we all have to now manage our social media presence. There are too many venues to be present in all of them and, as my colleague Julie Rak points out, we are now all celebrities in the sense that we have to worry about how we appear in media. That means we need to educate ourselves to some degree and experiment with developing a voice.
These two both have an anime/game theme. Could “Invader” refer to Space Invaders? Probably not. Here are the lyrics (translated into English) and it seems to be more about a fashion invasion from Japan.
Kinograph, a DIY Digitizing Tool, May Be the Savior of Film New Pilot Program: Universities Join DuraCloud/Archive-it Collection Back-up Test ALA Annual 2013: DCIG Agenda Version 3, Research Data Curation Bibliography Cultural Heritage Creative Tools And Archives Workshop Digital Scholarship | DigitalCurationNews
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Research 2.0.3: The Future of Research Communication, http://t.co/bETFewiEgs Museums Can Get Copyright Right, http://t.co/1hwvqZprNx Open Access: Emerald's Green Starts to Fade?, http://t.co/QWZXUUa0Xx New DRM Changes Text of eBooks to Catch Pirates, http://t.co/70cyq3FLnO Dear Officials: Don't Be Deceived by CHORUSâ€¦ Adopt Real Open Access Policies, https://t.co/L6StFbUGds Digital Discord, http://t.co/9dCyrFKzyR Report Released by U.S. GAO Demonstrates the [...]
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At our final official Praxis meeting, I shared an overview of my experience as project manager with the rest of the team, and I thought I would share some of those same reflections in a short series of blog posts. This first post reflects on some of the more technical and organizational aspects of project management.
Early on, I read Sharon Leon’s piece about project management, and these reflections follow much of her conversation. As Leon discusses, the PM is responsible for the delegation of roles and tasks, the allocation of resources, establishing a work plan and a time line, and developing a method for tracking progress and the completion of tasks. In addition, the PM needs to be able to articulate the vision and goals of the project, distinguishing between primary deliverables and those that are secondary.
Rather than deciding on a set of goals and then assigning people to different roles, in the case of Praxis, these processes happened in tandem. As each of us gravitated toward certain roles, it became more clear which deliverables would become prioritized and which would be secondary. To help keep myself focused, I drafted a very general project vision statement and, at Bethany’s suggestion, collected statements from the other Praxisers about their goals for the semester.
This left me with the job of laying out the calendar and work plan for the semester. As I blogged about earlier, this was a really daunting task for me given that I am still new to the DH world and did not have the skills to conceptualize how all the pieces fit together. From that process, however, I have learned that PMs do not need to know every detail of how the project will go from the outset. Rather than feel uncomfortable with my lack of knowledge, I started to see how I was surrounded by a team of knowledgeable consultants who could assist me in figuring out the relevant information needed to coordinate different aspects of our project.
When it came to the calendar, I basically just worked backward. I started by establishing our launch date. Then, in conversation with Wayne and Bethany, I worked to figure out the approximate dates when each task needed completion. Leon and others recommend that PMs work with team members to establish deadlines and goals rather than just dictating them. While this is a good idea (and something which I plan to try again in my next PM gig), it didn’t work so well for Praxis—mostly due to the fact that all of us were novices and not really sure how much time various tasks required. I did, however, collect information from everyone with regard to their commitments over the semester. I wanted to know when people would be leaving for the summer, when they would be out of town for a significant period, and if there were other commitments that might take time away from Praxis. That information helped me to set up the calendar and to know when people were most and least available throughout the last few months.
Although we did not have to worry about financial resources or the allocation of equipment or software, I want to say something briefly about time and space. One of our most important resources has been the graduate lounge. Often our best work happened when we were in that shared spaced for a good chunk of time. Although the design team had regular weekly meetings, the rest of us were rarely in the lounge collectively. Rather, we came in one by one when our schedules allowed. As the semester quieted down, we found more time to be in the lounge collectively. I am happily in awe of the amount of work and progress that we accomplished in the last three weeks of Praxis. Had I known how valuable that shared time and space would be, I would have done more to institute habits of collective work meetings early
To keep track of progress, we used the issues tracker in github. Deciding what counted as a task or a milestone was also difficult initially. Personally, I found that it helps to have the project broken down into small enough parts that you can actually track progress from week to week. If tasks are too large, there is little to check off of the “to do” list until the project approaches completion. In the end, each of our core deliverables became a milestone to which a list of issues (or tasks) were attached. I will have more to say about the articulation of tasks in my next post.
Stanford University Libraries are recruiting a Linked Data Technologist. Here's an excerpt from the ad: The primary duty of the Linked Data Technologist will be the transformation of metadata from multiple metadata schemas into approved RDF models for ingestion into appropriate data stores (triple store, etc.). More specific duties include the automated remediation and augmentation [...]
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digitalculturebooks has released Hacking the Academy: New Approaches to Scholarship and Teaching from Digital Humanities, edited by Daniel J. Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt. Here's an excerpt from the announcement: Hacking the Academy both explores and contributes to ongoing efforts to rebuild scholarly infrastructure for a new millennium. This book poses important and timely questions about [...]
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The Shapiro Library at Southern New Hampshire University is recruiting a Emerging Technology and System Librarian. Here's an excerpt from the ad: The Emerging Technology and Systems Librarian reports directly to the Library Dean and provides leadership in building staff awareness of new and emerging technologies to improve library services and workflow. This faculty rank [...]
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