Time Management

In the run up to Wednesday’s seminar and the beginning of this first rapid ideation session, I have gone through several of the materials on Canvas to see if there is anything that I need to do in preparation for this session. Initially, I will confine this part of the process to looking through Canvas, until I have a greater understanding of what form the rapid ideation session will take, but if at any point I recognise the immediate necessity for me to do any research beyond the Canvas materials, I will get onto this.

I have started by watching a video lecture from Giovanni Rubino, which offers some practical tips on improving my time management, when taking on projects.

In his video, Giovanni establishes how time management goes hand-in-hand with project management. He recommends Agile, which had a look at in week 1 and while I have not actually used an Agile framework before, I think it would be favourable to use this over a traditional method such as the Waterfall method, as it is less hierarchical and while an end goal is established, it allows room for manoeuvre and allows prototyping and testing to occur throughout the lifecycle of the project.

Giovanni also suggests choosing a producer for a project. In Agile / Scrum terms, this would possibly be synonymous with the Product Owner. Generally, the role and responsibility of a producer within a small team would be the appointed to someone who has a relatively lower workload compared to others in the team and can use this time to manage the overall project. This role would also have some overlap with other roles in the team as well. A producer’s responsibility would also involve planning meetings and enforcing a production plan. If I opt to work on my own during this rapid ideation session, then I would be the producer by default.

Several different apps that can be used to arrange when a team holds meetings include Doodle, Discord, Slack and Whereby. I am familiar with Slack as I use this at my current day job and we use it to share work, raise concerns and also arrange meetings. I am familiar with Discord as I use to communicate with friends when I am playing games, but I have not used it in a professional context yet. I would be willing to try either of these for the co-ordination of a group project in future.

Doodle also allows users to vote on when a team holds meetings. This could be very complimentary to a project that is managed according to Scrum framework which is democratic by nature.

Giovanni highlights the importance of having a clear agenda for a meeting and documenting all decisions that are made in the form of minutes for the benefit of the whole team and even those who are unable to make a meeting for any given reason. I believe this is very useful and effective and certainly something I would consider for managing group projects.

The most important role of any producer is to create a Production plan. Even if I work on my own and serve as my own producer, I will need to come up with this to work out

The most efficient way of doing this is by visualising the Production Plan through the creation of a Kanban Board in which all tasks and assets are listed and categorised according to whether they have been planned, are in progress or have been completed. This can be done in real life on a wall or board, but it can also be done virtually using an app called Trello.

I have used Trello for project management before. For a previous job role I had as a designer at a data rental company, I would use Trello to organise all of my projects according to whether they had been briefed in, had been started, were in progress, completed or had been signed off and approved. I would colour co-ordinate all tasks according to they type of work they were (emails, banners, landing pages, social media graphics, etc.). It was also possible to assign tasks to specific members in the team. Given my experience with Trello in the past, I would certainly consider using it for project management during this rapid ideation session and also future group projects. Trello could also complement working according to a Scrum framework as the mechanics of Scrum involve organising tasks according to backlogs of work and I could use Trello to visualise both the workload and also the progress I am making.

These are the main points I have taken away from Giovanni’s video. I will continue through the rest of the material on Canvas and make any further posts about anything else that may be relevant to the next two weeks.

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