Project Management BootCamp at THATCamp PNW 2010

At the 2010 version of THATCamp Pacific Northwest, I facilitated a BootCamp session on project management. While not nearly as sexy as the 3D modelling or the “Zotero Love Lab” bootcamp sessions, project management is important, gosh darn it, and something I’m apt to geek out about (things that make Julie geek out is an admittedly long list, but again, project management is important!).

The full bootcamp session title was originally “Bootstrapping Your Digital Humanities Project: How to Pull Together a Team and Work Collaboratively (Virtually or Otherwise) throughout a Project Lifecycle” but when I put out a call for participant input into the types of things people wanted to learn, the e-mail replies I got made me shift to more of a general project planning and management sort of thing—less about specifically working with teams and more about how to get started, the role of the project manager, and the sorts of things that one might (and should) expect to write about/plan when managing a project.

Here’s the slidedeck I ran through for the first half or so of the session:

As one does, I filled in the gaps between the bullet points with more explanation and examples from “real life”. After this, we just sat in a circle and talked about situations and experiences; graduate students heard first hand how these sorts of practices have played out in projects by people further along in the game (some of whom are at the last stages of NEH ODH DH Start-Up Grants. All of us who know them reiterated the generosity and overall smarts and helpfulness of the NEH ODH program officers. I think everyone, regardless of their place or status within a project, took something away from the bootcamp session.

A note on the title of the presentation: you’ll notice “DH” is in parentheses, because there’s nothing specific to DH projects in my presentation of these core elements of project management. This goes back to the discussion in two different @DHAnswers threads: Best DH project-management system? and Does DH project management differ from non-DH project management? While there are questions (and answers) specific to planning/working on/managing DH projects, the general principles of project management (at least to the level discussed here) are independent of “DH” per se.

I would have liked to have shown and described some of the project management software suites (specifically Basecamp, but the fact that I couldn’t remember my password at the moment (I wasn’t presenting on my own computer) and that I wanted to leave time to talk about individual participant projects, meant that we didn’t get a tour of helpful software things. But I encourage everyone interested to take an online tour features.

Additionally (and finally), if there are any examples of materials that I can provide here, or things people would like me to discuss in more detail (or things you would like to discuss in more detail), please feel free to leave a comment.

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