Based project initiation forms a central project

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based project initiation forms, a central project database, weekly project reports and weekly project status meetings. Project managers were assigned at these meetings and sent to investigate the problem and develop a structure for handling it. They reported back at a later meeting and teams were then assigned. The process of developing the structure of a project involves initial research to discover the context and domain of the problem; formal definition of the problem; and proposing an overall project process. In this phase, the fish-bone diagram, message matrix, creative brief, position- ing document, project proposal, concept diagrams and hardware platform requirements document are all useful tools. Of course it's a good idea to have a review meeting and presentation to confirm the problem statement and project structure before moving to the next phase. The process of developing the content of a project involves
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forming a project team; exploring the content domain; documenting, organizing and editing the content; and creating interaction models. Keith Yamashita has shown me the effectiveness of kicking off this phase with a formal briefing for the team and clearly defined brainstorming activities. Keith raises the team's enthusiasm and creates a fun environment with these events. Outlines, flow charts, gantt charts, schedules, user interviews, expert interviews and creative briefs are among the useful tools at this stage. Some key decisions need to be made here: selection of information models such as sequence, hierarchy, matrix and web; and selection of information types such as text, image, visual narrative, diagram and sound. As the team begins to work out these issues by diagramming the structure of the piece, generous supplies of index cards, Post-itTM notes, and Fome-CorTM are useful. Already, at this stage, it's not too early to begin considering copyright issues. As before, it's a good idea to have a review meet- ing and presentation confirming the organization of the content before proceeding to the next phase. The last phase of design, developing the form, involves reviewing the visual elements, creating sample formats, fully defining a visual language and completing a proto- type. An audit of existing work, review of existing graphic standards, grids and type specifications are useful tools atthis stage. Central to this stage is user testing and focus group review. The path from the last design phase to finished piece has its own requirements and pitfalls. I will merely underscore the need for lots of testing and recommend a thorough checklist covering gotchas like viruses, time-bombs and file-naming. Just as design is a specialty, so too is produc- tion management. My best advice to save yourself some headaches: Hire an expert.
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