Project Management – A Project in Limbo

During the early months of 2017, hey project was put in place to implement virtual reality videography (VRV) as part of the curriculum of the Interactive Media Management (IMM) program. The fields of media design and development are in constant flux and require constant biannual reviews. VRV is a relatively new technology which is now attainable through the use of inexpensive virtual reality cameras. This new technology seemed the most logical next in the development of curriculum within IMM program. I took on the role of project lead which included three others that helped with this process.

The implementation of VRV in IMM was to benefit the evolution of experiential based video both with the stakeholders that are associated with the program. The stockholders include the students in the program, various media industries within the city, and the marketing department at Algonquin College. As this implementation project came about on short notice, the goals of the project were not revealed to the immediate stakeholders. The targeted success of implementation of the project was the final purchase and testing of the school’s first virtual reality camera. This has still not been completed.

The main drawback why this project has not been completed is due to the lack of the use of a framework or outline of how this would go about. As with many failed or stalled projects, Watt (2014) affirms that our “project team members” did “jump directly into the development of the product or service requested. In the end, the delivered product” has not met “the expectations of the customer” (p. 12). In this case, the camera has not yet been revealed to the target users and the project has been stalled until the spring of 2018. The use of a framework or plan would have helped with guiding this process, specifically in the areas of communication, workload levels, and timelines.

The primary barrier I realize now was the fact that as project lead, I took on too much of the responsibility, thus leaving the project in jeopardy. If the time were spent in creating a detailed implementation project plan, the project would probably be completed by now. The final stages of the project are to test out the equipment and work with the vendor in acquiring software licenses for all students. A third issue that has plagued this project was the fact that the product and company are new to the VRV industry. There was not enough research done before choosing the final product. This also has to do with how money comes about at the college level. We had been given funds and in an inopportune moment and had to spend it in a short period of time. Thus we decided to go with this new VR technology. After preliminary tests, this new product seems to be inadequate for its intention. Only more tests in the spring will reveal it’s true ability.

There’s been no formal project management framework used in the implementation of new technologies within the IMM program. Until now. From the material learnt within the MALAT program and within this course, a custom framework will be designed this coming spring and summer to address such issues in the future.

References

Watt, A. (2014). Project management. BCcampus Open Textbook. Retrieved from http://open.bccampus.ca

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