Project Management & Lean UX

Dr. Elizabeth Keller’s  Writing for Project Management class utilized student skills and perspectives to help accomplish campus goals. Course work coupled project management analysis and field work. Who were our stakeholders? Dr. Keller had arranged for us to work with the marketing committee of Helmke library. They were looking to hold grand opening activities and increase student use of newly renovated space beyond the ribbon cutting ceremony.

As students managed their projects, course materials and lectures focused on project management models and the importance of documentation and communication in each. We studied models such as Adaptive, Waterfall, and Agile, with a particular focus on the benefits of Lean as demonstrated in Jeff Gothelf’s book, Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience. Students studied the effects of these models and applied them in practice.

We began individually. Each of the seven students wrote scoping proposals for the library committee to consider, drawing up budgets and researching implementation methods. After individual proposals were made, students were paired to own projects through stakeholder interviews, scheduling, research, deliverable development, packaging, and final presentation.

I was partnered with Ali Rairigh. The two of us had been partnered in a previous course where we developed a working relationship of trust and complimentary skill. Together we made Team RAAR. We successfully harmonized our skills, deliverables, and schedules to work in tandem on both proposals. Ali’s project was to research and plan special tours for the grand reopening. My proposal was to generate informational and creative marketing materials to use on websites and social media, perhaps even projecting them on the exterior of the building.

Our projects went through several iterations, downsizing or expanding to fit available resources. Mine, in particular, saw great decreases because of the very limited budget. However, solving problems led to networking connections and research that the library could use in the future. The emails and phone calls I made led to an immediate collaboration between campus departments. When I wasn’t working on my own project, I helped Ali complete hers. Ali’s proposed events came to fruition and the materials we created were put on display.

Other Team RAAR deliverables include photographs, invitations, press release and social media campaign templates, a brochure, presentation materials, and a final report.

We executed exemplary work which came to life for Helmke library’s grand re-opening. Effects of our projects will extend into the library’s future in the form of greater awareness, interaction, and cross-departmental campus partnerships.

Contact Beth Boatwright, our primary contact on the library marketing committee, to discuss our Fall 2016 performance directly with a stakeholder.

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