Multimedia project management is planning, managing and coordinating all activities that are involved in the development and implementation of a multimedia project. It requires a lot of planning and a very good team management as well to ensure the successfulness of the project. A successful project is well organized and planned however if not successful it will be a project failure. This project failure can be due to several multimedia project management issues and concerns which need to be taken into consideration deeply.
Firstly, issues and concerns that can lead to a project failure would be the unclear goals and objectives of the project. When the team does not have clear mind set on their goals and objectives of the project that is to be carried out, the whole idea of the project is very undefined. The project goals and objectives should be clearly defined must be agreed by all team members of the project to ensure success. If there is no audience or target defined for the project or final product of the project, it is also very unclear on what the project is carried out and for who. The lack of clear objectives in the beginning phase or the also known as the project initiation is not good as the objectives should be aimed on producing a feasibility study research or estimates rather than a finished product. (Baccarini, D., 2011).
Besides, issues such as poor assessment on risk management leads to project failure. The poor risk management is a major issue here and is an obstacle in developing the project further and produce success. If the team members ignore the chances of the risks in the project it can bring about a lot of financial costs to the project sponsor which actually spoils the relationship between the project team management and the targeted user/customer/client. As the technology is advancing nowadays, managing the risks in the project would definitely need a proper way to face the challenges faced. Due to this poor risk management it is also capable of spreading or producing unnecessary risks to the existing project. When the management tend to be very ignorant about the risks they’re facing, the project will suffer loss leading to project failure. (Yasdanifard D., 2011).
Furthermore, improper selection of critical team members for the project is another concern in project failure. When the projects are too big or complex more team, members are required to manage the project as the process to carry out and develop the project is complex and heavy. For example, the above Figure 2-2 shows how a project organization should be in developing a complex project. Some members that are selected to be part of the project can cause problems in the project such as making decisions that are of interest in their own functional area rather than the interest of the whole idea of the project management. There is also possibility in technical changing of the direction of the project for personal satisfaction rather than the management or company. (Kerzner H., 2014).
Lack of user involvement is also another issue that leads to project failure. When there is no user involved in regard to the project, there won’t be any commitments towards the project either and will the project will be proven fatal. If the project must be a success throughout till the end the management team which comprises of the upper management and also the users need to be involved from the beginning / initiation and also throughout the development process of the project. The upper management have to continuously give support and encouragement to make it very clear to the team members that the project is the most ultimate priority. (Attarzadeh, I., Ow, S.H., 2008)
Unrealistic and long duration/time scales is another concern in multimedia project management as well. The long timescale for the project to lead to deliver the expected outcome / final result is not suitable at all. By right the project timescales should be short because the shorter the timescales, the better the outcome of the project rather than prolonged time scales. The short time scales can be created by doing phasing and even separating the larger projects so that they become more manageable and easier to develop. All leaders of the team/management should at least be aware of the need for fast delivering and reducing the problem unrealistic and long timescales. These time scales are usually set without considering volume of work that should be completed to ensure delivering is done well for the project. So, basically the timescales of the project should be considered to see if they are realistic to ensure a successful project. (Pillay, R., 2006)
Insufficient testing of the project will also invite project failures. Lack of testing is no benefit at all for the project because there must be the need for user experience as testing is a critical component in ensuring that the project will be a success throughout till the end. Most users will expect to use you’re the final result for the first time without having any doubts. Optimum results will be achieved only when the project is tested earlier with users who have no prior information regarding the application. Testing the project early ensures that the necessary changes are implemented when the project complexity is still at minimum stage. Once the project is beyond the design phase and into development, the modifications to address usability issues becomes more difficult and also very time consuming. (Pinto, J.K. 2015)
Another issue to be discussed is the lack of sufficient resources in developing the project. In developing the project resources are very important. A project is expected to be successfully completed before the given deadline but if it lacks the necessary resources then it will be prolonged. The majority of the project leaders will complain or moan about the scarcity of resources for the project to develop. To them, they consider it as one of the reasons for their project failure. So, project management and team should give commitment and find the necessary resources for the project or else the project will be a failure. ( Attarzadeh, I., Ow, S.H., 2008)
Critically analyse and recommend what should be done from a multimedia project management perspective, in respond to possible issues and concerns more effectively.
There are certainly many ways to handle the issues and concerns more effectively to avoid project failure from happening again. By handling these issues more effectively and efficiently the project will be successful.
Firstly, for a project to be successful the most important element is to set clear the goals and objectives of the project. Every team member should understand the problem statement of the user and develop the project based on the problem and requirements of the user. Determining the goal and objective is top priority in developing the project to make it successful. By refining the project’s objectives in quantifiable terms all the management need is to plan it out by writing down all the intermediate and final deliverables that team will be producing of the project. The deliverables here include everything that the management has been producing for the project. The deliverables for the project will include the products or services that the management are performing for the user, customer, or sponsor. Every intermediate document, plans, scheduling, budgeting and then include all of the project management documents that is put together. The project deliverables here must be tangible outcomes and results to ensure successfulness of the project. (Sampietro, M., 2016)
Next, managing and accessing the project risk is important for a successful project outcome. The projects are usually discovery-driven process and often getting a new customer needs and identifying critical issues. Projects also encounter unexpected events, such as project team members resigning, budgeted resources suddenly changing, the organization becoming unstable, and newer technologies being introduced. There is a real need to properly identify various risks and manage these risks. Managing risk is about risk planning and identification, risk analysis in terms of qualitative and quantitative, risk response (action) planning, and risk monitoring and control. By proposing agile methods are the answer to the problem of changes in the development process of the project. The strategy is to reduce the risks in project management by combining the management creative work with their innovative and proper focus on the final emerged result. (Othman, M., Zain, A.M., Hamdan, A.R., 2010)
To analyse the issue on the improper selection of team members, the management team should involve different groups of people including an advisory board), a project team and one or more targeted user groups. The team members should be very careful in selection to provide the best range of skills as well the experience needed for the project. The user groups should have an input, usually via the project manager. It is important to ensure that user roles are not confused with technical roles for the project. The project team should include skills, talent or creativity in many areas. These may include art direction, sound and or video production, scriptwriting, program design, curatorial or academic knowledge and technical knowledge. The goals of the project and the kind of final product will influence the skills needed. For example, a photographer may be needed for a project involving new photography of wildlife or scanning material into a system. Those with experienced skills established in areas other than multimedia may find their skills are not always used. These will help the management team in building and developing the project to achieve results and should be encouraged by the project leader. (Seabra C., Almeida A.M., 2015).
User involvement contributes a lot to the project success. Without user involvement the project will be a failure. Even when the project is delivered on time and with enough budget the project can still fail if it does not meet users’ needs or requirements. The benefits of involving users can include improved project quality, increased project acceptance and satisfaction, as well as clearer definition of user requirements. There also several ways users can participate in the project development which are the overall responsibility whereby the users are given certain tasks for the project. Next, is the user information project relationship which looks at how the users are during phases in the development process by showing them communicate their views and always informed about the progress of the project that is being developed. (Eichhorn, B.R. 2014)
Schedule and time management is also very important. A successful project often means completing the project on time. The development and management of a project schedule that will complete the project on time is a primary responsibility of the project leader and completing on time requires the development of a realistic and short plan to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the planning. When doing the smaller projects, project leaders can lead the development of the project plan and build schedules to meet that organized detailed plan. When doing larger complex projects, the project controls the team that focuses on both the financial costs and scheduled plan. Thus, to develop the project schedules, the team does an analysis of the project scope, contract, and other information that helps the team define the project deliverables. Based on this information, the project team develops a milestone schedule. The milestone schedule establishes key dates throughout the life of a project that must be met for the project to finish on time. The key dates are often established to meet contractual obligations or established intervals that will reflect appropriate progress for the project. For less complex projects, a milestone schedule may be sufficient for tracking the progress of the project. For more complex projects, a more detailed schedule is required. The picture below shows how scheduling and milestones can be done. (Larco, J.A., Fransoo, J.C. ; Wiers, V.C.S. Cogn Tech Work., 2018)
Communication is also another way that can help the project be successful. With efficient communication throughout the development of the project, information can be passed timely and relevant to the right people about the project. Communication is used to inform and also educate project management team about the project objectives, risks, assumptions as well as constraints. Communication is very important to make the project successful. The project team members will need to collaborate, share and integrate information to realise and understand the project objectives throughout. So, it is necessary to understand the process of communication in producing successful project. Communication actually consists of three components which are a transmitter/sender, transmission channel/medium and receiver. The fourth component is the medium of communication which is the code in which the message is transmitted throughout the development of the project. The particular message flows from the sender and encodes it through the transmission channel/medium by means of verbal or non-verbal method to the receiver so that it can decode the message communicated. Basically, to ensure that there is effective communication, all the components must work well to prevent any misunderstanding or miscommunication. The sender usually is the starting point of the communication cycle in a project. The purpose for communication in the project management would be due to request for information, sending information, giving instructions, building team management or networking. The success of communication in the project development usually depends on the sender’s ability to speak, write, reason and listen competently throughout the project. (Zulch, B., 2014).
Testing and evaluation are very important too in multimedia project management before the final result is produced. Testing is basically examining the project performance according to the specifications that have been agreed in the project development. Evaluation on the other hand examines the effectiveness of the project by considering how well the outcomes, assessments, and activities are aligned within the instruction and whether they are appropriate for the needs and characteristics of the project. When the assessments are drafted and the formation of the module is taking shape, the leader must consider how to measure the overall effectiveness of the project. A well-designed evaluation can confirm the value and validity of the tool. Pretesting, embedded testing, and post-testing are strategies to determine the effectiveness of any project. Throughout the development of the project, assessment strategies should be analysed. If the project is not meeting the set objectives, it should be reviewed for its viability. (Frey, B.A., Sutton, J.M., 2010).
Managing the allocation of scarce resources is good recommendation to ensure successful project. There are many ways to uncover what resources are working on and when. The simplest tool is to use a white board with a daily grid displaying the task being performed and the team member that is working on that task. For fast paced environments, the solution may work well. Many project teams use Excel spreadsheets to outline the tasks and the team members working on those tasks. More teams benefit from using a centralized resource management and allocation software solution. These solutions allow projects, tasks, and resources to be inputted while still in the planning stage. Then workload of each resources can be viewed in a graphical report. Once the whole workload is evaluated, team can choose about which projects to delay or which projects to assign additional resources to. Without any insights into the actual workload or idea of the whole management team the project would likely be a failure. (Selaru, C., 2012)