Development – A Factory model

The Development phase is treated as a factory model which may be more appropriate for large-scale projects than for individual courses. The team management section could be a separate text, and while the graphics section should add a paragraph on 3D modelers, it’s a practical and useful overview. The scheduling section should include usage of Gantt charts.

The most thorough aspect of the chapter was on post-project activities which are often ignored:

  • post mortem debriefing
  • deployment
  • recommendations
  • training
  • documentation
  • summative evaluation
  • client evaluation
  • project cost analysis

Define – Project Proposal

The risk factors, although not explicitly grouped as external (client-side) or internal (production team), were very thorough: i especially appreciated the recommendation to use an MOU for intra-institutional work. The section on proposal research included the most critical “Why” question (we usually add, “Why aren’t you d0ing this yourself?”). The sample project profile was extremely detailed; we tend to focus on (a) interaction and assignment development for academic courses, or (b) the format and nature of the content for classroom self-paced training modules. The best question we’ve found for visual and interface design is to ask the client to show us her favorite web sites and tell us why.

Audience, outcomes, and delivery issues were treated only briefly (covered elsewhere); the schedule section was extremely helpful, although I would have appreciated a discussion of critical path in the schedule (especially in light of our programmers regularly underestimating their effrort by 30-100%). The budget reminder to account for marketing and product management was excellent; we use the estimate by labor (resource) for internal planning and tracking–and the estimate by deliverable for the client.