Project Work Flow

August is my planning and technical month. I’ve been upgrading endpoints and infrastructure, testing new units, etc. I’m also working on streamlining my work flow in running collaborative projects for me schools. I’ve been inspired by Roxanne’s summer thinking on her digital workflow. So with that in mind, I’ve made myself a monster spreadsheet with columns for each project (in GoogleDocs of course), and the tasks on the left. Now I can color and check off tasks to my heart’s content! I can also jot notes to fix aspects of a project right in the appropriate cell. I can also see at a glance how it’s going.

Spreadsheet Screenshot

Projects

Just as a reminder of the projects I run, here is a sample of the projects that are included in my monster spreadsheet. Some of them I collaborate with others, some are organized by other people, some of them I run on my own.

Preparation Tasks

  • Set dates
  • Set times
  • Set test call date(s)
  • Update/create materials
  • Update/create website
  • Update/write email templates: Confirmation, Prep Reminder, Test Call Reminder, Post Project/Evaluation Reminder
  • Decide registration method (some are in FileMaker Pro, some are a Google Form, some are in CAPspace)
  • Create evaluation form in GoogleDocs

Facilitation Tasks

  • Open registration
  • Find partners
  • Send confirmation letters
  • Send prep reminder letters
  • Send test call reminder letters
  • Test calls
  • Facilitate live event
  • Send post project email with evaluation

My thought is that if I can make my process more consistent across the board, and do most of the prep before school starts, I’ll be able to scale my projects as the demand continues to increase in my districts.

I also have this tendency while running projects to write down random thoughts to fix something, and then the notes are scattered all over the place. Hopefully with this spreadsheet, I can write website fixes in the website cell, etc.

Your Turn: What do you think of my task list? Are you running projects for your schools? Did I forget anything?

10 replies on “Project Work Flow”

  1. One thing that I am doing this year is that I am standardizing my web format. I have a wiki for big projects (Monster Match, Holiday Challenge) and then one wiki for all smaller projects to live.

    On the wiki, I am going to put the information in the same format so that it is easier for coordinators to find and communicate to teachers or for teachers to find for themselves. Ideally, I would LOVE to have a teeny video sample of each project, too.

    I like to use Google/wikis or anything that has an RSS feed on it to be able to monitor activity on the sites and it is also easier to have people collaborate on managing a project (like we do for Texas History Mystery)!

    The other change that we have this year is that we have four different mailing lists for different grade levels so that we have better communication directly to our teachers.

    • Janine Lim says:

      What if those of us who collaborate and share projects all standardized on our web formats so that it’s really easy for our schools? So if so, do you have a model site that is your “standard” with the required info for each project? I think then I’d add to my projects to create/move to the new “standard”?

      My sense is that when things are “the same” it’s faster for everyone involved. i.e. I reuse my email templates ALL the time. Maybe other project components can be “template-ized” as well – like the website or even what goes in the sample video.

      Thinking through this could be really profitable for us!

  2. I just added a couple of items to preparation: added to our calendars (Outlook), published on vc calendar (Helios) and scheduled on the bridge.

    • and a field for “marketed” which just means send in newsletter, twitter, blog, etc.

      Sometimes I forget to tell people about the projects. Don’t laugh. You know how it is when school is in full motion!

  3. Linda McDonald says:

    Count me in!! I’ve just started to put together a wiki for our Katy ISD VC projects. I love the standardized format idea for participants!

  4. Lori Colwill says:

    This list is great. Keep it up! You ladies are going to get me organized yet!

    Janine, thanks for always sharing your “thinking out loud.”

  5. Nancy Johns says:

    Great ideas to consider.

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