Information-Project Team Roles and Rules
Early on, you need to decide on the different roles your team members will play and the rules by which your team will operate.
Information-Project Team Roles
In this course, with its abbreviated information-development project, team roles might include the following:
- Library planner/information architect. As with a number of these roles, this role may be a group effort. For this project, you will need to determine which documents the unformatted information should be developed into, dissect the unformatted information into topics, then fit those topics into the documents, and then decide on the media for these documents.
- Internal document writer. Specifically, this refers to the information development proposal and plan. Again, this work may be a group effort but with someone leading and pushing it to completion.
- Editor. In this project, the editor may not do any copyediting or usability editing. Instead, the editor might watch for inconsistencies, maintain some sort of abbreviated style guide on the wiki to be referenced by everybody else. As with all team roles, the editor does not necessarily dictate things. If the editor sees an inconsistency problem, the better approach might be to base the resolution on a consensus.
- Graphic designer. This person plans the fonts, font sizes, heading styles, margins, page sizes, and other aspects of the "look" of the information. Of course, once again this is a consensus matter rather than a dictatorial thing. The designer may show several design possibilities to the team (these designs are prototypes). Once a design has been agreed upon, it is translated into some form of templates.
- Graphics specialist. The formatting project may have few graphics, or none. However, flowcharts or other sorts of conceptual graphics might be a good addition.
- Production specialist. This person would take the finished project topics (probably in the form of wiki pages), put it in some single-sourcing application such as Author-it, associate the topics with the documents to be output, and then produce the documents in the agreed-upon output media. In this course, however, everybody does this important task. Although this task is rather small and comes at the end of the project, the production specialist has an important job throughout the project, especially in the planning phase. When you develop information as topics, it's easy to forget the special topics or elements that are needed only in certain media—for example, title pages and page numbers in print media.
- Coordinator. Your project absolutely must have someone who oversees everything, keeps people on track, reminds people of due dates, watches for problems and facilitates resolutions, monitors people's workloads via the timesheet listings.
As mentioned above, some of these roles are brief, occurring only at one part of the project. Others are really a group effort, with the actual role being no more than a leader or facilitator for a group decision or effort. Some roles overlap with others. In a good team effort, people will balance the work load and help each other out. Also, there are likely to be roles I have not thought of!
Information-Project Team Rules
As a team, you need to anticipate problems: what to do about slackers, bullies, loud mouths, quiet types, incompetents. You need a plan for people who are over-worked and people who are under-utilized. Take notes on these decisions: you'll need to put them in the information-development plan, which is an upcoming assignment.
Resources on Information-Development Team Roles
Here are some resources on information-development team roles:
Information-Development Team Roles and Rules
Take notes on these decisions about team roles and rules: you'll need to put them in the information-development plan, which is an upcoming
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