Posted by: digitalpelican | May 9, 2009

Project Management and Mentoring

Two new opportunities, project management and mentoring.  This week I’ve been given the chance to develop and produce content for the local community access channel and, through the production of the shows, mentor individuals who wish to learn about the video production process.  All of this in a volunteer environment.  Interesting.

The nature of the shows, emergency/disaster/earthquake preparedness is pretty familiar territory for me.  Contacting members of the emergency services community to gain their cooperation is, based on past experience, time consuming and occasionally frustrating, but no big deal.  To be sure, there is no lack of topics to address or ways to approach them.  Strangely, in my experience that’s usually not the problem, it is narrowing down the choices to options that are “doable,” that is, something you can actually execute with the time and resources available.  This is where the project management becomes in.

From my past experience working with inexperienced groups or individuals at the planning stage of a video project, the biggest problem is calming the them down from the, “yeah, but we could do …” (insert new, unrelated, wild tangent concept here).  This is the next step in the process after someone says, “Hey, we could put on a show.  Sure, we could use dad’s barn.”  You know the rest.

The old saying, “it’s like herding cats” comes to mind.  Perhaps is this just the nature of the brainstorming process, finding the point in the process when open-ended exploration needs to end and focused development of those ideas on the table needs to begin.  For the leader of the group, convincing everyone that point has been reached can be tough.  I find myself trying to pull back members of the group who are continuing to sore off on their fight of imagination in the world they have constructed.  In this case, I’ve been lucky so far.  There are only three members of the group.  I’ve come up with a plan I think will work to produce content and provide the mentoring experience.  Next week is our second meeting, we’ll see if it works.



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