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S-U-C-C-E-S-S That's the way you spell success. Let's go!

I remember in my younger years, I heard the cheer that goes: S-U-C-C-E-S-S That's the way you spell success. Let's gooooooooooooooooooooo! The [team] is the best. Let's goooooooooooooooooooo! They stand out from all the rest. Let's gooooooooooooooooo! Let's go, let's go, let's really go! That may not be much, but something so lighthearted (like a cheer) could really have a lot of meaning.

Krista asked, "What does success look like? Based on what we've said so far about our project goals and plans, how will we know if we've succeeded or not? What specific indicators should we look for?" Take the part of the cheer that says, "They stand out from all the rest." If we have a website about the 35W bridge collapse that stands out from all the rest, we have something that sets us apart. That could be thought of as success. People flock to sites that stand out due to a number of reasons--because it's refreshingly different, because people pass on the word about the site that they remember because it stood out in their mind, and so on.

If you take what was written in the readings this week, it was summarized in Project Planning and Tracking, "Every project needs a project plan. Ideally, project plans need to include the scope, assumptions, requirements, tasks, schedule, and costs for the project. The more detailed your plan, the better you will be able to track your progress as time goes by (Brown et al, 2007, p. 113)" From this, if we completed all the steps of our project plans (scope, assumptions, etc.) and stay on top of it and not lag behind, we'll be successful because we completed all the necessary steps to make the website a reality.

When we are completing our tasks, we have to remember that: "Time is money, and for most projects, the cost of your team's time will be the largest percentage of your expenses. (Brown et al, 2007, p. 107)" I totally agree with that, so we should definitely use our time wisely! If we do, we could accomplish so much more than if we didn't use our time wisely, thus success is closer to our fingertips. Related to time, I was surprised to read, "Whenever two or more people share a task, the total amount of time required to complete that task goes up just a bit because the people involved need to spend additional time coordinating their efforts (Brown et al, 2007, p. 97)" I thought that it would take less time because you have two people instead of one to complete it. Honestly, I thought that it would take 1/2 the time because two people were sharing the task. Nonetheless, there are advantages such as getting a second opinion and the ability to cover more ground or cyberspace rather. They also say "two heads are better than one!"

Regardless if we have a partner for a task or not, we all are a part of a team. I'm not trying to sound like a coach or a cheerleader, but we can do it! If we all complete our work, the website will be on its way to launch into the world wide web. That is the first step of knowing that we succeeded. Let's not stop there. Let's go above and beyond. Let's stand out from the rest (as I mentioned at the beginning). If we stand out, we know people are going to our site. If we have a site that's working--great, we succeeded! If we have a site that's working and heavily hit--great, we really succeeded! Bring in your talents! Search far and broad so that serendipity comes to you! Sometimes I think success is not the definition of others but each individual's definition . . . If we are happy within ourselves and know that our effort was spent wisely (and we didn't waste time as I mentioned time is money earlier), we have succeeded. In the end, I hope everyone is proud of what they have contributed to the site.

In addition, let's not forget about ethics. Chapter 14 of Information Architecture is on the topic of ethics. "The truth is that ethics is one of the many hidden dimensions of information architecture. (Morville & Rosenfeld, 2006, p. 341)" I believe if people do things ethically, with integrity, it goes a long way and those people will go far!

Comments

I'm glad you wrote about that quote on the extra time coordination takes. The authors are absolutely right. I can attest to that personaly. Due to a major reorganization, the people who coordinated the work my team does with our clients were laid off. Suddenly, those of us who produce things are having to coordinate approvals, revisions, additions, subtractions, etc. Needless to say, our jobs have doubled in scope and time. The absence of the coordinators is being sorely felt.

Based on this experience, I agree that we are well-advised to plan extra time for coordination tasks in building this wiki.

You have the right attitude, that is for sure! I was struck with your quote from Brown, et al, "Whenever two or more people share a task, the total amount of time required to complete that task goes up just a bit because the people involved need to spend additional time coordinating their efforts", that really is true. It may not always turn out right the first time, but that is where the usability testing comes in. Having too many people working on one thing can be fun or it can be very cumbersome.

We're closing in on what could be a "hard work" part of this course - actually building the wiki - so this post comes at a good time. It'll be easier again in a couple weeks when we can begin to see what we've got, but for now we're looking in to blank cyberspace, and that can be daunting. Right - Let's go!

I'm betting you have some thoughts on your big point: "Let's stand out from the rest." We're planning for great content, but what else are you thinking? Graphic design stuff, layouts? I'm curious...

The part about two or more people working on something taking more time jumped out at me also. In my work experience, it does take more time. You have to make sure you are on the same page before you start, and you have to make sure they (or you) like and agree with what you (they) have done.

I think that you brought up a great point about coordinating the construction of this site with so many people. It is going to take a lot more time, once the product starts to get laced together. I think that making sure we don't overlap on each other is going to be a big part in the final construction.

Also, I completely agree with you that in order to be successful, we need to stand out. But, I think that we need to be careful here, and not put together a site according to what we think is important. Rather, I think that we should be putting together a site that has information that is important to our audience. People want to find what they need. If our site does that the fastest, the easiest, and with the most quality information, I think that we have found our success.