Throughout my Production Lab module I have been working with Advantage West Midlands, developing the AWMist geographic directory of West Midlands businesses, focusing on the Environmental Technology cluster, and offering a social media production platform embedded within (sharing of commentable video).
The project team unified well, with positive motivation, all communication channels open and accessible to all. Regular emails, meetings and telephone calls took place as the pre-planned exhibition deadline drew closer, and all interested partners worked well towards a successful event.
Following regular meetings with all the technology providers, coding experts and platform designers, full AWMist integration approval was given by Advantage West Midlands, and plans for the integration of a video-based social media platform was then introduced into the plan. The ICT Cluster manager at AWM commissioned Teknofabrik to include an extra area on the website to allow for full integration with Buto TV, and this was unveiled at the Sustainability Live exhibition at the National Exhibition Centre in mid-April.
The main issue, which was more frustrating than critical, was the length of time it took for project partners to respond to requests or carry out promised actions. Direct comparison and consideration to my own personal circumstances were taken into account, namely, I had more time available to concentrate on this Production Lab project than the project partners, all of whom had commercial concerns to focus on alongside the project. Based around commercial considerations, I completely understood this influencing factor, and was careful not to mention reflections based upon my own minor frustrations. To have done so would have proved to be detrimental to the project partner relationships, motivation and final outcomes.
All of the risks previously mentioned in the PID and Project Reports were continually monitored throughout, which formed a significant influencing factor to project tracking and management, ensuring that self-set targets were maintained at all times.
The most significant and identified risk relating to the project was the lack of client knowledge and familiarity with social media platforms – this risk did not see any major progress in status since the initial PID was drawn up, and required careful management, training and explanation throughout the project. The sole cause of this lack of progress was the announcement of the General Election, which caused the entire organisation to enter the state of purdah. The effect of this was that I needed to spend more concentrated time with the clients than originally proposed, and if this were a financially critical project, I would have lost money – not a good practice. To rectify this, if such a project were run again in the future, I would spend more time investigating ‘start-up’ knowledge with more in-depth research, prior to submitting the initial proposal and costing budget. In this instance, perhaps PRINCE 2 or Microsoft Project software would also be useful, if the scale of the project warranted such financial investment. Also, I would avoid any social media focused project based around the timeframe coinciding with any political election.
Deliverables and Targets met
The project outcomes and subsequent exhibition proved to be a very successful event, with the majority of my social media teaching (surgery) engagement being completed on an ad-hoc basis. The target reach was exceeded, and the client reported very positive feedback throughout this element.
Future Plans & Exit Strategy
* Produce communications audits with five companies in the cluster with recommendations for utilising social media technologies.
* Hold a seminar/workshop to disseminate project activity.
* Produce a final report on the project for AWM.