Week 4 - Project management training

Learning materials for week 4 of PMWC - control and admin processes

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Hello, 

It is week 4! Over halfway. Here are the treats in store for you this week, they are:

  • Control processes 
  • Admin processes.

There are some exercises within these presentations that invite you to post in this WildHub room. I look forward to reading the posts - you can either post these are comments here or as a new conversation.

There is also one exercise which invites you to fill in a document review tracker, that document is in the shared folder, here. Also, a quick reminder, you can find an overview of the exercises that are within the pre-recorded sessions and links to relevant documents here.

Don’t worry if you haven’t been to a live session yet, you are still very welcome to start joining in with them now, details and the zoom link are in the welcome document here

The above video was taken today and it is very windy, you can maybe tell from the wobble of the camera! 

Any questions or concerns please do get in touch.

Warm wishes,

Beth 🐆🐅

Beth Robinson

WildLearning Specialist, WildTeam

I'm a WildLearning Specialist with WildTeam, a bit of a odd job title. My main role is to design, deliver and organise both our online and class-based training workshops. One of the best parts of my job is meeting other conservationists and learning about the work that they do. I really enjoy geeking out reading teaching theory and thinking about ways I can more creatively and engagingly deliver learning. Before working for WildTeam I did a PhD in invasive plants and human wildlife interactions. I find it really interesting to learn about the ways people interact with nature, both when nature is being wonderful, but also when is is being a bit annoying!
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Comments

Go to the profile of Sarah Whateley
11 months ago

I very much relate to the example you gave in the video about organizing and naming in code in R. A problem that persists for me in trying to complete documents is a lack of time. Oftentimes, we have already moved to a new project before documents are complete, and wrapping up old work gets pushed to the back burner. 

Go to the profile of Danica Schaffer-Smith
11 months ago

Good one!

Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
11 months ago

Yes, I know that feeling! How do you navigate such situations? For me, clear communication with others involved is key, as we well as realistic work planning, so leaving plenty of time to finish something - although I think we can never get this perfect, there is something called the planning fallacy which means we always plan too little time to complete something! 

Go to the profile of Danica Schaffer-Smith
11 months ago

Firstly I can definitely commiserate with the code naming and documentation issue you described Beth :)  

A paper I worked on took 4 years to publish, I think in large part because there was no funding for any of the authors, making it everyone's last priority side project. It was difficult to maintain motivation and continue to get time from all collaborators for such a lengthy unfunded project.

Go to the profile of Mary Kate Brown
11 months ago

We have the same issue for a project we completed back in 2018 for the National Academy of Sciences and still working to get a paper publish.  It's always on to the next project as we are grant funded and do not have those luxury funds and time to work on these documents after the prpject is completed to disseminate out to the public to show case our work!

Go to the profile of Danica Schaffer-Smith
11 months ago

I really appreciated have some guidance on project folder organization and file naming -- this is something I have felt I could do better. For my own documents, I like to include a date and time stamp YYYYMMDD and sometimes at the end of a project a time stamp HHMM when many people are passing documents around to be clear which is the most recent version. For edits, I like to use initials, e.g., +JD+WS if two people have added edits to a document that I originally sent out.

Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
11 months ago

Code naming is a pain right! Motivation is a tricky one, I've experienced this with papers from my PhD I never managed to publish, I don't prioritise them and now it has been so long I think I should accept some chapters will never be complete. I try and set myself micro-goals to keep me going and always ask others for an estimation of how long they think their part of the work will take, so then they set a goal without always realising it. 

Personally, I get a bit confused with date and time stamps, for me it isn't as quick to see the latest version and isn't obvious when major updates were made - i.e v3 is likely to be a big update compared with v2.33. I know lots of people that use initials, but again, that confuses me slightly as the name can get really long and at some point you need to delete them and then you don't have a record of who has reviewed it. That said, these are my personal preferences and everyone should find what works best for them, and it is much better when everyone in the team can agree on the same system. :) 

Go to the profile of Mary Kate Brown
11 months ago

I am struggling with that as well to keep my documents organized and one problem I have is that I got a brand new computer in the middle of our large restoration project that just started and barely have time to weed out and reorganize my files to be easier to read. It's even harder trying to do it at home as I am still juggling work and being a mom.

Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
11 months ago

Yikes, this does sound like a lot, I can see the challenge. It is definitely an investment of time to sort out files, but one that is worth scheduling in, perhaps a good Friday afternoon activity?! 

Go to the profile of Olivia Green
11 months ago

Too many authors on a document so the edits and revisions are never complete

Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
11 months ago

Yes, I've seen this before. This is where having one producer really helps in my experience, as it means that you have just one person saying this is the deadline for X, please get revisions / comments to me by that date. I realise that it isn't always that simple, but it does help. What have you found to be useful in these situations? 

Go to the profile of Jessica Donohue
11 months ago

An ongoing document issue we have is that everyone has their own way of organizing documents and there aren't easy rules up front, so that just leads to no one ever knowing where anything is or should be. We had one, now retired coworker, that would bifurcate everything into an endless maze of folders, some of which only had links to other folders, in them. Others put everything in one big folder with no consistent naming technique, so you have to scroll through everything to find what you want. Mostly this has led to people just sending me things to post and/or asking me to find documents for them in this morass. 

Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
11 months ago

Hello, this sounds frustrating! Our folders are organised by workstreams and then work packages which is a good start, it isn't perfect! A couple of years ago we had a "Wild admin day", a whole day spent organising folders. The Executive Director in WildTeam was able to make decisions on how things were organised and systems to use. Our systems were ok before that but even better after it. It sounded like a mad idea to me at first, especially as it was a busy time, but was definitely worth spending the time doing it! 

Go to the profile of Freya Sargent
11 months ago

A few years ago, I was responsible for compiling and analyzing an enormous amount of qualitative data generated during a conference. I was then to draft a report that was to both tell the story of the conference and become a policy platform for two government agencies and a coalition of nonprofits in their new partnership. I went through a major bout of imposter syndrome, believing I was not qualified to be writing such an important document. It was a real slog to motivate myself to do the work, but it turned out just fine.

Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
11 months ago

Thanks for sharing Freya, that sounds like an interesting document. Well done for motivating yourself to do it! Any tips you can share on how you motivated yourself?