THATCamp Switzerland (8)

The final full session I attended was devoted to the question of digital project management, led by Radu Suciu.

Among the questions discussed were how to complete a project once the money runs out? Another was how to plan successfully for the final outcome? Another was how do we get started with a digital humanities project?

The conversation then turned to audience. We have to think through who might be using the resource–ranging from just me to many different audiences in different fields. This makes project management difficult in the extreme if we don’t know what people in those other audience groups want (or don’t) from our work.

Another was whether digital humanities projects can be anything but a collaborative/team effort? My own take on this is that none of us have the expertise we need to realize all aspects of such an endeavor and so from the beginning we need to plan collaboration into the project in a formal as well as an informal way. This can also mean, according to one of the participants, that we may do much of the initial work alone, but there is almost always a point at which we have to engage others as partners, building a community around the work we began. The evolution over time can therefore move from an idea to a community with specific details of the project being realized either by the initial researcher or the growing community over time.

The session also raised the point that, given the difficulty of realizing a digital humanities projects, shouldn’t there be some part of graduate education (formal or informal) to teach our graduate students learn how to get from start to finish on a digital project. Our second course in the Clio Wired sequence (most recent version) offers one example of a full course version of such an introduction.