Project Tokyo – Approaching the Finish Line

Project Tokyo is approaching the finish line. Release candidate 1 of q·.:Card is expected to be finished by end of January, just like q·.:Launcher. We’ve postponed the registry feature of q·.:Launcher for a later release in March. We plan to include the registry features into iPhone implementation of q·.:Launcher as well and to update the iPhone version of q·.:Launcher simultaneously.
The Project Tokyo Student development Team did a good job so far – especially since they spent less time than originally calculated. This is certainly highly unusual for projects in the Application development domain. Typically, it’s the other way round. The efforts are underestimated and all takes longer than originally planned.

Project Tokyo Gantt Chart

A lesson that we learned during the project that we obviously need to state our requirements in more detail to prevent misunderstandings. This might sound like a no-brainer, but is rather difficult in reality. Things that we took for granted, because they seemed clear to us, were not clear for our Students.
One example is the use of Twitter for team collaboration. We explicitly stated as a requirement that Twitter should be used for the team communication. During the project, we observed that Twitter was used mainly to communicate with us, but only used occasionally for team-intern collaboration. Thus, we could not monitor how the team worked together, since we were not able to track who did what with who on Twitter. Instead, the students decided to use traditional means like spreadsheets to track their activities. One reason is obviously the lack of tool support: the students needed to report their activities to the INSO group and it seemed more convenient for them to use a spreadsheet tool to log their activities. Another reason was that the students saw in Twitter additional communication overhead and did not think of the Twitter experiment as opportunity to try new things.
One one hand, this is absolutely understandably – better on the safe (conservative?) side and get things done – but on the other hand, a very interesting opportunity to safely try new things for team collaboration has been missed. For example, a very simple communication primitive could have been something like this:

#ase_2010_ 11 @ikangai #workedWith @triggerty on #qcard #parser #duration: 2 hours #activiyList http://bit.ly/cuYoiN
#ase_2010_ 11 @ikangai #meetingWith @triggerty @wokung #duration: 2 hours #protocol http://bit.ly/cuYoiN

This would have provided us with team insights which are now not available for us.
For the next project, we will explicitly state that the student project team needs to come up with Twitter collaboration primitives that reflect their activities. Or put differently: we will explicitly state that they need to be creative and that they must be brave and use their freedom to do some thinking outside the box :-) .

your ikangai team

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