As we reached the midpoint of our quarter this week we began taking steps to organize the final stretch of the project. It feels like our December presentation is quite a ways off, but with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching and the time we’ll need in the final days of class to prepare and finalize the report and presentation, we’ve realized that we only have about three or four weeks left to develop, test, and research our product.
This means that starting today, we’ll be taking a more structured approach to coordinating our different teams’ work by assigning schedules and deadlines on a master calendar. Until now, we’ve done well with informal deadlines and meetings, but as 0ur individual team schedules have been getting busier, it seems that it’s becoming more difficult for each group to feel that they have a good sense of what other teams are doing. We particularly felt that having our tech team’s timeline of deliverables up on the master calendar would help everyone feel more informed about their progress, even on those days where their coding work takes them to Medill’s Loop newsroom instead of our normal Evanston classroom.
This phase of the project has been interesting because we’re reaching a point where we simply won’t have enough time to implement all of our ideas into the final web product. In just the last few days, I’ve begun having discussions with members of different teams about what features and audience needs are vital enough to be a part of our final weeks of development, and what concepts from our research will have to be expressed only through our report’s recommendations about the hyperlocal space. There are a lot of pieces to our web product and it’s not easy to face the fact that we may not be able to get all of them up by December, but I think our report will be a valuable tool not only for publishers looking for guidance in the hyperlocal space, but also as a chronicle of our successes and setbacks with a relatively short development cycle.