Group Website Assignment – Getting Started

Our group assignment for the ‘design and development of the Ennis Hub Plan sub-site’ is quite a challenging one in my opinion. Not only do we have to propose, design and develop a website from scratch (first time for a lot of us even using Dreamweaver), but we have to also collaborate to do this, which can cause problems within itself.

From my Virtual Team experience, I will be taking what I learned from that in order to help me through this project. (see previous blog post-what I gained from the virtual team project).

Since we have 2 part-time students on our team, face-to-face meetings where all are present will be difficult if not impossible. After our first meeting today, or just 3 of us, we immediately discussed our strengths, weaknesses and preferred areas of work in relation to the project, something we had not done on my virtual team though i now know this is essential.

So, in order to facilitate team communication and cohesiveness and to maintain some sort of structural plan for everyone to follow, I am investigating design and developmental models that we could possibly adapt to our project and follow. I have come across one already that is quite basic and can be applied really to any sort of decision-making process. Though it is pretty obvious and not specific to web development, I think may work as an effective mental checklist which we could follow and would easily adapt into our team.

The model is DODAR, which stands for DIAGNOSE, OPTIONS, DECIDE, ASSIGN, REVIEW (see fhttp://www.elsterama.com/decision-making-models-web-development for a brief guide to this and other web design decision-making models). It captures the 5 key areas of any decision-making process. By using every stage of this process in sequence to confirm evaluations, assumptions and decisions team members before moving onto the next stage, everyone is kept on the same page.

In relation to this specific project, the DODAR model could be adapted as follows;

1. DIAGNOSE  What needs to be done and why? What are the needs and purposes of the Ennis Hub Plan sub-site? What are the requirements of the client (practicum team)?

2. OPTIONS What are the available options to us to meet these needs? Dreamweaver is a requirement here, but what other applications or plugins are available to us?

3. DECIDE Make decisions that the group has agreed upon, about all the available options.

4. ASSIGN Breakdown of team roles and assigning tasks. Who will write the content? Who will source images? Who will design the interface? etc etc

5. REVIEW An immediate analysis of the process so far. Is everyone happy with the decisions and tasks laid out? Is everyone of the same understanding? After this, deadlines and regualr reviews for ongoing targets must be set up. For example, deadline for finalising proposal, deadline for writing content, arrange a time for another group meeting to discuss progression and address unforseen problems.

There are many other basic models available and all fall under different categories such as;

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