The list of requirements that is developed in the definition phase can be used to make design choices. In the design phase, one or more designs are developed, with which the project result can apparently be achieved. Depending on the subject of the project, the products of the design phase can include dioramas, sketches, flow charts, site trees, HTML screen designs, prototypes, photo impressions and UML schemas. The project supervisors use these designs to choose the definitive design that will be produced in the project. This is followed by the development phase. As in the definition phase, once the design has been chosen, it cannot be changed in a later stage of the project.
In a young, very informal company, the design department was run by an artist. The term ‘design department’ was not accurate in this case; it was more a group of designers who were working together. In addition, everyone was much too busy, including the head of the department.
One project involved producing a number of designs, which were quite important to the success of the project. A young designer on the project team created the designs. Although the head of the design department had ultimate responsibility for the designs, he never attended the meetings of the project team when the designs were to be discussed. The project leader always invited him, and sent him e-mails containing his young colleague’s sketches, but the e-mails remained unanswered. The project leader and the young designer erroneously assumed that the department head had approved the designs. The implementation phase began. When the project was nearly finished, the result was presented to the department head, who became furious and demanded that it be completely redone. The budget, however, was almost exhausted.
Wouter Baars has a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Science. He has been a project manager for several years for The European commission, Waag Society, KPN (Dutch telecom provider) and many smaller organizations. He is specialized in creative projects such as serious game development, e-learning and software development. Currently he is teaching project management and coaching organizations that are working on their project management. More info on his work: www.projectmanagement-training.net.
Originally published by DANS – Data Archiving and Networked Services – The Hague