Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How does our progress match the original project plan?

We are almost at the halfway stage in the RePosit project, having officially started on 20th July 2010, and with our next big project team meeting tomorrow, it's a good time to pause and take stock. So how is the project progressing and how does that match up to the original timeline we gave ourselves in the project plan work packages?

There are five project outputs in the plan: open-access training materials, training strategies, user survey report, advocacy strategies and a user community space. What became clear as we started fleshing out our approach to advocacy planning is that the line between advocacy and training is actually a blurry one and that it doesn't make sense to keep them apart. Therefore, each of the partner institutions now has an advocacy plan (i.e. a strategy document) which covers all types of communication around the subject of repository use - both advocacy activities and training activities. A short high-level presentation to a pro vice-chancellor is clearly an advocacy activity, but is a discussion with a group of researchers about the reasons to embrace the repository (via the RMS link) with a demo of how to do it at the end also advocacy or has it turned into a training workshop? In a similar way to how the advocacy and training strategies have ended up morphing into one, the materials we're producing have turned out to be a mixture of both training and advocacy materials. At the moment we have the content of the advocacy materials (as per the schedule), and our friends in the QMUL Creative Services team are producing some fantastic draft designs to make everything look slick, and really be useable.

One area where we are a little behind schedule is with creating the user survey. According to the work packages timeline, we aimed to create a draft survey by the start of January, having done some testing in November and December, and thus be ready to start this month. Unfortunately, the amount of input required to get the advocacy strategies in place meant that we had to postpone the work on the survey, since it was less time critical at that point. However, this will not have an impact on the overall project outputs because we have given the survey top billing in tomorrow's project meeting, with feedback on our ideas from real-world invited guests the following day, so we will still produce the survey in time for when the advocacy and training activities start in earnest.

Given that the RePosit project has an ambitious timeline of just one year from start to finish, I am very pleased that we are managing to keep the pace going, despite the pulls of other work commitments.

posted by: Lizzie Dipple

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