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Managing Large-scale Multimedia Development Projects

Simon Price, Managing Large-scale Multimedia Development Projects. International Journal of Engineering Education, 14(6). ISSN 0949149X, pp. 407–418. June 1998. PDF, 235 Kbytes. External information


This paper presents generally applicable techniques drawn from the experience of managing the UK's Teaching and Learning Technology Programme (TLTP) Economics Consortium project to develop WinEcon - a computer based package covering an entire first year introductory economics degree course. The WinEcon project has been a highly successful, large scale multimedia project. It has received multiple international awards, is site licensed by over 80% of UK universities and over 200 organisations world wide. However, what really happens when you set out to develop the world's largest computer based training package for economics with a team of 35 content experts and 17 programmers distributed across eight geographically separate sites is a far cry from the typical case study found in a 'software project management' textbook. There are inherent characteristics of multimedia software which make its development difficult. Consequently any multimedia project carries a high risk of failing to deliver on time, quality or budget and the nature of large scale development projects only serves to amplify the risk to such a degree that many such projects fail to deliver satisfactorily in any of these three areas. These management challenges encountered by the WinEcon project are independent of subject matter and must be addressed when managing any large scale multimedia development.

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