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Our approach to projects

Every assignment is a project to us, even if it does not involve demolition works on site and / or the installation of 'flashing lights' technology. Broadly our activity takes place in one or more of three areas:

 

Pre-work, typically:

 

 

A physical project, typically driving (or contributing to) one or more of the following aspects:

 

 

Post-work, typically:

 

 

Project complexity and the ixedia standard project management method

 

Project complexity comes in a variety of forms:

 

 

Taking into account the above, most enterprise-level projects in the media and entertainment industry will show themselves to be complex.

 

Some people think that the PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) project management method must have been designed to actively contribute to project complexity and create paperwork and other needless 'red tape'.  Others think that, as the method is rooted in government IT projects and that these often make the news headlines for the wrong reasons, the method does not do what it sets out to do, or else is inapplicable to non-IT projects. At ixedia, we like PRINCE2. We find it a method that is adaptable to projects of all kinds and sizes and, crucially, it is a structured method to counter the often chaotic tendencies of short timescales, unclear expectations and unwanted deviations often found in complex projects.  For this reason, we have adopted it as our standard project management method.

 

For those unfamiliar with the method, we offer the briefest of summaries below. (Hopefully you will agree that there is little that is controversial or non-essential in either what the method sets out to do, or the high-level processes it uses.)

 

A PRINCE2 project is one that focuses on delivery of specified Products to meet a specified Business Case. Key features are:

 

 

The eight PRINCE2 high-level (project) management processes are:

 

 

Crucially, the application of PRINCE2 must be tailored to the needs of any individual project.

 

More information can be found on the 'net at: www.ogc.gov.uk/methods_prince_2.asp and elsewhere

‘3D’ projects

 

Many of us like technology - gadgets, software, neat stuff etc. When it works it’s great! But technology in isolation almost never equates to a successful project.  In an attempt to continually bring to the fore considerations other than technology, we have coined the expression ‘3D’ projects to encapsulate the core thought areas for media projects.  We have found, through practical experience, the three dimensions of a typical production and broadcasting / digital media project to be:

 

1. Content > Manipulation > Audience  

 

2. Workflow > Processes > People

 

3. Facilities > Systems > Technology

 

In our experience, correctly recognizing the importance and relative significance of each of these three dimensions, and then managing all three as a composite in the project vastly increases the chances of a successful outcome.

People, people, people and the factory

 

Unpopular as it may be with some in what is perceived as a creative industry, many of today’s media businesses are at their heart highly automated, content handling factories. Media businesses being designed for tomorrow - trying to bottle and sell water in a sea of digital content - are unlikely to be conceived on anything other than an industrialised model, if they are to be profitable.  It is crucial to remember, however, that none of these factories would come into being, survive and prosper, without the talent, enthusiasm, dedication and correctly placed creativity of the people that work there.

 

ixedia has considerable experience in the design, building and operation of these content handling factories. At the same time, we whole heartedly recognise that it is the spirit and talents of creative people that provide the raw material input to the factories. Without this and other 'correctly placed creativity', our factories would truly become modern-day, 'dark satanic mills'!

Why projects (sometimes!) go wrong

 

It has been said that there are no good project managers, only lucky ones!  Of course, we don't subscribe to that view.  We would much rather be involved in a project from the outset than be called in when it has become apparent that time, cost and/or quality targets have been compromised.

 

There are many good publications and published papers on why projects go wrong.  Some of these are sector specific, many are more general. Beyond the many comparatively low-risk projects, involving upgrades to existing facilities and deployment of relatively stable technology and limited business process re-working, lie those that are ambitious in their conception and undoubtedly complex. Based on our experience in the media and entertainment sector however, we find that the same mistakes get repeated on projects of all shapes and sizes. Here is our checklist of points to watch for:

 

 

The hard sell (or why you need ixedia!)

 

OK, so why do you need us?

 

Accepting that time is also money, we find most of our clients wish to:

 

and / or to:

 

“But I can do that with my own people”, you may say!

 

ixedia  brings a breadth and depth of experience, capability and a perspective that, on closer inspection, you may find simply does not exist in your organisation.  Of course, many organisations do not see themselves as media businesses and so are unlikely to be rich with employees skilled in media; aware of best practice in tens of different companies; capable of focusing on the project and completing it without the distraction of all the daily issues etc.  Pick us up and put us down when you need to.  No fuss.  No 'corporate complexities'.  We bring all the tools we need and can plug into substantial networks of highly competent associates to tackle unexpected or otherwise salient issues as and when they arise.

 

Please Contact us to discuss your individual requirements.