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Cat Herding and Community Gardens: Practical e-Science Project Management

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Information about Cat Herding and Community Gardens: Practical e-Science Project Management

Published on July 16, 2008

Author: npch

Source: slideshare.net

Description

A talk given by Neil Chue Hong at the e-Science Project Management Symposium looking at issues and models of managing projects which are cross-organisation, cross-discipline and cross-usertype, based on experience of managing several e-Science projects.
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Cat Herding and Community Gardens: Practical e-Science Project Management Managing for Usability: Challenges and Opportunities for E-Science Project Management 10-11 April 2008, Oxford Neil Chue Hong

In a sense, this is what we do…

Managing People is like Herding Cats Dave Platt, referring to managing senior programmers origins of phrase lost now used everywhere Co-ordinating skilled people with differing personal goals within a difficult situation

Dave Platt, referring to managing senior programmers

origins of phrase lost

now used everywhere

Co-ordinating skilled people with differing personal goals within a difficult situation

But what we want is Community Gardens Jointly cultivated by groups Responsive and responsible to immediate community Pooled resources and experience Collectively organised Learn and trade from other communities Sustainable on lower resources and input "I no longer complain about the poor quality; I do something about it." See: S. Chaplowe, Havana's Popular Gardens: Sustainable Urban Agriculture, World Sustainable Agriculture Association, Fall 1996, Vol. 5, No. 22

Jointly cultivated by groups

Responsive and responsible to immediate community

Pooled resources and experience

Collectively organised

Learn and trade from other communities

Sustainable on lower resources and input

"I no longer complain about the poor quality; I do something about it."

See: S. Chaplowe, Havana's Popular Gardens: Sustainable Urban Agriculture, World Sustainable Agriculture Association, Fall 1996, Vol. 5, No. 22

How do you stop herding cats? … and start cultivating gardens?

… and start cultivating gardens?

OMII-UK: Software Solutions for e-Research OMII-UK provides software and support to enable a sustained future for the UK e-Science community and its international collaborators. Core support and development: £7.8 million Commissioned Software Programme: £1.4 million ENGAGE: improving access to e-Infrastructure: £0.9 million Phase II: 2006 - 2009

OMII-UK provides software and support to enable a sustained future for the UK e-Science community and its international collaborators.

Core support and development: £7.8 million

Commissioned Software Programme: £1.4 million

ENGAGE: improving access to e-Infrastructure: £0.9 million

Phase II: 2006 - 2009

OMII-UK: For all kinds of users Taverna: effortless workflows for scientists OGSA-DAI: data integration for service providers PAG: AG videoconferencing for anyone Campus Grid Toolkit: easy to install grid for job submission

OMII-UK: What we do and how we do it Development Support Evaluation + QA Outreach Community Commissioning (100%) 21% 7% 20% 5% (37%) 37% 10% PALs ENGAGE (15%)

The Four Levels of e-Science Enlightenment 1) Resources: Providing access to a larger and wider diversity 2) Automation: Repeatability and management of experiments 3) Collaboration: Intra + cross disciplinary networks 4) Participation: Increasing access to a wider set of users; increasing knowledge in a domain

1) Resources: Providing access to a larger and wider diversity

2) Automation: Repeatability and management of experiments

3) Collaboration: Intra + cross disciplinary networks

4) Participation: Increasing access to a wider set of users; increasing knowledge in a domain

Why are e-Science projects different? Researchers + Computer Scientists + Software Developers Many PIs Few sanctions Lack of common goal Need to engage users User Satisfaction Cool Code Research Progress Job Stability

Researchers + Computer Scientists + Software Developers

Many PIs

Few sanctions

Lack of common goal

Need to engage users

Have a common goal Or you will always be herding cats! Decide or define this goal with your team Understand how you will reach the goal together This is the hardest thing to achieve but also the most effective a common goal means a common direction

Or you will always be herding cats!

Decide or define this goal with your team

Understand how you will reach the goal together

This is the hardest thing to achieve but also the most effective

a common goal means a common direction

Balancing priorities against a goal

People power Social engineering is the key Get the organisation right Push decisions down to the right level “ Too many chiefs” in most eScience projects Understand your teams Different people like working in different ways Make sure they’ve met face to face Go to the pub

Social engineering is the key

Get the organisation right

Push decisions down to the right level

“ Too many chiefs” in most eScience projects

Understand your teams

Different people like working in different ways

Make sure they’ve met face to face

Go to the pub

A typical e-Science project organisation? 10 partners Steering Group Investigators Researchers Students Project Managers Developers

One for all and all for one Everyone is remote once one is remote We don’t need heroes in a team Collective responsibility still requires owners Competition is good, so go one better

Everyone is remote once one is remote

We don’t need heroes in a team

Collective responsibility still requires owners

Competition is good, so go one better

Dashboards in your common infrastructure

Little by little Agility is all big, complex projects = high risk of failure adopting incremental approaches to requirements, design, and implementation helps minimise risk don’t timebox research, but do timebox development delivering small increments regularly is good good for quality, for visibility, for morale Keep your eyes on the road keep an active eye on project risks

Agility is all

big, complex projects = high risk of failure

adopting incremental approaches to requirements, design, and implementation helps minimise risk

don’t timebox research, but do timebox development

delivering small increments regularly is good

good for quality, for visibility, for morale

Keep your eyes on the road

keep an active eye on project risks

What I really, really want Requirements, requirements, requirements write ‘em down! Give ‘em numbers! remember, requirements aren’t just functional! whatever they are, they are always testable everything can’t be a high priority! Make sure you can understand their worth real users better than good ideas user groups focus development do just enough to make it work How do you effectively engage users in a distributed team?

Requirements, requirements, requirements

write ‘em down! Give ‘em numbers!

remember, requirements aren’t just functional!

whatever they are, they are always testable

everything can’t be a high priority!

Make sure you can understand their worth

real users better than good ideas

user groups focus development

do just enough to make it work

How do you effectively engage users in a distributed team?

Intelligence Analysis Group Management Ops Remit: make the best use of the available intelligence information to produce a three monthly digest Composition: 1 from Ops, 1 from Management 1 from each site team (one Chairs) Honest (independent?) assessment of components User Requirements analysis e.g. SUPER Software Catalogue registrations Send people out to communities User surveys and followups Performance/Useability Customer requests User forum “ NERC community are going to stop using our products if we don’t fix bottlenecks in our workflow” “ If we form an alliance with e-Minerals then we can build developer tools which will be useful” Digest intelligence Suggest priorities Suggest actions Prioritise actions Results of actions from last cycle Implement actions Intelligence Analysis Group

Honest (independent?) assessment of components

User Requirements analysis e.g. SUPER

Software Catalogue registrations

Send people out to communities

User surveys and followups

Performance/Useability

Customer requests

User forum

“ NERC community are going to stop using our products if we don’t fix bottlenecks in our workflow”

“ If we form an alliance with e-Minerals then we can build developer tools which will be useful”

Handling relationships

ENGAGE: developing new users of e-Infrastructure JISC funded, OMII-UK and NGS Work with e-IUS/e-Uptake, follow up on SUPER, target individual research groups Capture research scenarios Collaborate on e-Infrastructure designs Implementation and deployment Aim to create specific examples of research benefit from e-Infrastructure Get “non e-Science” groups to participate Use and Deployment Development and Integration Interventions Training Support Design Document and Disseminate Study Practice, Barriers, Enablers and Requirements ENGAGE

JISC funded, OMII-UK and NGS

Work with e-IUS/e-Uptake, follow up on SUPER, target individual research groups

Capture research scenarios

Collaborate on e-Infrastructure designs

Implementation and deployment

Aim to create specific examples of research benefit from e-Infrastructure

Get “non e-Science” groups to participate

Make it easy for others Document! Document! Document! Imagine trying to program without a language reference structure and stability is good Get people who like writing documents to do them but get everyone to doc their code A single editor can provide guidance Good code documentation can be used by the tooling Good human documentation will win your users support Make sure you don’t underestimate the cost code maintenance takes longer than code development make it part of the process Keep things transparent and available knowledge shared is easier for your community and easier for your team

Document! Document! Document!

Imagine trying to program without a language reference

structure and stability is good

Get people who like writing documents to do them

but get everyone to doc their code

A single editor can provide guidance

Good code documentation can be used by the tooling

Good human documentation will win your users support

Make sure you don’t underestimate the cost

code maintenance takes longer than code development

make it part of the process

Keep things transparent and available

knowledge shared is easier for your community and easier for your team

A good workman… Know your tools Good tools can increase productivity CVS, Ant, Bugzilla, Rational Rose, … use what suits Communication tools are as effective as code tools IRC/IM, Wiki’s, website, email The best tools are the ones which people use being prescriptive doesn’t always work What to do when software you rely on changes? Know your versions! DLL hell, JAR war, … Don’t expect others to be sympathetic keep packages small (common, core, client, interfaces)

Know your tools

Good tools can increase productivity

CVS, Ant, Bugzilla, Rational Rose, … use what suits

Communication tools are as effective as code tools

IRC/IM, Wiki’s, website, email

The best tools are the ones which people use

being prescriptive doesn’t always work

What to do when software you rely on changes?

Know your versions!

DLL hell, JAR war, …

Don’t expect others to be sympathetic

keep packages small (common, core, client, interfaces)

And for my final tip Balance the hype eScience project management is about vision vs effort vs requests researchers, developers, users and funders are all different and all want different things get it right for one community first Don’t mess with your users it has to install easily examples and tooling help support is better being responsive is best

Balance the hype

eScience project management is about vision vs effort vs requests

researchers, developers, users and funders are all different

and all want different things

get it right for one community first

Don’t mess with your users

it has to install easily

examples and tooling help

support is better

being responsive is best

So just remember Have a common goal People power One for all, and all for one Little by little What I really, really, want Balance the hype Go to the pub

Have a common goal

People power

One for all, and all for one

Little by little

What I really, really, want

Balance the hype

Go to the pub

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