DH Teams and the Division of Labour

Collaborative notes taken by paricipants of the DH Summer School Switzerland:

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F-123 DH team and the division of labour

 A team of 10-12 people :
  •  – interdisciplinary
  • – a big project composed of various projects and various methods
  • – only 2 developers !
  • – how to coordinate ? how to communicate between different backgrouds ?
  • – making projects with different students coming form humanities & computer science : encountering some problems of communication and also of ‘protecting’ their own skills, professions, and so on
  • – Fear to share knowledge, because they fear to loose the source of money (selling courses, working)
  • – everyone have to know their place, speciality AND to communicate about it → to lower the fears | the roles have to be described at the begining of the project, documented, publicly (for the project participants)
  • – need to buy “management for dummies” : project management skills
Coming from R&D Media / Publishing
  • – Expertise + clear division
  • – How to manage specialties ?
How to start a team ? How to get yourself recognize to get what you need.
  • – In India they are so uge, and no central coordination…
  • – experience : in the 90’s to begin a project, they tried to build a social network, nowadays they are tools for that : scientific social networks, to have a lists of intersted people, then : the physical encounter is IMPORTANT.
How to balance between the need of freedom and having a common goals.
Solutions :
  • – project management skills : humanities doesn’t function like private corporation | agile methods, because of the need of the redefintion of the project, what happens often
  • – clear definitions at the begining, making the communication easier
  • – feat to share knowledge : sometimes technicians are underevaluated, just support. Be clear about the credits, including not only the leader, the students, and the technicians. How to _pay_ everyone, not only the money, but also name
  • How to motivate the people to go in the same direction. Intersting in being on the paper, or only to code ? Need a clear definition what is expected of whom ?
  • Clear strategies of recruitement. Team building, jobs profile.
  • – the project manager need differents skills : in humanities, in management and in techniques, to be able to estimate correctly what ressources it takes to achieve a tasks, and to understand how, and why. These skills is not coming from a formation but from experience. Having the minimal understanding of the different disciplines to be able to communicate.
  • – Making a team with students from different disciplines : to be able to realize difficult tasks, and this way the students can learn from the other students
  • – if you know everything you don’t need a team… (ironic) : that’s why teams are good ideas
  • – in a project, making little workshop to make different skilled people to learn to understand each other.
The projects  are not exactly what the research processes are. For “projects”, you need to have a common goal, and that everyone is willing to achieve it.
A necessity is to share information into the (future) DH community at large.
How to recruit people? How to find tips and solutions? Useful links:
– Website for questions and answers : the digital humanities q&a. http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/
– Mailing list in dh. http://dhhumanist.org/
– French discussion list:  https://groupes.renater.fr/sympa/info/dh