Collaborative Work Practices

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

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Tutorial/Workshop Session 1: Lynne Siemens (@lynnelynne53?): Collaborative Work Practices in the Digital Humanities

[notes by @squintar, @radusuciu and 2 more]

Questions from the participants :
How to form a team?
Project Management ?
Internal/external partners ?
Technology to support team
How to engage people ?
Communication across discipline ?
Integrate new members ?
How to scale ?
Team skills
How to establish collaboration and culture of collaboration?
Questions to be asked before beginning
– What are the project’s research question & objectives ?
– Are additional people & skils needed to accomplish the goals ?
– What kind of relationshiops is desired between collaborators ? Contract ?
– Team is a set of individuals who interdependently & jointly accountable for outcomes. Has to be at least 2 people 😉
Project’s research question decides the team and relationship between project members.
Benefits : Work & responsability is distributed. Helps having higher quality ideas thanks to diversity. Social & fun.
Challenges : Time consuming (scheduling, understanding the question, etc.), Coflict management & coordination, New skills needed
Conclusion : not for everyone/every project !
Does one really need a team?
What skills are needed ? (technical, content, collaborative)
What individuals are needed ? Are they available ? Are they collaboration-ready ?
Early definition of responsibilities and roles => WHO will do WHAT, WHEN, and to what LEVEL of quality ?
Team members can be needed for reasons other than research e.g. funding purposes etc.
There is no right team size: depends on the project
How to pay: depends upon what best is required by a team member? There is pay and pay: money or credit or academic recognition.
In fact is project management recognized in academia as something useful. Not really… only when your project shows considerable results and get more funds Ok but even then sometimes that fails to be recognized by academic or tenure committees. Cf. this blog post by Sean Takats of CHNM:
“To recap: Conceive projects? Service. Develop prototype software? Service. Write successful grant proposals? Service. Write   code? Service. Lead developers and designers? Service. Disseminate the results of the project? Service.”
How is a research team formed ?
Stages : Forming => Storming (??) => Norming (guidelines, how is the team will work together, time to respond to emails, frequency of meetings/skype; authorships) => Performing (things getting done)(sometimes nothing gets done, loss of resources)
Norming should clearly indicate about academic credits and authorship
Once a team works, you want to work with them again, without cycling in forming/storming/norming phases. Except if a new person comes.
Suppport the team and sustain it. Supporting the team will help sustaining it
Ensure performance, member satisfaction, stakeholder satisfaction
Team building & sustaining : over time, distance, institutions, disciplines. Trust & communication.
How does one ensure research effectiveness ?
Plan in advance inc. good meals
Use multiple forms of communication
Create small successes upon which to build
Remember this takes time
Document agreements
What do we do in case of miésavente
What are some tools to support resarch teams ?
Match the pepple : Responsability, available, when, etc.
Le logiciel qu’elle conseille est Basecamp, mais aussi Google doc, iCalander, google spreadsheets, etc.
[in the margin : wondering when it’s gonna be about DH] 🙂 I hope so ,-) TROLL ! :o) c’est quoi troll, i feel ooooold, Je te dirai si tu dis qui tu es 😉  look at the list, match the colourvoilà I wasn’t talking to you but to the turquoise guy 🙂 I know, and I know him. And he is a big troll. And I’m two seats on your right. i’ve been PRISMed