JISC OpenBibliography: Projected Timeline, Workplan & Overall Project Methodology

The JISC OpenBiblio project is scheduled to run from 1st July 2010 to 31st March 2011. During that time, the project will run 2 week iterative development cycles, each including (for links to trac, code repository, wiki etc see project resources page):

  • Weekly meetings
  • Technical lead reports on development since last meeting; incomplete functionality is moved into the next development cycle or abandoned (if at the end of a cycle)
  • Advocacy lead reports on development since last meeting; team should be updated about recent advocacy successes and about events soon to take place.
  • Team discuss and decide technical developments for next development cycle
  • A project blog post should be written each time a success occurs, and referenced to a deliverable listed under the work packages in the JISC project bid.
  • A project blog post should be written describing obstacles causing delay to any functionality aims or advocacy successes.
  • Team members should identify topics raised via the mailing lists that need further consideration. This is to manage how mailing list discussions become documented parts of the project; anything from the mailing list that becomes significant to the project should be documented in a blog post / comment / trac task as appropriate.
  • Team members keep notes in the meeting minutes document.
  • Technical lead (or others) updates trac as necessary to keep note of technical aims, successes and failures. The trac should be viewed as a resource for the technical lead to report to the team, and as a source of information for writing up the project report, but not as a project management tool
  • OKF project wiki and JISC expo spreadsheet should be updated as required to reflect any changes in location of key documents

Rather than aiming to develop a specific product, the aim is to develop as much useful output as possible before the project deadline, ideally meeting or exceeding the deliverables defined under the work packages in the JISC project bid.

This attitude is suitable due to the nature of the project – a significant amount of advocacy is required to convince data publishers of the benefits of open access to bibliographic information, and this work in itself should not be overlooked. Therefore, achievements in attaining open agreements will lead to further development opportunities. Overall success can be measured against three strands:

  1. Publicity / advocacy successes – e.g. a good response at a conference to a discussion of the project goals.
  2. Agreements to provide open data – when data providers actually commit to allowing access to their datasets; this is a specific achievement over and above those in point 1.
  3. Technical developments – with access to open data sets, develop examples of how they can be put to valuable use for the community; this should feed back into point 1, leading to more of point 2, and so on.
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