Friday, February 20, 2009

A Show = A Project

It's been a little longer since my last post than I would like, but it's been hectic lately.

Since USITT is quickly approaching and I will be doing a session that relates Project Management to Technical Direction, I have been doing alot of thinking about that. And of course the best thinking usually happens someplace where its impossible to type or write. But I thought that as I pull ideas together that I would talk some of them out here so that any of you can add comments or point out anything I might be missing from your perspective.

I think I will start out at the concept of a show as a project. When I was in grad school I took about a third of my classes from the Bloch School of Business, and one of the reasons I did so was that I felt an identification of a show as a project - and a season (planning of which is a project) as a series of connected projects. For me framing a show as a project allows you to teach TD related skills in an approach that allows you to talk about the phases and processes. Since every TD job is different if you try to define a TD by type of TD, most of the time is spent defining TD types instead of dealing with management issues a TD deals with. I will admit - I enjoy the management side of technical direction - and have leaned towards those jobs - and even towards production management - but I don't want to blur the lines too much - so I will leave "production management" out of the scope.

So back to show=project. A project has a discreet beginning, end, a desired result. A show is planned, a design is developed, a schedule is created, there is particular goal in mind, and then opening comes, strike (usually) and then the project is closed out. There may be differences in terms of when some people enter the project from others, and how some people close out a project, and even how build and project achievement is accomplished - but the phases of a project are the same. When I interviewed for the position here I was asked about how I felt about "projects". It was a question that was ready for - sine I had already started thinking in Grad school and studying aspects of project management to apply the knowledge to a theatrical framework.

I plan on continuing to dive into each phase in more detail in the upcoming weeks. Please feel free to leave feedback / opinions / thoughts /comments below (or by email).

*By the way, thanks to those who have made comments. I had thought I had enabled the comments section long, long ago and thought you were all a very quiet group till someone emailed me and said they couldn't leave a comment. So now that everything is fixed up I hope to be able to enter into more conversations with you as opposed to just spewing out random thoughts and information.

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