2007/02/12

FS3: Managing and Organizing Info for Ad Hoc Tech Projects

Now that the FS3 project (FireSeed Streaming Supercomputer) is actually up and running, it appears the project will actually be a two-part project for some of the people involved.

Part one is the portion that deals with designing, building and developing the supercomputer itself. Part two of the project is learning how to effectively organize the information associated with an ad hoc tech project and how to manage the project for optimal results when the project team is geographically spread out, for the most part haven't worked together all that much and have widely differing reasons and incentives for being on the team. In the words of one of my favorite metaphors, it will be akin to 'herding cats.' (YouTube video clip, 1:07 min)

For some people on the project, the benefits of gaining new 'knowledge economy' skills may be greater than the benefits directly related to supercomputing. With the global economy, increasing communication power of the internet, and acceptance of a collaborative open source approach to important needs, there will be an increasing number of opportunities to participate in either ad hoc tech projects or more traditional 'work' projects.

The team is currently using a Google Group, Google Docs, email, Ventrilo (for teleconferencing), cell phones, blogs, and an occasional Gchat IM. As we work through the early stages of the project, I'm hoping to get agreement on a highly effective set of tools for collaborating remotely. Connecting with someone who has worked on this type of project over the past six months to a year is one of my goals. The relatively recent timeframe is mentioned because some tools now available were not in existence as recently as a year ago. If you've got some suggestions based on your remote collaboration over the past year, please connect with me -- I'd love to hear your experiences and suggestions.

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