PLUNGE IN AT THE DEEP END...
A guide to agile project management in intercultural youth projects with a focus on participatory strategies and confidence building by reference to ART OF DEMOCRACY – a project funded by Youth in Action.
The guide "Plunge in at the deep end..." is one result of the Youth Democracy Project Art of Democracy, which was organised and implemented between September 2013 and February 2015 in Innsbruck by associates of the cultural organisation Die Bäckerei – Kulturbackstube.
Its aim is to be of assistance to individuals, groups, associations and or ganisations that are planing youth projects within a cultural and politi cal context, intending to utilize artistic tools and methods.
However, its intention is not to redundantly repeat and reproduce ge neral information regarding formal project management - as such are already easily accessible and widely spread - but to address how one can handle the challenges that come with implementing a project including cultural and/or artistic objectives by reference to a concrete undertaking.
You, the reader, will find that the structure of the guide at hand is similar to that of a travel guide. The thoughts and considerations that let to this make-up are referring to principles of agile project management and to the experiences the authors were able to collect in terms of project management as well as to the aspect of user-friendliness, hopefully enabling readers to intuitively handle these pages.
An essential aspect of travel guides, that we found to relate to manage ment in and of cultural and artistic projects, is the suggesting or propo sing – not dictating or standardizing – character of such books.
This way we hope you can easily find the specific tools, methods or data suiting your own intrinsic endeavours. Another facet of travel guides that we adopted is their handy and lucid format while at the same time they‘re offering a proportionally big amount of information. So what we suggest is for you to see managing your project as a jour ney – of course you want to have a solid plan and the adequate know ledge about what you‘re getting into but you still want to be able and agile enough to react to changing circumstances or new information you may gain on site. The outcome of your project is the destination of your journey – but while a finalized product, that meets the exact needs and aims set in the beginning, often is of grave importance to project management in a group that develops an output for a company and/or its business partner, it is as such less decisive to a project in the realm of youth-work, where you might also, or even more, profit from a change of route or de stination, because your vital objectives might revolve around gaining knowledge, skills and experience, around confidence and conscious ness building or team- and group dynamics.
“It‘s not about destination, it‘s about the journey”
Therefore you should keep in mind the saying “It‘s not about destinati on, it‘s about the journey” does actually apply to the execution of par ticipatory projects in the cultural and artistic sector – with a process-oriented approach - as well as it does to traveling.
Last but not least we advise you to take a good look on who you are taking this journey with – you might have a sensible choice to make or you might be presented with a given project group that you are part of and that you want to include into your planing process as factors and as input-givers on every step of your travels.