Project Management


Beginning with early experiments with new technologies in the 1960s, the concept of digital and virtual exhibition has been adopted by many cultural institutions in order to attract and engage with a younger demographic of visitors, from museums and art galleries to libraries and archives (Mann, 2019; Povroznik, 2020). For the purpose of creating a new dynamic way to experience Centre Céramique’s cultural heritage with 3D models and multimedia, we as the project management team worked in collaboration with three main stakeholders: our fellow students, the supervisors and coordinators of our course Creating Digital Collection, and the heritage institution that is Centre Céramique. Our mission is to ensure that the project is delivered efficiently, effectively, and successfully, ultimately leading to a new experience of the historical artefacts for the audience interested in learning about Maastricht.

The project management team consists of 5 members (from left to right, top to bottom): Claudia (liaison), Ausma (liaison), Lorena (leader), Felix (content manager), and Edo (secretary).

Our master’s programme in Media Studies, Digital Cultures of the University of Maastricht has a total of 44 students, who were divided into four curatorial groups (web design, introduction, about us, children section) and four theme groups, and at the same time, 22 pairs – each responsible for their own 3D object. As the project managers, our primary focus was coordinating the various groups to produce a unified final product for the collection. Being in a leadership position meant finding a balance in the diversity of each group’s main responsibility and field of action (PMBOK® Guide, 2017). To achieve this goal, effective communication between teams was crucial; this included making an effort to build bridges between them, learning about their individual goals, and using liaisons to consolidate these disparate objectives into a single, cohesive plan.

Our responsibility was to coordinate the work of 8 other teams and 22 pairs of students simultaneously


Running this major project entailed great effort, motivation, and teamwork. Since day one, our team had weekly meetings to organize the rest of the teams and our main tasks. We defined our deliverables (sign-up sheets, blog posts, media), milestones (timetable and team charter), and possible risks. In our first meeting, we decided on the roles of the team, where we had a leader, a secretary, a content manager, and two liaisons.


Stylesheet & guidelines

The Web Design team published their stylesheet and guidelines for our website and Sketchfab models.


Wireframe submission & confirmation

All teams submitted the final wireframe to the web design team for confirmation.


Website mockup

The template and plugins were uploaded by the Web Design Team.


Blogpost text content

Every team and pair submitted the text content for their respective page.


First draft upload

All teams uploaded the first draft with the text and media on the website.


Object page upload

All pairs uploaded their object pages on the website.


Final upload

All teams uploaded the final version of the pages.


Final checkup

The Web Design Team conducted the final checkup and adjustment.

Our first and most important task was creating the Master Schedule and the Team Charter. The Master Schedule was not easy to develop, we needed to set an important number of deadlines which was slightly confusing at the beginning to make it coordinate with the rest of the course’s lectures. However, after a lot of feedback and adjustments, we established a Master Schedule that everyone could follow without too much pressure and stress. We presented the Schedule to the teams and ensured everyone understood it clearly. We also created a second private schedule with an extension date as a backup plan in case some groups needed more time to upload the deliverables. This was our way to manage the risk in case some teams had to miss the deadlines.

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The Team Charter consists of shared values and guidelines for cooperation that all team members have to follow in order for the project to run smoothly.
The Team Charter consists of shared values and guidelines for cooperation that all team members have to follow in order for the project to run smoothly.
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Overall, the teamwork was performed successfully as expected. Communication has always been respectful, although there were some hitches at times – this was our first big project and we were learning and developing our skills as we were working and being responsible for other teams.  

Developing guidelines and requirements, timeframes, spreadsheets, folders, and check-up progress helped us, and the other teams, stay informed and organized and maintain the deadlines (PMBOK® Guide, 2017). Moreover, we came up with a double-check system to keep track of the content uploaded by the rest of the teams. This way we could provide some useful feedback to them and ensure the quality of the project. Every week we met with the whole group of 44 people and the supervisors to talk together about the progress of the project, giving feedback and answering questions about the schedule. We ensured that the deadlines and general standards were followed in these meetings.

Challenges and Lessons Learned

The main challenge for this project has been setting reasonable deadlines since there was limited time to complete this project and the workload was high. This meant we had to create a schedule that allowed for the final deadline to be met while keeping the margins in case problems arose. Some guidelines had to be adjusted as we went along, however, this had no serious consequences since this was anticipated and the margins were previously planned.

Our team used Trello to manage the deadlines and the deliverables

Another challenge has been balancing between providing enough support and feedback at every stage of the process to produce a satisfactory end result yet not falling into the trap of micromanaging or making the teams feel underappreciated. As project managers, we constantly considered what our planned message to a team was and to what extent this could be justified, considering each team’s prerogative over their respective part of the project. This was always a tricky call to make and communicate and it allowed for good lessons to be learned.

Managing this project has taught us different ways to communicate adequately and efficiently. This goes both for the in-class meetings and discussions with the teams as well as for the online communication through Slack and Trello. In particular, online communication proved to be complicated as the platforms used were new to many involved. Still, as the teams got more familiar with the platforms, such a problem became less urgent. However, online presence was continuously required, meaning we were always on standby.

Communication on Slack plays an important role in running the project

More generally speaking, this project has been a lesson in patience too, since the readjusting of the guidelines was sometimes stressful, yet we had to leave room for the teams to do their tasks, even more so when stricter management was needed as the workload increased. The key takeaway here is how to provide a positive approach and keep the teams motivated to deliver adequate work at every step of the process when things had to be adjusted and to not let the teams feel criticized or undervalued.

In this video, students recap their experiences participating in the project and working with the project management team


Planning, organizing, leading, and controlling resources to complete a project within its established time frame and scope is what project management is all about. To ensure a project’s successful delivery, it’s also important to manage risks, communications, and stakeholders (PMBOK® Guide, 2017). For this project, we put in time and effort to ensure that the collection took shape in accordance with the objectives of all the teams and pairs that worked on the various themes and objects. We can affirm that the creation of a comprehensive digital collection requires careful planning, attention to detail, and effective collaboration among team members. However, this cannot be accomplished without encountering obstacles and setbacks, and it is absolutely vital to not only strive to avoid them but also, at times, accept them as part of the process while learning from the challenges.