Information Strategies Curriculum: Critical thinking and project management skills for developing and implementing successful information-based projects

Abstract

All too often, well-intentioned efforts aimed at effecting positive social change tend to leap immediately to particular information and technological solutions without a clear understanding of the context and problems they are trying to address. This lack of strategic development in information projects and the high risk of failure can be extremely costly and time-consuming for organizations with urgent needs and limited resources. The Information Strategies Curriculum was developed to address the challenges many societies face by preparing individuals to be information professionals and equipping them with the critical thinking and project management skills required for developing and implementing successful information-based projects. Originally developed for a group of fellows from Myanmar, the curriculum is designed to be flexible to allow for tailoring it with country-specific, context-relevant content. The curriculum is a 70-hour (ideally spread over four or more weeks) workshop-style program modeled after the University of Washington Information School’s capstone experience for understanding and developing successful information-based projects from idea to implementation. Participants work through a sequence of six modules to: 1) identify information problems; 2) develop problem statements; 3) propose real-world project-based solutions relevant to a participant’s organization; 4) create project charters detailing project scope, stakeholders, risk assessment, and success factors; 5) outline project plans; and 6) create and manage project schedules.

Recommended Citation

Day, S. (2014). Information Strategies Curriculum: Critical thinking and project management skills for developing and implementing successful information-based projects. Seattle: Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies & the Technology & Social Change Group, University of Washington Information School.

Keywords

Information Strategies Curriculum, Information Strategies, information problems, information needs, ICTs, ICT4D, project management, curriculum, information solutions, Myanmar, Burma, training