Virtual Reality Experience
Project Overview
Project GeoLens is a collaboration with the Centre for Digital Media and the University of British Columbia to prototype a virtual reality scientific research tool and interactive experience for archaeologists of the Late Bronze Age in Cyprus. Accordingly, the primary aim of the project is to produce a proof of concept for a novel way to leverage the immersive capabilities of VR technology to visualize, experience, and test archaeological models, data, and conjectures.
My Contributions
As Project Manager my role is to:

Manage the team’s internal workflow and collaboration

Plan weekly sprints, monitor scrumban processes (scrum+kanban), and facilitate meetingsManage project’s scope and expectations
This project follows our Scrumban approach for managing projects. Scrumban was used as a framework to combine the structure of Scrum with the flow-based methods of Kanban. It involves a cross-disciplinary team working to achieve the stated project outcomes. Development was divided into weekly sprints, each focusing on moving the building up in resolution and development of VR tool functionality. A Project Board is put in place to oversee progress, a project manager leads the delivery, and the product lead conducts the weekly increment demonstration.

This methodology of development allowed the team to:

- Be adaptable to necessary changes and road blocks with the platform
- Test prototypes regularly and quickly incorporate feedback
- Reduce the risk of the product failing
Prioritizing prototyping over planning. Once we had an idea of what was technically feasible, we provided our clients with references and low fidelity working solutions before pursuing further development with the rest of the team. This avoided the risk of investing in higher fidelity development that might be scrapped, or overanalyzing and misjudging what needs to be experienced and tested rather than discussed.

Being flexible with changes. We welcomed making changes or pivoting when necessary. Especially being new to VR development, we understood that when our client puts on the headset with us, it triggers ideas and new discussions that you can’t anticipate beforehand. However, this needed to be balanced with ensuring that core requirements, like in our project the building models and textures, were still properly developed.

Frequent feedback loops. We had a process of consistent checkpoint days every week where we got feedback from our clients. So, Thursdays were prototype demo days to sign off on new features and changes, then discuss the scope for the next week so that on Monday we would have clear tasks list until the next demo day. And midweek we would have consistent check ins to confirm we’re moving in the right direction before moving up in resolution or acquire additional references when needed.

Establishing team “rules of play”. From our first meeting our team fostered a culture of openness to expressing expectations, especially as it came to personal schedules for production Sprints and how to best make use of individual skill sets since the project was very exploratory and experiential in nature.
Project Management Approach
Key Takeaways