from the MGT Website Archives:

Responsibility of KreW Leads in DesignShop® Events:
Electronic Production Lead

Jolynn Steffan

from an e-mail received 01/18/1997

(published 01/31/1997)

Editor's Note: for more information on KreW leads, see this article. Although MG Taylor has maintained documentations from events on computer for 15 years or so now, the most common means of distributing this information has been on paper. The client usually received a copy of the documentation on disk but participants rarely had general access to this version for a number of mostly technological reasons. Over the past year clients have been asking for and capable of receiving the documentation from DesignShop events in electronic form. A complete documentation may be 80MB or more in size when all photographs, scanned images and original graphics are included. The position of Electronic Production Lead was conceived with this new demand in mind. In addition, a new documentation process, relying on database software, made the Journal more dynamic in its electronic version than in its print version.

There was one other reason for creating the position. DesignShop KreWs are getting larger and more inexperienced as events become bigger and new members are being brought into the network. In such an atmosphere, it's easy for files to be mislabeled and misplaced. One individual could have the responsibility of making sure that all of the electronic files are maintained on the server in a logical order.


General Information (from Frances Gillard)
This lead position will be especially important for the Filemaker documentation process. We have never had an official electronic production person; in the past the role has been distributed over several individuals or assumed by someone on an ad-hoc basis. I believe our process now demands it. As the documentation and graphics teams feed you final versions of work, check it for editing and consistency as you compile the electronic Journal real-time. I expect a majority of your time to be spent pulling this together as the event progresses, so we can hopefully avoid a stressful crunch doing this after the event is over.

While the Physical Production Lead will be maintaining the physical (mostly paper) archives of the event, the week's work will also need to be maintained just as accurately electronically. You should setup your 'banker's box' on the computer with appropriate and consistently named folders. This electronic Banker's Box should mirror the physical one as closely as possible. Devise a naming convention and relay this information to all KreW members so we can avoid a mish-mash of oddball folders and improperly located documents. Post this information somewhere for everyone to easily reference as needed (on the wall, the computer, or in the event folder somewhere maybe). You may even want to designate a folder on the computer where KreW members may place their completed work ready for your review, and a folder for your final work. Make backups of files several times a day to avoid possible loss of the original.

Coordinate with Documentation and Writing teams to ensure all the 'extras' such as the introduction, table of contents, participant list, appendix, etc. are completed before the end of the DesignShop event. If we decide we want to include KreW profiles, coordinate that BEFORE everyone is too tired to write one. You should also coordinate with the Video Lead to ensure profile photos are taken if needed.

Also coordinate with the Video Lead to ensure that the computers and cameras are synchronized to time code properly each day for the Filemaker documentation process to work properly.

Post DesignShop event addendum from Jolynn Steffan

Thank you to everyone who made the Systems Integration DesignShop event a fantastic week for me. I am so thankful that Frances (and all of you) trusted me enough to take on this new role of Electronic Production Lead. I hope that the niche I have carved will serve other individuals and DesignShop events well. I hope that these suggestions, in addition to the expectations that Frances has already established, will help to guide the fortunate Knowledge Worker who assumes this challenge.

I think the role of Electronic Production Lead can be summed up in one key phrase: "bringing it all together." This person must be very familiar with FileMaker Pro 3.0 and must have definite editing, proofreading, and consistency skills.

The first responsibility is to have the layout of the database prepared so that the documentation team can work freely in it. The layout also includes adding the participant names (alphabetically by first name), team names, and module names in the appropriate places in the database. The headers and footers should be accurate and all of the information should be filed into four folders--day one, day two, day three, and journal extras (such as introduction and appendix).

The Electronic Production Lead should coordinate with the graphics and writing teams so that they know where and how their information is to be saved.

The Lead will edit the text (which can even be done while the report out is occurring!), pull in assignments and graphics, determine subheadings, complete the introductory information, and compile the appendix information.

Regarding the role and interaction with other roles...


  • Synchronize the time code from the video with date and time information on the computers that will be used for documentation and editing; coordinate with the Video Lead to accomplish this.


  • Coordinate with the writing team for assignments, module titles, and official start/finish times.

Physical Production

  • Communicate the information that you obtain regarding module titles and start/finish times to the physical production lead. The physical production lead will also come to you in the event that they need an Infolog number assigned to a radiant wall copy, break-out group wall copy, etc.


  • Create folders within each "day" for the graphics team. For each module there should be a file for original scans ( and one for final version, clean scans (970107.083013.fv) that are ready to be pulled into the journal. [Note that file naming conventions mentioned in this article are Apple Macintosh specific and make use of multiple "." in a single file name. If you are working with PC's you will have to devise a different system.]


  • You will depend upon these people, so be their cheerleader! Your work can "officially" begin when they hand over a full day of documentation, so set a deadline for the time that each day must be completely turned over to you.
  • Check on the work of the documentation team either as it is occurring or when a report out is finished. If you see that a documentor is having difficulty or that the summary just isn't making any sense, talk with them or the documentation lead before that individual steps up to take on another report out.

Some tips that make it easier to take on this role...

  • Have the layout relatively "perfect" by the end of day one so that when you copy that database for days two and three, there won't be needless tinkering later in the week.
  • To make life simpler, spend some time with the documentation lead and documentation team at the beginning of the event to set the standards for keywords and summary. It may be helpful to go through strange spellings (i.e., "knOwhere," "DesignShop"), acronyms (i.e., ASE, PE, PI, SAP), or terms of art used by the participants. This will make documentation a little less confusing and your editing process a little easier.
  • Paste the assignments into the database as soon as possible. If the assignments are too long to print in one record, add new records and cut the assignment into smaller pieces.
  • If the group is doing a Take-A-Panel® Exercise, add a record for each panel (70 participants, 70 blank graphic records!) so that they have been placed in the database at the appropriate time. Yes, they can be added later if you choose, but it is much easier to have the Infolog numbers automatically generated with the correct time and date, than to generate 70 records and be forced to change the Infolog numbers later by hand.
  • DO NOT MAKE THE INFOLOG FIELD EDITABLE UNTIL YOU HAVE IT IN YOUR FINAL DAY ONE/TWO/THREE DATABASE!!! (This one is important if you haven't guessed that already.) The process of making the Infolog field editable is necessary for the Electronic Production Lead in the event that he/she needs to add records for assignments/graphics/summary, etc. HOWEVER, you are the only one that has a handle on the entire database, so avoid allowing others into the final day. Time rules in this database system and therefore the Infolog number (which captures the time) is extremely significant. Be careful with it!
  • Don't place too many graphics in any of the folders until the text has been completed. Graphics tend to slow down the database and it becomes frustrating to flip between records.

In Conclusion
There are so many little pieces that people don't think about when they think of a Journal: "Did you remember the wall copy for Module IV? What should we do with the tiles that weren't reported? Remember when that group wanted a wall copy done from their small break-out group? Does that go in the Journal? Where should the music log be placed? Are we doing KreW profiles? Did you remember to add that Infolog number that I needed in Module VII?" It is difficult for the Documentation or the Graphics team to maintain their responsibilities and keep all of these extra pieces in mind. This is your job--to work with the other teams and Leads to keep these little pieces in order and to insure that they find a place in the Journal.

Hope this piece will help others who find themselves as the Electronic Documentation Lead. I hope to get a chance to do some hands-on training at the next DesignShop events! See you then!

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