3.4 Project Management


Management of a public art project can possess a unique set of challenges, opportunities, risks and benefits specific to the project and often non repetitive. The main management challenge can be in the very make up of the people contributing to the project, all coming from different perspectives, professions and level of expertise. In the majority of cases there is a group consensus or understanding of the projects bigger goal or desired outcome but problems often arise when not enough time has been spent at the early stages clarifying project partners different expectations and assumptions, roles and responsibilities. This is often where projects run into trouble and you can lose a lot of good will and sense of community that public art projects often set out to create in the process.

Within the project partners group their will undoubtedly be differences in styles of thinking, decision making, time management, style or methods of communicating as well as dealing with difference of opinion. An artist who works within the public realm will understand these unique set of circumstances and will devise ways of articulating their own thoughts and practice into the mix. Good management practice understands the need for clear structure, planning and communication through out the projects lifespan and at all partner levels. Some basic project management good practice points are:

Initial group/partner clarity regarding what the anticipated end results will be.

Clearly defined roles and responsibilities, what needs to be done, when, by whom.

Agreement amongst the team about the level and periods of individual's involvement

Mutual respect of each partners contribution

Set time within the project planning for effective monitoring and progress checks.

Understanding from the outset that there will be a need to work towards creative compromise

(For further information see Stage 1 and 2)