The first difficult part of combining the partners –along with their own characteristics and abilities–had been passed through. Then another part was coming: Choosing the focus of the project. Well, this part is absolutely the most exhausting and tiring of all –except for all the developers who have the part of designing the software. This part is like an endless part because even after choosing it, we need to still revise, and revise, and revise. So, in a short order, these are what we were doing back then.
1. Inernalize the topic of Imagine Cup
Tsun Zhu ever said, “Know the ground, know the weather, and your victory will be complete”. It suggests any individual to analyze what is going around. Therefore, we tried to search many informations and problems appeared regarding the theme of Imagine Cup “Imagine A World Where Technology Helps Solve Toughest Problem” which is aligned with 8 poin of Millenium Development Goals:
2. Put all of the ideas inside a box
We did not put any limit towards any ideas come up. All ideas, whether it is feasible or does not seem possible, are collected. Yes, we did not put any wall to block the flow of our imaginations.
3. Analyze the ideas to select the best
All ideas collected might have the possibility to be implemented in such a short time or it needs a very long time to be implemented. Well, since it is my job to analyze whether the ideas are possible or not, I summarize the steps to do that:
- Make the description of the projects as clear as possible. I used the The McKinsey Framework which is divided into: Problem Definition (What kind of problems that this project addressed?), Context (What is it all about?), Decision Makers/Stakeholders (Who will get the benefits from it? Who should support this project?), and Keyforces Acting on Decision Makers, Criteria and Measure for Success.
- Measure Yourself. The last point of The McKinsey Framework is Boundaries and Limits (What resoures do we need? Could we get them in such period of time? Do we have the human resurces on the field? Do we have the time to finish the project in these several months?).
- Measure the Impact. I do not want to say that the projects we have been eliminated do not have any impact for society. No, it surely has an impact. However, we have to make the priority scale on all the projects. The urgency of the projects needed by the world along with the sigificancy of the system to help solving the problems are two key indicators. Additionally, I used the TOWS (Threat, Opportunity, Weakness, Strength) Analysis also to strengthen the points of whether this project should be implemented soon or not.
It seems only a simple flow to do, doesn’t it? But we frantically gather around many times in the lovely Electronical Engineering campus or conference and roups just to make sure that all the projects have been analyzed well. For example, we could do point 1 and 3 together easily. But then, when I have to do the point 2, I have to make sure that my partners have the resources of doing it. Therefore I kept on going to burden my Project Manager with many silly questions of measuring our team’s resources (like time, networking, etc). But finally, I could finish creating the proposals and recommendations towards the projects analyzed. Lets take a glance of it.
1st Project: Citizen Journalism Online Through Video
This project require a certain website in which you could just upload the video of any news in encouraging the citizen journalism. The website will declare itself as the website which publish the news from everyone, not just reporter or journalists. Since I am basically a journalist, it seems a little bit difficult to think that to maintain its integrity of publishing the right information as news publication, the video shall need many assessments from the Editorial Board before it is certified as “having the news variables” such as informative, unique, etc. Another limits come from the culture of Indonesian people who tend to lack of news curiousity. To upload such a video in a big capacity is also a difficulty.
Therefore, this project is ELIMINATED.
2nd Project: Book Rental Online
Helping the people in rural areas to get the books is the aim of this project. Since it might be very expensive to get the real books, so this project will give the rental e-book online to the students there. The amount of the books available is limited and it uses a kind of virtual money to rent (virtual money is gained when we suggest the link to other people). However, the projects lack of comparability analysis. To get the purpose of giving the current and new books to the rural students, the publishers might need only to give several printed books as its CSR. The offering as feedback towards the publishers itself is not clearly defined. It could be a mean of promotions for others to buy the books. Yet, if it is rural students that it is aimed for, still they could not afford to buy such expensive books.
Therefore, this project is ELIMINATED.
3rd Project: Dealing Cimate Change for Agricultural Field
The danger of the climate change causes the unpredictable rainfall and changing seasons (length and time of the seasons). It is an obstacle for the agricultural field in developing world which still uses the traditional way. Therefore, ways to deal with this is required. One of them is calculating water needed by the plants using the calculation of ETc (evapotranspiration crop). This calculation could measure the water needed by plants in each of its growth level concerning many factors involved, such as humidity, sunshine, temperature, windspeed, etc. While this kind of project would address the issue of food insecurity in which it helps the agriculture in irrigation scheduling, the other stakeholders, like local government, might be able to set policies to help the farmers grow the right plant on a certain period of time.
Therefore, this project is ACCEPTED.
This process requires such a very long time of endless revisions and discussions. However, this process could create a systematic proposal as a guideline for us to develop the system. This is the small step we have done, and another step is waiting to be finished. Thus, Ganbatte-ne! Or my Project Manager likes to say, Hwaiting!