Pipeline App: A New and Useful Tool for Managers


The collaboration of people in web-based and online projects can sometimes be hard to track, thus the creation of the Pipeline app by Kurt Luther, a post-doctoral fellow at the Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

In a press release from CMU, Luther said that he created Pipeline to make it easy for people to collaborate on projects and for leaders to monitor the progress of each assigned task. The tool, he said, will make it easy for leaders to assign tasks, monitor and critique them. Luther added that a lot of collaborative projects end up in the trash because leaders find it hard to delegate tasks and track their progress.

With the Pipeline app, Luther hoped to allow a large group of people to collaborate on a project and actually finish it. The press release said that during a case study, wherein Pipeline was used to manage the production of a digital Advent calendar by 28 artists in 12 different countries, the tool was able to make the group work and finish the project together without diminishing the element of surprise in presenting the finished product.

But aside from collaborative works such as the digital calendar, this tool can also be used to make game designs, film and video projects and even a thesis on a particular topic. There is a lot of potential for a management tool such as this one. This is not only great for projects. This can also be used by managers who have workers scattered all over the globe. The manager can track the assignments and tasks given to each worker through this tool.

Luther said that the tool allows managers to give more trust to his/her workers since he/she can see how the tasks are faring. At the same time, the app will require a higher level of commitment and accountability from the members of the group.

And unlike Newgrounds and Scratch, Pipeline can allow a larger number of participants for its projects. Instead of delegating leadership tasks to members of the group, this tool will streamline management, Luther said. He added that most of the tools that offer the same functions as Pipeline establish online forums wherein people can discuss ideas, thoughts and critiques of certain tasks and assignments.

Luther didn’t see the need for forums because they eventually get cluttered. Instead, Pipeline has an activity feed that categorizes each task. Those who are collaborating on the same task can talk about the progress of their assignments. This way, it will be easier for the leader to check on his/her members even if the collaboration is between 20 or more participants.

Instead of directly complaining about the tasks to the leader, this app can better manage comments and critiques because the participants of the certain task will discuss among themselves the problems they are encountering. This beats an online forum wherein discussions tend to be general in nature.

What Luther did with the Pipeline app is to create a tool that will allow leaders to better manage a team and track their progress in an organized manner.

Sources: CMU and CrowdResearch

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