I've just taken on a new job at a college as (the sole) Web application developer.
The college has a number of disparate but all pretty badly coded legacy systems. Mostly built in PHP they deal with things like attendance, exam results, marking etc.
My first job is to build a system that incorporates a lot of this data, which is currently resting in various databases without any kind of friendly API to pull it out (the existing systems are coded in vanilla PHP with no separation of data and view) with a new platform for recording pastoral information about students and presents it to tutors and senior staff in a useful manner so they can react to issues with students quickly.
In our first meeting, there were 18 people! There was no clear leader or voice that represented the majority. No identifiable client. The meeting swung from detailed implementation ideas on minor features from heads of faculty to arguments about whether we should use Excel spreadsheets or not for data input!
As you can imagine my head was spinning at the end. I actually had a lot of good ideas but I couldn't get them heard. This is a very new role for me, before I was part of a development team in a marketing agency. We had very well defined roles: Project Manager, Client, Designer, Developer.
I'd like to know if any seasoned developers or managers out their can give me some pointers on how I can whip my colleagues up into something that resembles a project team. Is agile the way to go? How would you approach handling all the disparate voices? It's clear that some process needs to be put in place very quickly, I'm just not sure what that is.