Digital project management 101: Getting your project off the starting blocks


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Project Management Workshop slides. Charlotte Sexton and Carolyn Royston at Museums and the Web 2012.
The workshop provided a toolkit for delivery of digital projects in cultural organisations encompassing both strategic and tactical approaches. The approaches were applicable to large or small-scale website development, multimedia and mobile projects. We used illustrations of real world examples throughout and covered both the successes and lessons learned.

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  • What makes a good project manager – 2 groups, pick some characteristics, rank from most to least important.
  • Check with group what they have used or are using for projects?
  • We want you to :Identify the problemsPrioritise them – which ones are you going to tackle firstHow are you going to tackle themWho are you going to involveWhat techniques are you going to useWhat challenges do you think you are going to face along the wayWhat does success look like?
  • Digital project management 101: Getting your project off the starting blocks

    1. 1. Digital project management 101:Getting your project off the starting blocksCarolyn Royston, IWM & Charlotte Sexton, NGMuseums and the Web 2012
    2. 2. To get us started• Can you tell us who you are and where you’re from• Briefly what you’re working on that relates to this workshop, and what you hope to go away with from this session
    3. 3. What this workshop is all about:• Build confidence in managing a digital project• Ask the right questions to ensure success• Troubleshoot some real-life issues• How to keep your project on track• Manage senior management expectations• Work collaboratively across departments and with external organisations• And anything else that comes up...
    4. 4. Before we get goingHere’s a bit about us and our organisations....
    5. 5. Imperial War Museums
    6. 6. IWM Collection• Oldest film archive• Second largest sound archive after the BBC• Over 11 million photographs• Second largest contemporary art collection in the UK after Tate• Millions of documents, diaries, papers• 140,000 large objects
    7. 7. National Gallery
    8. 8. National Gallery Collection• Collection tells a story of Western European painting from 13th – 19th Centuries• Small collection containing 2,500 works• Some of the world’s most iconic masterpieces from Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ to Leonardo di Vinci’s ‘Virgin of the Rocks’
    9. 9. Ground rules• Supportive session• Share openly and respect everyone’s contributions• Confidentiality• All from very different organisations with unique issues but similar challenges• No right answers – but there are some building blocks and strategies which we can all commonly use• Questions welcome throughout
    10. 10. What makes a good Project Manager ?• Methodology• Communicator• Organised• Consistent• Can see the whole picture• Manage pressure and deliver to deadlines
    11. 11. What are some of the challenges of managinga digital project in a museum or gallery?• Technology meets low digital literacy• Deadlines• Speed of digital vs non-digital projects• People put off by technical language/jargon• Cross departmental – different ambitions and agendas• Resources required from across organisation• Part of wider programme of activity, not separate
    12. 12. Before you start your project• In any given project, there a number of components which will need to be defined before you can begin.• What do you think those components might be?• Define the project• Budget• Resources• Roles and Responsibilities• Timing and Schedule• Evaluation• Communication• Manage Risk
    13. 13. How do I fill in the gaps?Wartime social survey: Information gathering in wartime Britian, UK, 1944
    14. 14. Project Management methodologiesMethodology and approaches:• Prince2• Agile• Waterfall
    15. 15. Prince2Prince AlbertG6537
    16. 16. What is Prince2• A project management methodology that is based on organisational structure i.e. People have defined roles on the board• Relies heavily on detailed documentation e.g. PID, business case, risk management, QA• Very business-focussed• Structured in terms of phasing of projects• Massive scope, only likely to use a fraction of tools for your project
    17. 17. Prince2Pros• A defined organisational structure for the project management team• Very structured approach to project delivery• Brief written outlining what the project is attempting to achieve and the business justification for doing it – all sign up to this• Team structure should provide support for PMCons• Can be overwhelming for museum needs• Very rigid approach• Project board needs careful management• Danger can be that methodology becomes more important than the project itself
    18. 18. AgileA Recruit joins the Army© IWM (H 17182)
    19. 19. What is Agile?• An iterative, more agile approach to project management• Work in shorter sprints to enable feedback and iteration• Breaks project down into smaller segments• Additional documentation as in Prince2 also required e.g project scope, budget etc
    20. 20. Agile Scope and Requirements Feedback and Plan and iterate Design Build in Launch Sprints
    21. 21. Characteristics of AgilePros• Shorter sprints of work• Failure can happen in more manageable and survivable scale• Able to iterate and feedback• Involve staff and test with audiencesCons• Requires quick response time from stakeholders• Can be difficult to see big picture• Decide when iteration stops and delivery needs to happen• Manage tension between agile approach and museum culture
    22. 22. WaterfallA Waterfall in a Rocky LandscapeNG627
    23. 23. What is Waterfall?• A sequential project approach – each phase is reliant on the successful completion of the previous one• Additional documentation as in Prince2 also required e.g project scope, budget etc
    24. 24. Sequential process Scope & Requirements Design Build & Implementation Launch Maintenance
    25. 25. Waterfall methodologyPros• Sequential design and build process• Easy to understand dependencies and impacts on delivery• Easier to spot when project goes off trackCons• Can get far down the track before knowing project has gone wrong• Often nothing for stakeholders to see for long periods• More difficult to build in change in project requirements, and can be costly
    26. 26. How do you decide which to use?• Could be dependent on approach to software development• Has to fit in with the needs of the organisation• What you feel comfortable with, and what is most likely to lead you to a successful delivery?• Will help you to manage risk on your project• Do you have the right skill sets on your team to support your chosen approach?• Reality is that it will probably be a hybrid approach of one or more.
    27. 27. Project Management toolsLine Communication Equipment, Feldfernsprecher 16 Type B, GermanIWM COM 382
    28. 28. Ways to manage communication• Communication is essential to facilitating a successful project• What methods do you use in your organisation to ensure good communication?• Tools like Basecamp• Shared folders• Shared docs• Group email addresses• Set up regular meetings virtual and face to face if poss• Short progress reports, write for your audience• * Short, frequent clear contact but don’t overload
    29. 29. Am I ready to start?• Clear about approach to project• Decided who is on my project board and project team• Write and agree Project Initiation Document (PID) and/or brief• Agree a project management methodology appropriate for the project• Ensure additional documentation is written e.g. Risk register, schedule, budget breakdown• Set up my channels of communication• You’re ready to go!
    30. 30. Troubleshooting• Get into 2 teams• Project task• Assign roles – scribe, speaker to feedback• Work out best solution and feedback to wider group
    31. 31. Problem 1 – Runaway train• Jan has a massive project to deliver involving a wide number of stakeholders• The project is technically complex, involves a large amount of content and the scope of the project keeps changing depending on who you talk to• The project is running behind schedule, costing more because the scope keeps changing and is losing the confidence of the Senior Management Team• What can Jan do to get her project back on track?
    32. 32. Problem 2 – Communication & Advocacy• David is working on an important digital project in his organisation. The project is proving to be very challenging because of different stakeholder expectations, resources and understanding.• He needs Senior Management to step in and support him in the project otherwise there is a good chance it will fail. But Senior Management do not really understand what the issues are, or what David needs from them.• What does David need to do to get Senior Management on board and ensure stakeholders are invested in the lifetime of the project
    33. 33. Problem 3 – The wrong assumption• Sam has been working on a new mobile project. It has gone really well to date and everyone is very happy with progress.• It’s time to do some user testing before final stages of delivery.• Unfortunately, user testing feedback was not good. They didn’t understand the concept and couldn’t work out how to use it.• Sam needs to decide what the next course of action is and how to communicate it, and then deliver.
    34. 34. Your Challenge 2. Communication 3. Wrong 1. Runaway train & Advocacy Assumption • Massive project • No shared • Appeared to be • Scope issues understanding well-managed • Get project back • PM needs support • User feedback on track • Buy-in needed unexpected & negative • Need to regroup & agree course of action
    35. 35. TakeawaysYou haven’t started a project until you have:• Defined what the project is about• Worked out your project management methodology• Decision- making framework• Roles and responsibilities• Communication methods• Risk management and issue log• Budget• Timeframe• Success criteria
    36. 36. If you want to contact usCarolyn