Project Management (Secret: You are all project managers!)


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Some lessons learned during my time at an agency, and how it can be more globally applied to just about any kind of project.

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  • * Scope, Timeline and Budget are critical to understanding the structure of a project\n* The 4D model for project management is a dependable way to structure your next project\n
  • - Three legged stool\n- Scope - What you want to accomplish\n- Timeline - When you want to accomplish it\n- Budget - How much in resources are you going to devote to it\n
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  • - Scope defines the parameters for a project, and what criteria must be met to be successful.\n- Scope can also be viewed as a "line" on a list of priorities.\n
  • - Timeline can refer to the overal lapse of time between start and finish\n- A better definition of timeline is a list of major milestones set on a calendar, with dependencies explained\n\n
  • - Budget is not just the dollar amount you spend on a project\n- Budet also refers to the resources (both human and physical) that must be allocated to a particular project\n
  • - The project's scope grew but the timeline didn't change: Late\n- The project's scope grew but the budget didn't change: Over-budget\n- The project's budget grew, timeline was shortened and scope remained the same: Could go over-budget anyway\n- The scope was reduced, the rest of the factors remained the same: On time, under budget!\n- An extra person was added to the team, all factors remained the same: Over-budget (if another project was affected)\n
  • Just like a stool, adjustments need to be made in all areas.\n
  • Enough of this theoretical stuff. How can we apply these ideas?\n\n
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  • Stated objectives of the project.\nIdentify the audience (personas) for which this project will be targeted.\nIdentify the tasks or reaction that you wish for each audience to have.\nShare ideas that are conceived without regard to scope, timeline or budget (you need valid brainstorming).\nA list of priorities to achieve the stated goals; line them up with which goal it meets.\nDetermine a proposed timeline for achieving the listed priorities (grouped into milestones).\nAdjustments to scope, timeline and budget.\n
  • - User Stories ("As a __, I can __")\n- Prototypes / mock-ups of the end product (with functional descriptions)\n- Research citations on possible implementations\n- Adjustments to scope, timeline and budget\n
  • - Implementation of ideas with regular feedback on progress\n- Identify blockers and escalate priority to clear them, prioritize next steps if work is completed ahead of schedule\n- Peer review when appropriate of work. Goal is to meet an MVP (minimally viable product) for each milestone\n- Adjustments to scope, timeline and budget\n
  • Internal Quality Assurance (QA) and Testing.\nUpon each milestone, present progress and demonstrate which priorities were completed.\nField testing and outside review prior to release/launch.\nIdentifying next steps for project and appropriate feedback cycle for ongoing maintenance.\n
  • This is a highly versatile concept that can be used to plan even the most complex projects\n
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  • So, what's the difference between what you're describing and agile?\n- There isn't. Agile simply means that you are biting off smaller chunks than planning an entire project at once. You still go through these same processes.\n- Agile removes the caps of overall scope, timeline and budget and instead allocates each for a "sprint"\n- A very high priority is put on being at a MVP (minimally viable product at the end of each sprint)\n- Requires a great deal more interaction with manager/production personnel\n- Greatly benefits product-based groups -- faster to market, focus is on progressive enhancement\n
  • Project Management (Secret: You are all project managers!)

    1. 1. Project Management(Secret: You are a project manager)
    2. 2. STUFF TO REMEMBER (HEY YOU! PAY ATTENTION!)Scope, Timeline and Budget are critical tounderstanding the structure of a project.The 4D Model for project management is adependable way to structure a project.
    3. 3. The Three-Legged Stool Scope - What and How? Timeline - When? Budget - How much? *SIDE-NOTE: WAY TOO MANY ANALOGIES USE THREE-LEGGED STOOLS. SORRY.
    4. 4. Why a stool?Screw up one ofthe legs, and you’llfind yourself flaton your ass.
    5. 5. ScopeParameters / expectationsCriteria for success REAL MEN USE COOLMINT LISTERINE®Dividing line for priorities
    6. 6. TimelineGood: Beginningto deadlineBetter:Milestones withdeliverablesBest: Accountfor outsidefactors, have
    7. 7. BudgetIt can refer to $$Everything has a “cost”No budget is trulyunlimited
    8. 8. Status Updates Made EasyWhat has changed?Was there a correspondingchange to scope, timelineor budget?How can we fix what’sbusted?What are our next steps?
    9. 9. Simplified Example Scope - Boss wants a web page with a sign up form. Wants it to e-mail her submissions. Timeline - She needs it by next week. Budget - She wants one of the developers to build it with existing software. Buy stock art.
    10. 10. It’s not hard. #TWSS
    11. 11. The 4D Model1) Define 2) Design 3) Develop 4) Deliver
    12. 12. DefineGoals / Objectives BrainstormingAudience TimelineTasks / Reaction Adjustments
    13. 13. DesignUser stories Prototypes / mock- ups
    14. 14. DevelopImplementation M.V.P.Identify blockers Adjustments
    15. 15. DeliverQA Field testingProgress reports Next steps
    16. 16. Divide Bigger Projects Phased approach Course corrections Easy to start/pause Can be non-linear PHASE I PHASE II PHASE III PHASE IV Define Design Develop DeliverDefine Design Develop Deliver Define Design Develop Deliver Define Design Develop Deliver Define Design Develop Deliver
    17. 17. Simplified ExampleDefine - Boss wants a web Develop - Build sign-uppage with a sign up form. form script with e-mailWants it to e-mail her. She notifications. Give updatewants it by next week. mid-week.Design - Create a mock-up Deliver - Debug to find thatof the form for review/ certain addresses are notdiscussion. Working model working. Discuss next stepfor proof of concept. for database integration.
    18. 18. STUFF TO REMEMBER (THANK YOU!)Scope, Timeline and Budget are critical tounderstanding the structure of a project.The 4D Model for project management is adependable way to structure a project.