Swissnex: big project success with small web teams

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Swissnex: big project success with small web teams

  1. 1. Achieving Big Project Success With Small Web Teams Friday, October 18, 13
  2. 2. @Zablocki Friday, October 18, 13
  3. 3. Hello! Fran Zablocki Strategist mStoner Friday, October 18, 13
  4. 4. Big Project vs Small Project Friday, October 18, 13
  5. 5. Big Project: Institutional Redesign Friday, October 18, 13
  6. 6. a.k.a. “The 500 lb. Gorilla” Friday, October 18, 13
  7. 7. Characteristics: • • • • Takes 10 - 14 months All consuming for 3 months Owns your world entirely But then leaves for like 3 to 5 years so you can... Friday, October 18, 13
  8. 8. Relax! Friday, October 18, 13
  9. 9. Hm.. Not quite. Friday, October 18, 13
  10. 10. Small Projects Friday, October 18, 13
  11. 11. a.k.a. “Hordes of 10 lb. monkeys” Friday, October 18, 13
  12. 12. Friday, October 18, 13
  13. 13. Small Projects: • • • • • Social aggregator site Social media campaign Campus anniversary site Those “By the way, I need a website” sites Those “Oh you weren’t aware of that project?” projects Friday, October 18, 13
  14. 14. What to do? Tackle them with lean processes, tools and communication Friday, October 18, 13
  15. 15. Why? Because you don’t have unlimited: Time You need it as quickly as possible. Budget You don’t have endless money. People Friday, October 18, 13 Maybe it is just one person!
  16. 16. How? By taking the project lifecycle and trimming the fat. Friday, October 18, 13
  17. 17. How? By taking the project lifecycle and trimming the fat. Friday, October 18, 13
  18. 18. Approach Lean processes tools communication platform Friday, October 18, 13
  19. 19. Lean means: Having the right tools Collaborating as much as possible Centralizing documentation Being smart with time Friday, October 18, 13
  20. 20. The Advantages of Being Small. Friday, October 18, 13
  21. 21. Small Means: • • • • Adaptable - You adapt quickly to new situations and can take advantage of new opportunities Direct - You don’t need to run everything by committee Decisive - Decisions can be made quickly Multi-talented - being a generalist and wearing many hats is not always bad! Variety keeps you current. Friday, October 18, 13
  22. 22. Break down the process: Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  23. 23. Tools Process Communication Friday, October 18, 13
  24. 24. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  25. 25. Strategy • The best way to save time on a project is to never do it in the first place. • Portfolio management • Does this project need to happen? Does it meet a need? • Do we have the time/budget/resources to make this happen? • Do we have those resources right now? Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  26. 26. Strategy • Be realistic - if the answer is no, you won’t do yourself favors later on by saying yes • Make more time for the right projects by never starting the wrong ones • Ultimate goal is to become more proactive, less reactive Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  27. 27. Strategy • Don’t skip it just because “oh my gosh can’t we just get this project done already?!” • Give yourself time to think by scheduling meetings outside the office. • Meet with yourself to give yourself time to think. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  28. 28. Need / Want / Wish Grid • Identify what must be included and what can wait • Helps to define scope • Helps channel creative but distracting ideas to somewhere useful Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  29. 29. Measurable Goals • Set measurable goals • Don’t get paralyzed by the details • Don’t worry if there aren’t already metrics • Pick a number, shoot for it • Adjust later when you evaluate Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  30. 30. Measurable Goals Examples of measurable goals • Reach ___ people on Facebook. • Increase LinkedIn engagement ___ percent. • Drive ___ people to the website from Twitter. • Prompt ___ people to share your post. • Attract ___ views of a YouTube video. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  31. 31. SWOT Analysis Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  32. 32. Strategy Brief One lean document: 2-5 pages • Business Case - Why should this project / campaign happen? • SWOT - What factors will determine if this will happen? • Need / Want / Wish Requirements - What needs to happen? • Measurable Project Goals - How do we know if it worked? Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  33. 33. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  34. 34. Planning • Planning is hard, particularly if you don’t have history on how long things take • If you have done similar project before, use them as a baseline. • If you haven’t, see what else is out there that others have done • If you can’t do either, be conservative and take your best guess Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  35. 35. Planning • • • • Begin at the end When do you need it done? Back it up from there Be realistic Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  36. 36. Planning • Identify resources, roles, responsibilities up front • Use collaborative tools to help save time • Track time (even if it is a really rough estimate) Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  37. 37. • Browser - based project and resource planning • Collaborative - allows sharing, commenting, discussions • Current - dates adjust automatically • Compatible with MS excel, project • $160 / year Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  38. 38. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  39. 39. • Free, Collaborative cloud scheduling • Integration with Google Drive and Business • Features similar to Smartsheet Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  40. 40. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  41. 41. Responsibilites List • Outlines roles & responsibilities for project teams • Map to position or individual • Sets expectations from the start Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  42. 42. Friday, October 18, 13
  43. 43. Time Tracking • Having trouble estimating time? This can help • Keep it simple, keep it lean Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  44. 44. • If you are having trouble estimating, this can help • Keep it simple and use tools to keep it lean Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  45. 45. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  46. 46. Creative Production • In the beginning, keep it simple. (paper prototyping, back of napkin). • Use online tools for collaboration points. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  47. 47. Wireframes & Prototypes • Help quickly organize and weight information visually without needing heavy design work • Allow focus on important elements such as information architecture, content organization, feature space Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  48. 48. Back of Napkin • Don’t be fancy • Sketch it out - you don’t need to be an artist • 5 minutes, 5 people • Quick, cheap way to test visual ideas Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  49. 49. Paper Prototypes • One sheet (or napkin) for each page element • Good for quickly rearranging page elements and testing different layouts Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  50. 50. UXPin • Collaborative wireframing • Allows commenting, sharing, versioning • Let you discuss functionality in the context of the design instead of separately • $15 / person / month for small teams Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  51. 51. Hotgloo • $14 / month for small teams Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  52. 52. Friday, October 18, 13
  53. 53. Creative Review Meetings • 10 minutes of silence • Cut the chatter and get everyone’s input at the same time • Simply look at what is in front of you and write your thoughts. • Use group chat to share ideas • Open to discussion afterward Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  54. 54. Testing • • • • Usability / IA / Wireframes / Designs Beyond your core team As efficiently as possible Gives you real results to justify your decisions Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  55. 55. Surveys • Efficient - use your existing student/faculty/staff/ alumni email lists • Free basic service, $17 / month for unlimited questions responses Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  56. 56. Optimal Workshop • • • • OptimalSort: Online card sorting TreeJack: IA pathing Chalkmark: Wireframe / Design Heat Mapping $109 / month for each Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  57. 57. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  58. 58. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  59. 59. Responsive Design • www.responsinator.com • Lets you see what your site looks like on muliple devices quickly • Free! Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  60. 60. Responsive Design Friday, October 18, 13
  61. 61. Editorial Calendars & Content Creation • Centralizing your effort on the cloud can reduce coordination time considerably Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  62. 62. Evolutionary Google Documents • Use bookmarks to allow users to quickly jump to different pages • Eliminate tons of emails / attachments • Use your content calendar / strategy as the foundation • Track what elements are in, what is missing, when it’s due Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  63. 63. Friday, October 18, 13
  64. 64. Friday, October 18, 13
  65. 65. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  66. 66. Implementation • You want your code to be • in one place • shared with everyone who needs it • always current Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  67. 67. Version Control: Git • When more than one developer is working on the code, having version control is a must • Git allows code segments to be ‘checked out’ so that no one else can alter them • Allows collaboration and saves on code re-writes • git-scm.com Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  68. 68. Bug tracking: • • • • Keeps the bug list up to date Automatically tracks changes and allows reversions Allows comments and live chat while viewing Invaluable during crunch time when heads are down and meetings can’t happen Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  69. 69. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  70. 70. Evaluation • So easy to skip because: “We just finished the project! Time for cake!” • Crucially important to all the prior steps on the NEXT project you do. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  71. 71. Evaluation • So easy to skip because “Oh my gosh we just finished the project! Time for cake!” • Crucially important to all the prior steps on the NEXT project you do. Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  72. 72. Project Debrief • Scheduled right after launch • Honest assessment: • Did we meet our goals? • How close were our estimates? • What did we do right? • What did we do wrong? • What did we not see coming? • Make it the first thing you look at the next time you do a project like this Strategize Friday, October 18, 13 Plan Create Implement Evaluate
  73. 73. Strategize Plan Create Communicate & Collaborate Evaluate Friday, October 18, 13 Implement
  74. 74. Communication & Collaboration • Lean - cut out everything that is unnecessary, but don’t skip anything that is necessary • Get away from email as much as possible • Reduce the time wasted on feedback loops (ie: the endless reply all email thread from hell) Friday, October 18, 13
  75. 75. Meetings • Don’t meet to discuss, meet to decide • Don’t have one if you don’t need one • Everyone reviews/comments before the meeting starts Friday, October 18, 13
  76. 76. Meetings • Save time by getting the basics done right • Agendas • Note-taking • Minutes Friday, October 18, 13
  77. 77. Agendas Golden Rule: never have a meeting without one. Template: • • • • • • • • Friday, October 18, 13 Date, time, connection method Agenda items Review deliverables from last meeting Discuss open items Add new items Upcoming deliverables and responsibility Upcoming milestones (next 3-5) Next meeting (if known)
  78. 78. Meeting Notes Golden Rule: always take notes. No, you won’t remember. • Designate a meeting leader and note-taker • Have a note-taking buddy system (ie: Fran always takes notes when Susan leads the meeting). Friday, October 18, 13
  79. 79. Minutes Golden Rule: Copy and paste the agenda and you are halfway there! • Date, time • Attendance • Agenda items • Review deliverables from last meeting (notes in italics) • Discuss open items (notes in italics) • Add new items • Repeat upcoming deliverables & milestones (next 3-5) • Schedule next meeting date while you have everyone’s attention Friday, October 18, 13
  80. 80. Periodic Status Reports Sometimes you need to pull your head up and see where you are in relation to where you should be. • Can be monthly, quarterly. Less frequent than regular meetings • Compare estimated timeline to actual • Let you flag slippage and discuss causes of and solutions for issues Friday, October 18, 13
  81. 81. Friday, October 18, 13
  82. 82. Collaboration Tools Friday, October 18, 13
  83. 83. Google Calendar • • • • • Friday, October 18, 13 Shared calendars allow different levels of detail, including showing anyone (the public) when you are busy Can share with those who don’t have Google accounts. ‘Find a time’ allows you to quickly see what is open for a group of people Free. Can house your social media editorial calendar.
  84. 84. Friday, October 18, 13
  85. 85. Google Hangouts When in-person meetings aren’t possible • Hangouts are a great way to see people who might be remotely located. • Lots of tools • Chat room • Screen sharing • Document collaboration with Google Drive • Still free. Friday, October 18, 13
  86. 86. Friday, October 18, 13
  87. 87. Basecamp Central location for all • project correspondence • files • agendas • notes • conversations • project calendar • www.basecamp.com • $20 / month for 10 active projects Friday, October 18, 13
  88. 88. Friday, October 18, 13
  89. 89. Thanks! Questions? Friday, October 18, 13
  90. 90. Contact Me Fran Zablocki Strategist @Zablocki fran.zablocki@mstoner.com 585.300.4559 Friday, October 18, 13

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