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Whose work is it anyway?


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This presentation was for a workshop at the Institutional Web Management Workshop in 2005:

From the abstract:

Dealing with external agencies for your web needs can be a frustrating experience - for you, as well as for them. Whether you're dealing with institutional IT services or a third-party company, there are many common problems that can occur.

This workshop will take a look at the issues involved in getting the job done, including:

* how to efficiently specify your work
* how to pick an external company
* how to check on and measure progress
* how to sign off and quantify achievements
* liaising between external companies and internal IT services
* dealing with ongoing support and maintenance

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Whose work is it anyway?

  1. 1. Whose work is it anyway? IWMW, Manchester, 6th July 2005
  2. 2. The problem...• Where to start it?• How to get it done?• Who should do it?• How to make sure it works?• What is ‘it’ anyway?
  3. 3. The problem...• Where to start it?• How to get it done?• Who should do it?• How to make sure it works?• What is ‘it’ anyway?
  4. 4. The solution?
  5. 5. The solution?• To be determined
  6. 6. Some thoughts...• Preparation• Problem definition• Resourcing• Progress• Completion
  7. 7. Preparation
  8. 8. What you need to know before you begin• Who is responsible for the project? • Do you have a project leader?• What’s the reason for the job? • Internal development? • Third-party deployment? • Bid-related?
  9. 9. About internaldevelopment...
  10. 10. Some suggestions• Solve the smallest possible problem. Incrementally.• Have the smallest possible team managing it (preferably one person).
  11. 11. About bids...
  12. 12. Writing bids• Does the awarding body have special requirements?• Be aware of all the issues• Get vendors / developers / technical advisors involved before submission
  13. 13. Defining the job• Scope• Timescale• Budget• Requirements• Users• External factors
  14. 14. Problem definition How to efficiently specify your work
  15. 15. Specifications• Should you be writing technical specs? • What’s the design methodology? • Monolithic / waterfall? • Agile? • Hit ‘n’ hope?
  16. 16. Specifications• ... or should you be trying to define the problem?• ... or what you want to happen?
  17. 17. Specifications, the XP way• User stories • Provided by you • ...often with help from the developer • ...or an analyst • ...or marketing
  18. 18. ResourcingHow to pick developers
  19. 19. Criteria for selection• Internal or external?• Contractor, employee, service, company?• Reputation, price, competence ...• The Google effect• The community effect
  20. 20. Selection process• Have a formal process defined in advance• Meet with them • Is an RFI/RFP/RFQ stage appropriate?
  21. 21. Criteria and questions• What is their background?• What similar work have they done?• What work are they doing at the moment?• What are their methodologies?• What is their normal daily rate?
  22. 22. Liaison• How to keep internal and external resources talking? • Introduce them to each other early on • Ask for policies/methodologies from both • Establish clear communications channels • Make conversation a default, not a decision
  23. 23. ProgressHow to check on and measure progress
  24. 24. Be involved• Release early, release often• Test in context• Check documentation• Measurable objectives: what are they? • feature-based? time-based?
  25. 25. Getting what you want• Change management• Issue and bug tracking• Iterations
  26. 26. CompletionHow to sign off and quantify achievements
  27. 27. Signing off• Have clear exit criteria defined at the start• Signing-off as continuous process• Do external evaluations early