Why Simple Project Plan and why for WordPress Projects? Well, we are at the WordCamp, therefore I was required to include the WordPress in the title, otherwise no one of you would come here to see me…. LOL
Jockes appart, WordPress projects can be very simple and very complex, but I would say from its nature, WordPress allows you utilize Agile development methods, there are standards already defined (it’s a Framework!) and I’m pretty sure, being a freelancer or working on a small team, you probably execute the same set of activities every single project, right?
I also have only 30min and therefore I need to make it as simple and effective as possible. I’m pretty sure complex projects will also benefit of the basics used in simple project plans.
First of all, I would like to introduce myself for those that don’t know me. I’m Lucas Lima, this guy over there, brazilian 27 years old.
I’m inside the WordPress world since 2009, when I first started playing around with the tool. My graduate thesis for Information Systems degree was proposing standarization of governamental websites in order to help people find useful information. in this thesys I compare some of the main stream Content Management System, WordPress was one of them…
I’m Project Manager for about 4 years now, almost 2 specificaly for WordPress Projects at Brasa =======
I want start talking about something that scaries you….CLIENTS!
This guys is scary...
But why clients scary you?
Well, usually they make questions that you don’t want to answer, right? Let’s see some examples...
On the next slide, let’s analyze the Client’s mind to understand why they make these questions...
Usually, clients have 3 main things in their mind:
What they want as a result of your work; By when it needs to be done; How much they are willing to pay for that…
All right, but why am I telling you all of this?
Well, let me tell you something, 30min are not enough for any of us to leave this room and start mastering in Project Management, accept it. It’s just like development, you need to learn concepts and practice! And I’m here to try to reduce this gap between the concept of a Project Plan and the real life...
Have you seen this before?
This is a visual concept that ilustrates the 3 main topics that Project Managers need to take in consideration. Putting in a nutshell, if any of these 3 aspects suffer changes, the other 2 ones need to be revised.
So, does it sounds familiar?
The Project Plan will help you achieve this objective, providing visibility of these 3 aspects, which will help you achieve the quality your client is expeting for their product/service.
First, before I continue, let me clarify something. If you are used to work on a waterfall or agile process, it doesn’t matter, the things I’ll present here are necessary in any project. There are several discussions around that and I don’t want guide anyone to any direction, either way you need to understand the basics of Project Management and then choose your stile based on the project requirements, all right?
So, how I should I start building my Project Plan???
Usually, we start with the scope, as it represents the most desired aspect of the project (I say usually, because each project is singular and it’s key for you to identify what of the 3 aspects is more important for your client).
Take some time to breakdown the deliverables of your project into Work Packages, then into activities and Tasks. If you already know most of them, it’s even better, as you will ensure all the activitis/tasks are taken in consideration. It’s in the Activities/Tasks level that you will be able to estimate the necessary time to work on that.
With the scope well documented and structured, we can now schedule this work. There are a few things you need to take in consideration when including your scope into a Calendar:
Identify relationship/dependency between activities/tasks/work packages: This will help you on indentifying when is the best time to work on a certain activity and or if there are things you need to conclude before moving to a next activity. Updated Calendar: Use an updated calendar, with all Holidays, no working days or Vacations. It’s very important you include it in your plan! Resources Availability and Assignment: After you have your set of activities/tasks ready to be scheduled, you need to know who will be responsible for what and what is the daily/weekly hours availability of the person. Based on that, you will know how many days/weeks you will need for a certain activity/task.
Good, now you have your project scheduled with all the work to be done and people commited to that. It’s time to start working and it’s key to have a Issues Log or Issues tracker.
Yeah!....so you have your simple project plan! =)
That’s all you need to guarantee basic control of your projects right? Now you can sleep well…
After you have your Plan in place, make sure the Cost and Time of the work is aligned with the expectation of your client. In negative case, you will need to get an alignment with your client on what needs adjustments (Time, Scope or Cost/Resources?)
Watch out for huge delays: All project at a certain point have delays. Obviously, you are not predicting the future, you are only structuring your work with a Project Plan, therefore things can impact the good progress of the project and therefore you must control delays. Don’t let it go out of control. Keep yur client updated on the progress: Now that you have visibility, keep your client updated. Answer his questions before he asks them, this will build up trust on your work. Keep the Project Management triangle in your mind:Remember, as we have seen, the triangle represents the expectations of our clients. When you keep it in midn during the Project Management, you make sure the work is being doing for the client.
I hope now you can see less of this...
and actually mor of that (next slide)
Building a Simple Project Plan for WordPress Projects
Building a Simple Project
Plan for WordPress Projects
WordPress - 6 Years
Project Manager - 4 Years
How is my project going?
I’m wondering if you could show
I’ll be presenting the website to
some sponsors, I only want to
know if we will meet the
But, you told me it was going to be
ready last week???
How long is this going to take?
I can pay...
I need it by...
Structuring your scope of work
2. Work Packages
3. Activities (estimation)
4. Tasks (estimation)
How should I start?
1. Beta Version
2. Purchase Order Workflow
3. Build Cart Page
4. Order Overview
4. Checkout Options
4. Cross Selling Box
3. Build Checkout Page
4. Login Pop-up
4. Billing Details
4. Shipping Details
Presents the work to be done in a
1. Update Calendar (Holidays, Vacations...)
2. Include your structured scope
3. Identify Relationship (Dependencies)*
4. Resources Availability & Assignment
* Visibility of the critical path
Make sure you keep the plan
updated, reviewing it in a
1. Watch out for huge delays;
2. Keep your client updated on the
progress (“answer” before they ask)
3. Keep the Project Management triangle
in your mind (manage changes!)
Keep an Eye...