(( Lucas lima )) Managing WordPress Projects - STL Meetup August 2015

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Presentation at the St. Louis WordPress Meetup on Managing WordPress Projects - August 2015

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  • Hello everyone,

    My name is Lucas Lima and I’m here to discuss a little about WordPress projects. My plan is to show you some basic concepts that might be useful to you and your team on your current and future projects. This is not something new or difficult, It’s just something important that we all need to know and follow to make sure we have successful projects.
  • I’ve been working as an IT Project Manager a little more than 3 years now and my experience with WordPress has reached 5 years, with 3 of them participating activelly on the Brazillian community and recently after move to St. Louis, I decided also to join the local community to share experience and continue spread the word of WordPress. :)

    Finally, we are here on my first presentation in the WordCamp and my 3rd participation in a WordCamp organization, which makes me feel great. It’’s awesome to be part of that…

    All right, so let’s start our conversation...

  • Ok, so I would like first to check the level of knowledge or confidance of the room. Talking about level of knowledge, how do you rate yourself?

    -> Raise your hand who feels your level is in between 0 and 3?
    -> 4 and 7?
    -> 8, 9 and 10?
  • I’ve decided to structure the presentation in a way that you get familiar with the main phases of projects. It’s good to have these phases by heart if you want to improve your Project Management skills.

    Most of the projects follow this same structure and it’s not different when we talk about WordPress related projects

  • Project Profile is nothing other than a Project Template which has been built based on past projects. It’s used to accelerate the Project Management process by helping you plan faster and be more accurate about your estimations.

    It should contain a template of project plan with a set of common deliverables and estimations as well as tecniques applied (ex.: communication templates, pieces of code, measures etc..)

    With the time, you will be able to reduce the time spent on planning, which results on a better execution and therefore better quality on your deliverables. It also means you can spend more time creating a strong relationship with your client for future jobs...
  • I’ve decided to structure the presentation in a way that you get familiar with the main phases of projects. It’s good to have these phases by heart if you want to improve your Project Management skills.

    Most of the projects follow this same structure and it’s not different when we talk about WordPress related projects

  • Cool…

    Let’s begin talking briefly about WordPress projects...
  • Standards already defined
    You have access to details on how to proceed to get your work done. Following the framework makes it easier and cool…
    Documentation everywhere
    You can find oficial and unoficial documentation everywhere on the web. You can find good stuff for free or paid.
    Huge community
    You can easily start it! Anytime anywhere...
    Rapid Development
    You can easily start it! Anytime anywhere...
  • Client expectation
    Client expectation is something we need to handle in any project for any product or service. However, in WordPress it’s the most important part of the Project Management.
    WordPress is well known by its great community, nice documentation and easy access to wonderful themes and plugins. On your way to be a great freelancer or a successful startup you will notice that most of the clients that know a bit about WordPress sometimes think that a customized Theme or Plugin will not cost more than the ones they find on the internet for a couple of bucks. To make it even better, they will associate the development of a Theme/Plugin as easy as looking for one in the repository and clicking on install. :)
    Therefore, if you understand how to maintain your client’s expectation aligned with the actual progress of the project, I’m pretty sure you will not face dificult times anymore!
  • Here, the project doesn’t exist yet. You need to work with your client to build a picture of what is the work to be done, what is the result expected...
    First conversation is key!
    Be Honest From The Get-Go
    Tell them what you need from them!
    If you need time to analyze, do so and tell them!
    Tell them what you think about their ideas...
    Don’t make Promises
    Developers are the best on making promises, because they really like to solve problems. However, the answer to the question: “Can you make it?” is more than Skills, it involves Time and Money…
    Don’t tell anything about dates! You can’t know how long it’ll take before you Plan it. Meaning you put the estimated time in a Calendar!
    Learn when to say NO!
    Is it not your speciality? Make sure they know that...
    Remember, the time you commit to a bad project, could be used for a good project!
    Create a list of projects you won’t work. Don’t let this list be created with bad projects…
    Make sure you set client expectations
    Make sure they know the importance of their participation in the project
    They must know what is expected from them!!!
  • First list of milestones
    At this stage, you need to have your list of milestones. That will give you a clue of how much the project will cost and how complex it is.

    ((( SHOW THE CREATION OF THE LIST LIVE )))
  • The planning phase is the most important part of the Project Management, because the result of that is a set of tools to maintain the control of your project.
    Cascade down Milestones into Activities
    The very first thing to do is to cascade down the Milestones you have defined in the Initiation phase into a list of Activities.
    That will let you estimate the total time of the project. It’s easier to estimate hours for activities then it’s for Milestones
    Obtain the Total Hours of the Project
    After you have yout list of Activities, estimate how many hours you need for each of them.
    Build the Project Chronogram
    Do you have the hours? Great! Let’s put it in a Calendar and identify what is the earliest date to complete the project!
    Set Client Expectations
    Is everything done? Ok, let’s work on it!!!!....No no no! Hold on buddy… It’s time to share it with your client and get their approval and their commitment, because inside this chronogram, you’ll also include activities for them! Yes...
  • Analyze and Update the Project Plan
    If not every day, at least when a new activity is completed!
    Look forward for next steps
    Prepare yourself in advace. Check next week’s activities and make sure you’ll have the pre-requisits ready for the work.
    Change in Scope? Evaluate impact!
    Changes in scope happens all the time. Always get back to your plan and evaluate impact on the pre-defined dates.
    Make sure you communicate changes with client and get agreement on the new plan.
    Watch out for huge delays!
    Don`t try to be a Super-Man!
    Every single project has delays, know how to evaluate if this delay will need extra effort , extra resource or a re-plan.
  • Over-communicate!
    Any of my customers never complained about over-communicating.
    Define a standard way to communicate
    Defining a standard way to communicate with your clients will help you get it easier and faster
    Communicate good and bad news!
    You have to be honest with you client, they also have problems like you, so make sure you share also bad news
    Always summarize next steps
    Always, in all communications to your client, summarie next steps. It set the expectations and shows control of the situation.
  • Every project has an End, right? :)

    Yes! Please, make sure they understand that this is the end and ask for feedback. The Feedback is a great starting point to refine your project profile.

    Define the very last activity
    During the planning phase, present to your client the End date and the very last activity involved.

    Sign Off / Approval from the Client
    In some cases, you should send him a closure e-mail to formalize the end of the project
    Ask for feedback!
    Request feedback about your work
    Publish it!
  • Take advantage of the rapid development

    Use the time you need to understand the scope
    Plan your activities properly
    Build a relationship with your client!

    Use Project Templates

    As you do with Page templates and codes! :)
    Refine your template to help you speed up the process...

    Over-Communicate and set Expectations

    Your client is excited to see the results of what you promised to him. Don`t forget to keep their expectations aligned with the progress of the project.
    Share a clear picture of the progress, even in case of delays

    Interact with the Community

    You are not alone!
    Use the community to help you and also provide support for those that need help like yourself....
  • (( Lucas lima )) Managing WordPress Projects - STL Meetup August 2015

    1. 1. Managing WordPress Projects STL Meetup - 2015
    2. 2. Lucas Lima Project Manager - 3 years WordPress - 5 years brasa.art.br @LuwkasLim a lucas@brasa.art.b r
    3. 3. KNOWLEDGE ABOUT PROJECT MANAGEMENT?
    4. 4. WHAT IS THAT ABOUT? Initiation Planning Execution & Communication Closure WordPress Projects
    5. 5. PROJECT PROFILE PROFILE Deliverables Standards Tecniques Project Plan Estimations
    6. 6. WHAT’S NEXT? Initiation Planning Execution & Communication Closure WordPress Projects
    7. 7. WHAT’S NEXT? Initiation Planning Execution & Communication Closure WordPress Projects
    8. 8. WORDPRESS PROJECTS ● Documentation everywhere Advantages... ● Rapid development ● Standards already defined ● Huge community
    9. 9. WORDPRESS PROJECTS ●Client expectations Disadvantages...
    10. 10. WHAT’S NEXT? Initiation Planning Execution & Communication Closure WordPress Projects
    11. 11. INITIATION What to expect? 1. Be honest from the Get-Go 2. Don’t make Promises 3. Learn when to say NO! 4. Make sure you set client’s expectations
    12. 12. INITIATION First list of milestones FIRST LIST OF MILESTONES
    13. 13. WHAT’S NEXT? Initiation Planning Execution & Communication Closure WordPress Projects
    14. 14. PROJECT MANAGEMENT TRIANGLE QUALITY SCOPE TIME COST
    15. 15. PLANNING When it will be ready? ● Cascade down Milestones into Deliverables ● Obtain the Total Hours of the Project ● Build the Project Chronogram ● Set Client Expectations
    16. 16. LET’S CREATE OUR PLAN!
    17. 17. WHAT’S NEXT? Initiation Planning Execution & Communication Closure WordPress Projects
    18. 18. EXECUTION Discipline is wisdow! ● Update and Analyze the Project Plan ● Look at for next steps ● Change in Scope? Evaluate impact! ● Watch out for huge delays!
    19. 19. COMMUNICATION Set expectations to be successful ● Over-communicate! ● Define a standard way to communicate ● Communicate good and bad news! ● Always summarize next steps
    20. 20. WHAT’S NEXT? Initiation Planning Execution & Communication Closure WordPress Projects
    21. 21. CLOSURE It’s the end... ● Define the very last deliverable/activity ● Sign Off / Approval from the Client ● Ask for feedback!
    22. 22. WORDPRESS PROJECTS - KEY NOTES 1. Take advantage of the “Rapid Development” 2. Build, use and refine your Project Profiles 3. Over-communicate and set expectations 4. Interact with the Community 5. Have Fun! :)
    23. 23. NOSSO NEGÓCIO É UNIR What is the level now?
    24. 24. @LuwkasLima Thank You! lucas@brasa.art.br

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