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Shit, I'm now a Project Manager


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Here's a presentation I did for the junior PM's we brought on board. The goal was to get entry level PM's up to speed in the fast paced world of integrated production work.

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Shit, I'm now a Project Manager

  1. 1. Web Project Management 101 Olli Siebelt Head of Client Solutions
  2. 2. 2Page So I hear you’re a people person...
  3. 3. The State Of Things
  4. 4. If we’re in the communications business, why can’t we communicate?
  5. 5. 5 Page Clients come to us to get a solution to a problem. YOU are the person that is responsible for implementing that solution.
  6. 6. 6Page PRODUCERS: - Usually found in creative agencies - Can dabble in creative and tech - Can also dabble in video - Mostly focused on delivery - Generally are 'looser' than PM's - Not adherent to strict methodologies - Make it up as you go - In the trenches PROJECT MANAGERS: - Usually found in bigger agencies or corporate environments - Usually trained/certified in a methodology - Follow a stricter engagement with clients/teams - Focus on budget and burn - Shares deliverable responsibility with Tech Lead - Not usually production savvy or hands-on - High level focused SPOT THE DIFFERENCES: The “Producer” vs. “The Project Manager” aka “We love Stereotypes”
  7. 7. 7Page The good news: You’re in charge of a cool, sexy project. You get a team to help you make it happen. You get all the responsibility. You get to watch the magic unfold. You influence how that magic is made. You’re in the middle of it all 24/7.
  8. 8. 8Page The bad news: It’s your ass that’s on the line. You will get the blame when things go wrong. You won’t get credit when things go right. You will only have control sometimes. Not all the time. You’ll need to motivate the unmotivatable. Just when you think you’ve got it - it will change.
  9. 9. 9Page Say hello to Project Mangement Methodologies: Every project has a start (A) and a finish (B) How you get from point A to point B varies on: - What kind of team you have - What type of project it is - The kind of client you’re working with - How much time you have The process you undertake in getting from A to B generally follows a methodology.
  10. 10. 11Page There is no magic solution that works for everyone. We generally use: Waterfall + Agile + SCRUM THE WORST KEPT SECRET IN ADVERTISING: Why? Because it fits the kind of projects we take on.
  11. 11. 12Page
  12. 12. 13Page QUALITY SCOPE TIMECOST the work your team needs to do for the project the total length of time you have. go over and you’ll have probably blown your budget. stuff costs money. you’ll need to keep an eye on your budget as you go.
  13. 13. 14Page
  15. 15. 16Page Every project begins with a brief. These are commonly known as “RFP’s” or “Requests for Proposals”
  16. 16. JARGON ALERT! SOW = Statement of Work This details exactly what you’ll do for how much in what timeframe. PS: Don’t ever say “Sow”. Say “Ess Oh Double You”. MSA = Master Service Agreement This is more of a legal document outlining the agreement you’ve come to These can be techy or legal. Always have a lawyer or grown-up look at one of these before it goes to a client.
  17. 17. 18Page Step 1: The client briefs us on what they want Step 2: We review it and come up with a solution Step 3: We ‘pitch’ that solution back & tell them how much it costs & how long it takes Step 4: We (always) haggle on price/time and then hopefully get the work Step 5: We write an SOW and MSA and send it off to get signed Step 6: The client signs off and we do a project kick-off Step 7: We do what we agreed to do in the timeframe Step 8: We deliver what we promised, when we promised Step 9: Client is happy, we win an award and get more business Step 10: Rinse, Repeat How it usually works...
  18. 18. 19Page CPI WINDOW WONDERLAND ENTER A MAGICAL HOLIDAY WINDOW AND BOARD A TOY-SIZED TRAIN TO DISCOVER THE WORLD OF THE CHRISTMAS PRICE INDEX. Every year, children and adults alike are enchanted by holiday window displays. This year, we’ll create our own magical CPI-themed holiday window that viewers can explore both online at the CPI site and in real life as a window display at a flagship PNC branch. The online experience opens with Jim Dunigan walking down a street in Pittsburgh at night, stopping in front of a beautiful and brightly lit window. He’ll invite visitors to travel through the glass and into our magical world. Once inside, visitors will board a toy-sized train that they control—allowing them to move through the world and explore the site however they choose. At each stop along the train’s route, they’ll enter a scene to learn about the 2011 CPI gift prices. To encourage further exploration, we’ll include puzzles that visitors must solve to collect the gifts (in the vein of the video game Myst) — and we’ll let them share their progress with others through Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Other surprise interactive elements in each scene will reveal additional content and fun facts related to the gift.
  19. 19. 20Page - Describe the overview of the project - Who are the project’s key stakeholders - Summary of deliverables - Functionality (What's this thing do?) - General Application Structure - Technical Specs - Browser Compatibility - Risks & Assumptions - Estimated Timings - Agreement Writing an SOW:
  20. 20. 21Page - What are you building? - How much are they paying? - When are you getting paid? - What are you responsible for?  - What are you not responsible for? - What do you know and what don't you know?  - What happens when shit goes wrong?  - When are you delivering?  What do we need to communicate?
  21. 21. 22Page 1: Know your risks. 2: Assume nothing. 3: Get it in writing.
  22. 22. 23Page The MSA: Master Service Agreement - Your other best friend - Technical delivery - Who owns what - Where stuff lives - How things get delivered
  23. 23. 25Page Client Management 101 - * Every client is different - know why * Listen before you speak * Know what you agreed to * It’s never “NO!”. It should be “No...but...” * We’re here to help...but there are limits * Over communicate even if you think it’s not required * Always under-promise and over-deliver * Don’t commit to it unless you can do it yesterday * Note to self: We are NOT a Charity
  24. 24. 26Page The Project Plan is your friend It shows what’s happening and when It shows who needs to be engaged at which time It shows you how long the project is It shows you where you are now + what comes next It lets you change things and see the impact of your decision
  25. 25. 27Page What’s a project plan look like?
  26. 26. 28Page What’s your team (usually) look like? - Producer/PM (That’s you!) - UX Lead and/or Information Architect - Copywriter/Proofreader - Strategist (Brand/Social Media/Creative) - Web Designer/Animator/Production Artist - Art Director / Creative Director - Front-End Developer - Flash Developer - Back-End Developer - Web Engineer - QA Lead/Analyst
  27. 27. 29Page
  28. 28. 30Page Budget & Burn 101 - easy as A, B, C A: Every project has a budget B:As you go through the project, you’ll burn through money C:Your job is to burn as little as possible
  29. 29. 31Page It’s like running a small business. Client gives us: $ 100,000 We spend: $ 70,000 We keep: $ 30,000 PARTY! Client gives us: $ 100,000 We spend: $ 150,000 We lose: $ 50,000 SHIT! Wewant: Wedon’twant:
  30. 30. 32Page Margin Counts. Every project will have a little bit of financial padding in it. For example: If it REALLY costs us $1000, we’ll say it costs $5000. Why we do this: * It’s insurance. We know things always take more time and more money. * It allows us to be flexible and appear to be flexible with client requests * It allows for contigencies, emergencies and last minute insanity * See the next slide... Good rule of thumb: 100% margin on all projects. Never lower than 37%.
  31. 31. 33Page We try to extract as much money from the client as possible while doing as little work as possible. THE 2nd WORST KEPT SECRET IN ADVERTISING: Our clients try to extract as much work from us as possible while paying us as little as possible. Deal with it. Hate the game. Not the players. AND
  32. 32. 34Page LET’S DO SOME ROLE PLAYING: Be this guy. Sometimes this guy. Not this guy.
  33. 33. 35Page You will very rarely have enough time. You will very rarely have enough money. Just do the best job you can and keep your management & account team in the loop. An agency ROI strategy to strategically fund over-budget projects can be the difference between a layoff and a Cannes Lion! THE 3rd WORST KEPT SECRET IN PRODUCTION:
  34. 34. 36Page Tips from the trenches AKA managing your project: * Communicate early and often * Weekly status reports are your friend * Keep an eye on the budget * Know where you are and where you’ll be * Keep the team informed
  35. 35. 37Page Here’s a little secret: Everyone makes mistakes. So will you. It’s how you recover from those mistakes that matters.
  36. 36. 38Page Secrets from the Pros - - On the phone, speak 1x slower than normal - Always introduce yourself - Have an agenda ready - “Um...” “Ah...” “Er...” are bad. - Be friendly no matter how mean your client is - Always, always, always COVER YOUR ASS AKA C.Y.A. - Wait 10 seconds before sending that email! - Triple check meeting times and invitees - Never, ever lie
  37. 37. 39Page Post Project Reviews - Not an option - Do them immediately after you’re really done - What went right, wrong and what you’d do differently - Everyone participates - Be brutally honest - but don’t be mean - It’s not about the person but about the process
  38. 38. 40Page
  39. 39. 41Page The first rule of Fight Club is: Do the job of everyone on your team at least once
  40. 40. 42Page The second rule of Fight Club is: Things will change. Deal with it.
  41. 41. 43Page The third rule of Fight Club is: Think like a weatherman.
  42. 42. 44Page The fourth rule of Fight Club is: DO GREAT WORK!
  43. 43. 45Page The fifth rule of Fight Club is: HAVE FUN!