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HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
PROJECT
MANAGEMENT FOR
WORDPRESS
FREELANCERS
WPATX Deep Dive Meetup November 14,
2016
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
PROJECT
MANAGEMENT➤ You know you need something
to keep you organized and on
track
➤ And the color-coded markers
and post-it note system isn’t
the answer
➤ How can you grow your
Freelance WordPress Practice
and not lose your mind…
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT?
➤ Project management is the application of processes, methods,
knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project
objectives.
➤ Project management is concerned with managing discrete
packages of work to achieve objectives. The way the work is
managed depends upon the scale, significance complexity of
the WordPress project
➤ Project Management helps WordPress Freelancers get and
stay organized while increasing their opportunity to delight
clients
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
HOW DOES A WORDPRESS
FREELANCER DEFINE A PROJECT➤ A WordPress project is temporary — it has a defined start date
and end date with a defined scope and resources that creates
a unique product, service or result
➤ Each WordPress project is unique in that it is not a routine
operation, but a specific set of operations designed to
accomplish a singular goal.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
HOW DOES A WORDPRESS FREELANCER
DEFINE PROJECT SUCCESS
➤ WordPress Freelancers can declare a project a success if it
achieves the objectives according to their acceptance criteria,
within an agreed timescale and budget.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
THE CORE COMPONENTS OF WORDPRESS
PROJECT MANAGEMENT ARE:
➤ Defining the reason why this WordPress project is necessary
➤ Capturing project requirements, specifying quality of the
deliverables, estimating resources and timelines
➤ Preparing a business case to justify the investment -Discovery
➤ Securing stakeholder agreement and funding approval
➤ Developing and implementing a management plan for the
project
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
THE CORE COMPONENTS OF WORDPRESS
PROJECT MANAGEMENT ARE:
➤ Leading and motivating the project design/development team
➤ Managing the risks, issues and changes on the project
➤ Monitoring progress against plan
➤ Managing the project budget
➤ Maintaining communications with stakeholders and the project
development team
➤ Closing out the project in a controlled manner
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
WHAT TYPE OF WORDPRESS JOBS
REQUIRE
PROJECT MANAGEMENT?
➤ Producing a new or altered
WordPress site
➤ WordPress Projects with a
finite timespan: a definite start
and end date
➤ Complex sites that require
distributed work groups
➤ WordPress Projects that
require change management
and risk management
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
WHY WORDPRESS FREELANCERS
SHOULD
USE PROJECT MANAGEMENT
➤ Investment in effective project
management has a number of
benefits
➤ provides a greater likelihood
of achieving the desired
result
➤ ensures efficient and best
value use of resources
➤ satisfies the differing needs
of the project’s stakeholders
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
PROJECT MANAGEMENT TEAM
➤ A WordPress project team often includes people who don’t
usually work together
➤ Team members can come from different organizations and
across multiple geographies.
➤ Team members must be expertly managed to deliver the on-
time, on-budget results
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
MANAGING PROJECT
TIMELINE AND MILESTONES
➤ Each project can have multiple
“deadlines” or Milestones
➤ Project Milestones are usually
connected to process
payments
➤ Moving a project forward
means keeping an eye on the
due dates.
➤ Juggling multiple deadlines can
get crazy,
➤ Precise Project Management
will help you wrangle both the
Known and Unknowns
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
COLLABORATION
➤ The good old “White Board” only works when every body shares the
same office
➤ Online Project Management systems make remote team collaboration
possible
➤ Some Project Management systems restrict that interaction to your
team,
➤ Some let you invite outside clients into the process
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
MANAGING AND ARCHIVING
COMMUNICATION
➤ Clear communication is the key to
effective collaboration is key
➤ Managing a project means you have to
track and archive all client/team
conversations.
➤ Slack / HipChat might track discussions
or decision
➤ Collapsed email windows are notorious
for lost ‘end-of -string’ messages
➤ Chat windows offer immediate
gratification
➤ — but tracking down a specific
conversation can be a pain
➤ Some project management systems
archives conversations and decisions in
one place
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
REPORTING
➤ Clients appreciate knowing
the status of their projects
➤ A good project management
system gives you the
information needed to update
the client or directly reports to
the client
➤ NOTE: Bad News Does Not
Age Well — Report it to the
Client ASAP!!!
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
PROJECT
MANAGEMENT
TOUCHES ON➤ Client / stakeholder
communication
➤ On-Boarding
➤ Scope Definition
➤ Costing
➤ Scheduling
➤ Resource Management
➤ Risk management
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROCESSES
FALL INTO FIVE PHASES
➤ Initiation
➤ Discovery
➤ Planning
➤ Execution
➤ Monitoring and Controlling
➤ Closing
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
THE PHASES OF PROJECT
MANAGEMENT➤ Initiation
➤ This first stage of a project defines the business case, the
justification for the project, which will be used to ensure the
project stays on track.
➤ It also states what the project is intended to achieve, how
that will be achieved and the scope of the work; this is
important for controlling subsequent change requests.
➤ In this phase, those involved in the project will be assigned
their responsibilities.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
THE PHASES OF PROJECT
MANAGEMENT➤ Discovery
➤ The requirements documentation describes the aims of the
project in detail including timescales and constraints.
➤ It should also define the criteria that will constitute a
successful project and will be used to manage the
expectations of the stakeholders.
➤ Many projects use an iterative process to reach agreement
on the requirements, although some projects take an 'agile'
approach to project management
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
THE PHASES OF PROJECT
MANAGEMENT➤ Planning
➤ The project plan includes details about how the project work
will be carried out
➤ How it will be monitored and controlled
➤ How communication will be facilitated
➤ Information about costs and timelines
➤ Once a project is underway — the project schedule where
most attention is focused
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
THE PHASES OF PROJECT
MANAGEMENT➤ Project Schedule
➤ All tasks need to be scheduled in the most efficient order to
ensure tasks with inter-dependencies are completed when
required and to enable several tasks to be performed in
parallel.
➤ There are many project management tools available to assist
with scheduling
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
THE PHASES OF PROJECT
MANAGEMENT➤ Execution
➤ The team member assigned to carry out a task will need to
know, in detail, what the task involves as well as any
dependencies and timelines
➤ Team members will also need to understand the criteria by
which each task is deemed complete
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
THE PHASES OF PROJECT
MANAGEMENT➤ Monitoring and Controlling a Project Depends on Communication
➤ The right sort of communication is the most important of the soft
skill of a successful project manager
➤ In addition to listening to people's ideas and opinions Project
Management is as much about listening to people's ideas and
opinions
➤ Good Project Management creates a team environment where
everyone feels their opinion is valued and where honest discussion
is encouraged
➤ Effective communication helps handle and mitigate conflicts
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
THE PHASES OF PROJECT
MANAGEMENT➤ Closure
➤ Once there is a client-approved end of product — the
project can be formally closed
➤ An “After-Action Report’ is helpful for both the client and
team members
➤ The purpose of a project review is to learn from both the
successes and the mistakes and take that experience
forward to the next project — NOT to shoot the survivors!
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
WHAT IS A PROJECT MANAGEMENT
PLAN➤ The project management plan is not just the schedule — is a
plan for how the project will be managed so it includes:
➤ A summary describing the aims of the project and the
expected benefits, including any assumptions or
constraints.
➤ The processes that will be used to monitor and report on
the status, and handle risks, change, quality etc.
➤ Documentation of the scope, requirements and budget as
well as a time and dependency-based schedule such as a
Gantt Chart or Kanban Board
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
SIMPLE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN
➤ In its simplest sense a project management plan will include
the following elements:
➤ 1. Project Aims: If the final deliverable of a project does not
meet the requirements of the client then it has not been
successful. Therefore, you must establish what those
requirements are and prioritize them
➤ 2. Project Deliverables: These are the tangible items that will
ensure the needs of the client are met and will include time
estimates
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
SIMPLE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN
➤ 3. Project Schedule: A list of individual tasks along with how
long they are estimated to take, who will complete them, any
inter-dependencies and any important milestones along the
way. There are many software packages to help you do this
efficiently.
➤ 4. Resource Requirements: The project schedule will enable
you to justify the project's resource requirements for time,
equipment, budget and people. Identify individuals by name or
skill-set along with their responsibilities within the project.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
SIMPLE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN
➤ 5. Communications Plan: Who needs to be kept informed
about project progress and how will this be communicated?
Typically there will be various reports with differing levels of
detail for different stakeholders that cover progress and
planned work for the next period
➤ 6. Risk Management: This involves the identification,
monitoring and mitigating of risks.
➤ 7. Quality Guidelines: You need to know what level of quality is
expected and required so the definition needs to be detailed
and measurable. It also needs to take into account available
budget and resources.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
SIMPLE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN
➤ Putting together an effective project plan is essential
➤ But sticking to it throughout the course of the project or
adapting it as a particular project needs
➤ Requires a disciplined project manager, clear client
communication, and a cooperative team
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
PROJECT PLANS
CAN CHANGE➤ Carefully-planned projects have
regular formal reviews.
Stakeholders can assess progress,
discover new risks and identify
issues that might require a change
to the project, such as:
➤ Inadequate business requirements
➤ New information coming to light
➤ External changes in the market
➤ Changes in organizational strategy
➤ New technology becoming
available
➤ New regulations being imposed
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
CHANGES BLOW
UP THE PLAN➤ Uncontrolled changes to
project scope or
requirements can cause chaos
and confusion within the
project team and ding your
profit
➤ We can accommodate client
change BUT the project
manager must communicate
to the stakeholder that it will
effect both budget and delivery
schedule and require a
CHANGE ORDER
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
CHANGE
ORDERS➤ The change control process must be
followed rigorously
➤ Who on this project is Authorized to
issue a change order?
➤ Has that person “signed-off” on this
change?
➤ Signed Change Orders provide a
way to document, assess and
prioritize changes so that each
change has a defined, measurable
purpose in contributing to project
success.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF A CHANGE
CONTROL PROCESS ARE:➤ Submit Change Request: Document each issue separately in a log
because the chances are you will have to prioritize them if inadequate
resources are available - Is it in the budget?
➤ Initial Review: Determine if the change should be considered at all —
each change must have a single, clear problem that will affect the
project outcome.
➤ Detailed Assessment: What would be the outcome if the change were
not implemented
➤ What will be the impact on time, quality, cost and benefits if it is
implemented?
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF A CHANGE
CONTROL PROCESS ARE:➤ Recommendation: Decide whether to approve, reject or defer
the change, giving reasons for the decision
➤ Modify the Plans: Communicate the approved changes and
their priority to those involved
➤ Implement the Modified Plans: Documenting changes in this
way will be a learning experience for future projects in addition
to a way of controlling change in the current project.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
PROJECT PROGRESS MEETINGS
➤ The importance of regular in-depth reviews cannot be stressed
enough – without them you will not identify gaps in the project
➤ This can be just as much of a problem as uncontrolled
changes because WordPress Project will not meet the client’s
needs.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
HOW TO MANAGE A PROJECT
PROGRESS MEETING➤ 1. Write an agenda and distribute it beforehand — It is a
reminder to the participants just what the meeting is intended
to cover and what is expected of them. It gives everyone time
to gather the progress information they need to provide at the
meeting.
➤ 2. Repeat the objective —The agenda should be a reminder of
the aim of the meeting but state the aims again at the
beginning of the meeting and during the meeting if discussions
are veering off topic.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
HOW TO MANAGE A PROJECT
PROGRESS MEETING➤ 3. Review progress and future actions — Review the progress from the
last meeting and actions for the next period. On a large and mature
project it might be possible to do this by exception.
➤ 4. Stay focused — Stay focused on discussing progress updates,
assigning actions or revising the schedule where necessary. Do not deal
with any unrelated issues – defer them instead to another meeting.
➤ 5. Allow everyone a chance to speak — Nobody wants to sit in a
meeting listening to one person dominating the conversation so limit the
time any one person is allowed to speak by moving the meeting along to
the next topic.
➤ 6. Avoid boredom — Nothing will be achieved if people are not engaging
in the meeting so keep meetings to an hour or less to avoid boredom
setting in.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
HOW TO MANAGE A PROJECT
PROGRESS MEETING➤ 7. Assign actions — Assign follow-up actions specifically to an
individual with an expected completion date. Whoever is
recording the meeting minutes should also create an action
plan.
➤ 8.Summary — At the end of the progress meeting summarize
what has been discussed, what actions have been assigned,
and to whom, and set a date for the next progress meeting.
➤ Following these simple steps will ensure your meetings
achieve something and are a good use of everyone's time.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
CREATING A CULTURE
FOR TIME TRACKING
➤ Accurate project cost capture provides an
organization with an invaluable amount of
data for decision making.
➤ Without the knowledge of actual costs on
projects, companies may sell products that do
not make any money or attempt to provide
services where the cost is not equal to the
value.
➤ The long term viability of an organization
depends upon offering products and services
for a price that allows for organizational
growth.
➤ Your role as project manager is to ensure that
projects you manage deliver value to the
organization that is in line with expectations.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
BENEFITS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT
SYSTEMS➤ Organization – Keep track of what needs to be done when. Don’t let anything slip
through the cracks again.
➤ Deadlines – Moving a project forward means keeping an eye on the due dates. Juggling
multiple deadlines can get crazy, and that’s where project management really shines.
➤ Collaborate – Few people work in the same office these days and can share a
whiteboard together. Collaboration has to happen remotely and you need an online
system to make that happen. Some systems restrict that interaction to your team, while
others invite outside clients into the process.
➤ Archive – Collaboration is key, but you need to keep track of those conversations. A
bunch of email discussions or decisions made in a chat window are great, but it’s hard
to find those again when you need them. A good project management system archives
those conversations and decisions so you can go back and find them in one place.
➤ Reporting – Every client wants to know where a project is at, and a good project
management system either lets you know so you can update the client or tells the client
directly.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
PM TOOLS YOU
CAN USE➤ WordPress project
management gives
freelancers a way to combine
your WordPress skills with a
freelancer’s need to manage
and track time and resources.
➤ For project management to be
effective in your freelance
development, it needs to work
for you. If it’s frustrating or
distracting, it’s not saving you
any time. You need something
that can work the way you
want to work.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
HOW DO YOU WANT TO WORK?
➤ Before you settle on the PM method for your Freelance
WordPress Practice, think about which tool will create the least
amount of extra work and bureaucracy?
➤ Think through how you work alone, and with other team
members
➤ Sometimes you need to think through your workflow and
maybe try a few different ways of managing a project, before
you settle on the method for you.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
HOW DO YOU WANT TO WORK?
➤ Here are some questions you can ask to help figure out what you need:
➤ Internal or External? – Do you want your WordPress project management to be
primarily internal for your team only, or do you want to include external partners like
clients? •
➤ Front End or Back End? – Do you want something smooth and polished to look good
on the front end? Or do you just need something for yourself on the back end?
➤ Single or Multiple Projects? – Do you need to keep your projects separated, or do you
want to see details across all your projects?
➤ What Do You Manage? – What are you looking to manage? Do you want to-do lists,
milestones, a place to schedule deadlines, a place to track conversations, a place to
upload files?
➤ Any Extras? – Are there any extra components you track elsewhere that might make
sense to tie into project management? Maybe you track your time or chart budgets,
and it’d make sense to see that info here.
➤ The point is to figure out what works for you
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
PLUGINS
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
SP PROJECT & DOCUMENT MANAGER
➤ This plugin works with multisite and is actually available in a
premium version now. Premium features include a responsive layout,
custom fields, custom email notifications, thumbnails for projects,
versioning, and file collaboration. You can also add on other features
like a standalone dashboard for customers, integration of WordPress
user roles and BuddyPress groups, downloadable zip archives,
Dropbox integration, Google Drive importer, sub folders, and more.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
WORDPRESS TASK MANAGEMENT
➤ A premium plugin you might want to check out is called
WordPress Task Management. It’s simple and straightforward
and operates strictly out of the backend of your WordPress site.
It allows your team to track activities as they relate to your
current projects. These activities can be linked to the whole of
your organization or to just individuals, which helps to ensure
everyone knows what is expected of them at all times.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
ORBIS
➤ Orbis promises to turn your WordPress dashboard into a full-fledged
business management tool and it doesn’t disappoint. This plugin includes
all the features you’d expect from a project management tool and then
some, allowing you to customize it to the needs of your specific business.
➤ What sets this plugin apart is that it comes with a front-end theme that lets
you provide front-end access to your project management tools quickly
and easily. You can change this theme as well since Orbis is highly
extendable.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
TASKFREAK!
➤ If you need a quick way to manage tasks within the dashboard,
TaskFreak! ought to serve you just fine. You can create, edit, and
delete projects and tasks. You can also add attachments to your tasks
and make comments on tasks using a provided comment system.
➤ TaskFreak! is responsive and perfect for managing public and private
projects. It offers multi-language support and recognizes default
WordPress user roles so you can easily attach team members to
projects and tasks based on their current capabilities.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
PROJECT PANORAMA
➤ A rather robust plugin offering you should know about is called Project Panorama. It’s easy-to-
use and quite simple at its core but offers plenty of features designed to streamline project and
user management—not hinder it.
➤ Newer features include a project cloning tool that allows you to create new projects without
having to go through all the tedious setup steps and an automatic progress calculation tool that
lets you get a bird’s eye view of project, task, or phase completion.
➤ What sets this plugin apart is that it relies on visual communication to make project
management easier. You can create an unlimited number of project phases with unlimited
tasks so you can easily communicate with your team where a project stands with as much
detail as you want.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
WP PROJECT MANAGER
➤ The last plugin I’ll mention here today is WP Project Manager. It’s a full-featured
project manager designed to be used within WordPress, which means it only includes
the tools and features you need to run your site successfully—no more, no less.
➤ Primary features include the ability to create new projects, assign users to projects,
send messages about projects, attach files to messages, and leave comments on
tasks or projects. You can also create to-do lists with as many tasks as you want with a
visual progress bar, comments, and complete/incomplete statuses for keeping tabs on
everything. Additionally, you can create milestones for better overall project
management.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
TRELLO
➤ Online tools for collaboration and communication come in a wide variety. Some, such as
Jira and Slack, are popular among software developers, who might use an agile or JIT
(just-in-time) style of working. Trello ($3.75 per user per month), on the other hand, uses a
kanban-style work methodology, which is highly visual. Trello is an online, collaborative
workspace you can use to manage projects of all kinds, whether they're business-related
or personal. It works fairly simply, with drag-and-drop capabilities and an intuitive
interface, but it doesn't include some more-traditional project management staples, such
as Gantt charts, time-tracking components, or reporting tools. Trello is eye-catching and
fun, but it's not right for every project. It works best, in my opinion, for short and quick
assignments, rather than tasks that take days or projects that take months.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
BASECAMP
➤ Basecamp is a real-time communication tool that helps teams
stay on the same page; it’s less for traditional project
management tasks (e.g., resource planning and long-term
scheduling). With to-do-lists, calendaring, due dates and file-
sharing, Basecamp provides a way for teams to keep track of
priorities and actionable items.
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
Presenter
Sandi Batik
WordPress evangelist, consultant, trainer, curricula
developer, author, unapologetic geek, unrepentant
capitalist, lucky enough to do what I love everyday.
I’ve served as Austin WordPress Meetup co-
organizer since 2010. With my husband Nick Batik,
co-founded Pleiades Publishing Services in 1992
and Hands-On WordPress Training in 2010.
Follow me @sandi_batik / @WPATX
Contact me at: handsonwp.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/hsandrachevalierbatik
HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik
Presenter
Nick Batik
Started in web development in 1994 and have
been a WordPress consultant, and web
developer since 2007. A WordPress
evangelist, I’ve served as Austin WordPress
Meetup co-organizer since 2010. With my
partner, co-founded Pleiades Publishing
Services in 1992 and Hands-On WordPress
Training in 2010.
Follow me @nick_batik / @WPATX
Contact me at: handsonwp.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholasbatik

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Project management for WordPress Freelancers

  • 2. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik PROJECT MANAGEMENT➤ You know you need something to keep you organized and on track ➤ And the color-coded markers and post-it note system isn’t the answer ➤ How can you grow your Freelance WordPress Practice and not lose your mind…
  • 3. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT? ➤ Project management is the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives. ➤ Project management is concerned with managing discrete packages of work to achieve objectives. The way the work is managed depends upon the scale, significance complexity of the WordPress project ➤ Project Management helps WordPress Freelancers get and stay organized while increasing their opportunity to delight clients
  • 4. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik HOW DOES A WORDPRESS FREELANCER DEFINE A PROJECT➤ A WordPress project is temporary — it has a defined start date and end date with a defined scope and resources that creates a unique product, service or result ➤ Each WordPress project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal.
  • 6. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik HOW DOES A WORDPRESS FREELANCER DEFINE PROJECT SUCCESS ➤ WordPress Freelancers can declare a project a success if it achieves the objectives according to their acceptance criteria, within an agreed timescale and budget.
  • 7. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE CORE COMPONENTS OF WORDPRESS PROJECT MANAGEMENT ARE: ➤ Defining the reason why this WordPress project is necessary ➤ Capturing project requirements, specifying quality of the deliverables, estimating resources and timelines ➤ Preparing a business case to justify the investment -Discovery ➤ Securing stakeholder agreement and funding approval ➤ Developing and implementing a management plan for the project
  • 8. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE CORE COMPONENTS OF WORDPRESS PROJECT MANAGEMENT ARE: ➤ Leading and motivating the project design/development team ➤ Managing the risks, issues and changes on the project ➤ Monitoring progress against plan ➤ Managing the project budget ➤ Maintaining communications with stakeholders and the project development team ➤ Closing out the project in a controlled manner
  • 9. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik WHAT TYPE OF WORDPRESS JOBS REQUIRE PROJECT MANAGEMENT? ➤ Producing a new or altered WordPress site ➤ WordPress Projects with a finite timespan: a definite start and end date ➤ Complex sites that require distributed work groups ➤ WordPress Projects that require change management and risk management
  • 10. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik WHY WORDPRESS FREELANCERS SHOULD USE PROJECT MANAGEMENT ➤ Investment in effective project management has a number of benefits ➤ provides a greater likelihood of achieving the desired result ➤ ensures efficient and best value use of resources ➤ satisfies the differing needs of the project’s stakeholders
  • 11. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik PROJECT MANAGEMENT TEAM ➤ A WordPress project team often includes people who don’t usually work together ➤ Team members can come from different organizations and across multiple geographies. ➤ Team members must be expertly managed to deliver the on- time, on-budget results
  • 12. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik MANAGING PROJECT TIMELINE AND MILESTONES ➤ Each project can have multiple “deadlines” or Milestones ➤ Project Milestones are usually connected to process payments ➤ Moving a project forward means keeping an eye on the due dates. ➤ Juggling multiple deadlines can get crazy, ➤ Precise Project Management will help you wrangle both the Known and Unknowns
  • 13. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik COLLABORATION ➤ The good old “White Board” only works when every body shares the same office ➤ Online Project Management systems make remote team collaboration possible ➤ Some Project Management systems restrict that interaction to your team, ➤ Some let you invite outside clients into the process
  • 14. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik MANAGING AND ARCHIVING COMMUNICATION ➤ Clear communication is the key to effective collaboration is key ➤ Managing a project means you have to track and archive all client/team conversations. ➤ Slack / HipChat might track discussions or decision ➤ Collapsed email windows are notorious for lost ‘end-of -string’ messages ➤ Chat windows offer immediate gratification ➤ — but tracking down a specific conversation can be a pain ➤ Some project management systems archives conversations and decisions in one place
  • 15. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik REPORTING ➤ Clients appreciate knowing the status of their projects ➤ A good project management system gives you the information needed to update the client or directly reports to the client ➤ NOTE: Bad News Does Not Age Well — Report it to the Client ASAP!!!
  • 16. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOUCHES ON➤ Client / stakeholder communication ➤ On-Boarding ➤ Scope Definition ➤ Costing ➤ Scheduling ➤ Resource Management ➤ Risk management
  • 17. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROCESSES FALL INTO FIVE PHASES ➤ Initiation ➤ Discovery ➤ Planning ➤ Execution ➤ Monitoring and Controlling ➤ Closing
  • 18. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE PHASES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT➤ Initiation ➤ This first stage of a project defines the business case, the justification for the project, which will be used to ensure the project stays on track. ➤ It also states what the project is intended to achieve, how that will be achieved and the scope of the work; this is important for controlling subsequent change requests. ➤ In this phase, those involved in the project will be assigned their responsibilities.
  • 19. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE PHASES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT➤ Discovery ➤ The requirements documentation describes the aims of the project in detail including timescales and constraints. ➤ It should also define the criteria that will constitute a successful project and will be used to manage the expectations of the stakeholders. ➤ Many projects use an iterative process to reach agreement on the requirements, although some projects take an 'agile' approach to project management
  • 20. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE PHASES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT➤ Planning ➤ The project plan includes details about how the project work will be carried out ➤ How it will be monitored and controlled ➤ How communication will be facilitated ➤ Information about costs and timelines ➤ Once a project is underway — the project schedule where most attention is focused
  • 21. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE PHASES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT➤ Project Schedule ➤ All tasks need to be scheduled in the most efficient order to ensure tasks with inter-dependencies are completed when required and to enable several tasks to be performed in parallel. ➤ There are many project management tools available to assist with scheduling
  • 22. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE PHASES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT➤ Execution ➤ The team member assigned to carry out a task will need to know, in detail, what the task involves as well as any dependencies and timelines ➤ Team members will also need to understand the criteria by which each task is deemed complete
  • 23. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE PHASES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT➤ Monitoring and Controlling a Project Depends on Communication ➤ The right sort of communication is the most important of the soft skill of a successful project manager ➤ In addition to listening to people's ideas and opinions Project Management is as much about listening to people's ideas and opinions ➤ Good Project Management creates a team environment where everyone feels their opinion is valued and where honest discussion is encouraged ➤ Effective communication helps handle and mitigate conflicts
  • 24. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE PHASES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT➤ Closure ➤ Once there is a client-approved end of product — the project can be formally closed ➤ An “After-Action Report’ is helpful for both the client and team members ➤ The purpose of a project review is to learn from both the successes and the mistakes and take that experience forward to the next project — NOT to shoot the survivors!
  • 25. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik WHAT IS A PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN➤ The project management plan is not just the schedule — is a plan for how the project will be managed so it includes: ➤ A summary describing the aims of the project and the expected benefits, including any assumptions or constraints. ➤ The processes that will be used to monitor and report on the status, and handle risks, change, quality etc. ➤ Documentation of the scope, requirements and budget as well as a time and dependency-based schedule such as a Gantt Chart or Kanban Board
  • 26. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik SIMPLE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN ➤ In its simplest sense a project management plan will include the following elements: ➤ 1. Project Aims: If the final deliverable of a project does not meet the requirements of the client then it has not been successful. Therefore, you must establish what those requirements are and prioritize them ➤ 2. Project Deliverables: These are the tangible items that will ensure the needs of the client are met and will include time estimates
  • 27. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik SIMPLE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN ➤ 3. Project Schedule: A list of individual tasks along with how long they are estimated to take, who will complete them, any inter-dependencies and any important milestones along the way. There are many software packages to help you do this efficiently. ➤ 4. Resource Requirements: The project schedule will enable you to justify the project's resource requirements for time, equipment, budget and people. Identify individuals by name or skill-set along with their responsibilities within the project.
  • 28. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik SIMPLE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN ➤ 5. Communications Plan: Who needs to be kept informed about project progress and how will this be communicated? Typically there will be various reports with differing levels of detail for different stakeholders that cover progress and planned work for the next period ➤ 6. Risk Management: This involves the identification, monitoring and mitigating of risks. ➤ 7. Quality Guidelines: You need to know what level of quality is expected and required so the definition needs to be detailed and measurable. It also needs to take into account available budget and resources.
  • 29. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik SIMPLE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN ➤ Putting together an effective project plan is essential ➤ But sticking to it throughout the course of the project or adapting it as a particular project needs ➤ Requires a disciplined project manager, clear client communication, and a cooperative team
  • 30. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik PROJECT PLANS CAN CHANGE➤ Carefully-planned projects have regular formal reviews. Stakeholders can assess progress, discover new risks and identify issues that might require a change to the project, such as: ➤ Inadequate business requirements ➤ New information coming to light ➤ External changes in the market ➤ Changes in organizational strategy ➤ New technology becoming available ➤ New regulations being imposed
  • 31. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik CHANGES BLOW UP THE PLAN➤ Uncontrolled changes to project scope or requirements can cause chaos and confusion within the project team and ding your profit ➤ We can accommodate client change BUT the project manager must communicate to the stakeholder that it will effect both budget and delivery schedule and require a CHANGE ORDER
  • 32. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik CHANGE ORDERS➤ The change control process must be followed rigorously ➤ Who on this project is Authorized to issue a change order? ➤ Has that person “signed-off” on this change? ➤ Signed Change Orders provide a way to document, assess and prioritize changes so that each change has a defined, measurable purpose in contributing to project success.
  • 33. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF A CHANGE CONTROL PROCESS ARE:➤ Submit Change Request: Document each issue separately in a log because the chances are you will have to prioritize them if inadequate resources are available - Is it in the budget? ➤ Initial Review: Determine if the change should be considered at all — each change must have a single, clear problem that will affect the project outcome. ➤ Detailed Assessment: What would be the outcome if the change were not implemented ➤ What will be the impact on time, quality, cost and benefits if it is implemented?
  • 34. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF A CHANGE CONTROL PROCESS ARE:➤ Recommendation: Decide whether to approve, reject or defer the change, giving reasons for the decision ➤ Modify the Plans: Communicate the approved changes and their priority to those involved ➤ Implement the Modified Plans: Documenting changes in this way will be a learning experience for future projects in addition to a way of controlling change in the current project.
  • 35. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik PROJECT PROGRESS MEETINGS ➤ The importance of regular in-depth reviews cannot be stressed enough – without them you will not identify gaps in the project ➤ This can be just as much of a problem as uncontrolled changes because WordPress Project will not meet the client’s needs.
  • 36. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik HOW TO MANAGE A PROJECT PROGRESS MEETING➤ 1. Write an agenda and distribute it beforehand — It is a reminder to the participants just what the meeting is intended to cover and what is expected of them. It gives everyone time to gather the progress information they need to provide at the meeting. ➤ 2. Repeat the objective —The agenda should be a reminder of the aim of the meeting but state the aims again at the beginning of the meeting and during the meeting if discussions are veering off topic.
  • 37. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik HOW TO MANAGE A PROJECT PROGRESS MEETING➤ 3. Review progress and future actions — Review the progress from the last meeting and actions for the next period. On a large and mature project it might be possible to do this by exception. ➤ 4. Stay focused — Stay focused on discussing progress updates, assigning actions or revising the schedule where necessary. Do not deal with any unrelated issues – defer them instead to another meeting. ➤ 5. Allow everyone a chance to speak — Nobody wants to sit in a meeting listening to one person dominating the conversation so limit the time any one person is allowed to speak by moving the meeting along to the next topic. ➤ 6. Avoid boredom — Nothing will be achieved if people are not engaging in the meeting so keep meetings to an hour or less to avoid boredom setting in.
  • 38. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik HOW TO MANAGE A PROJECT PROGRESS MEETING➤ 7. Assign actions — Assign follow-up actions specifically to an individual with an expected completion date. Whoever is recording the meeting minutes should also create an action plan. ➤ 8.Summary — At the end of the progress meeting summarize what has been discussed, what actions have been assigned, and to whom, and set a date for the next progress meeting. ➤ Following these simple steps will ensure your meetings achieve something and are a good use of everyone's time.
  • 39. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik CREATING A CULTURE FOR TIME TRACKING ➤ Accurate project cost capture provides an organization with an invaluable amount of data for decision making. ➤ Without the knowledge of actual costs on projects, companies may sell products that do not make any money or attempt to provide services where the cost is not equal to the value. ➤ The long term viability of an organization depends upon offering products and services for a price that allows for organizational growth. ➤ Your role as project manager is to ensure that projects you manage deliver value to the organization that is in line with expectations.
  • 40. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik BENEFITS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS➤ Organization – Keep track of what needs to be done when. Don’t let anything slip through the cracks again. ➤ Deadlines – Moving a project forward means keeping an eye on the due dates. Juggling multiple deadlines can get crazy, and that’s where project management really shines. ➤ Collaborate – Few people work in the same office these days and can share a whiteboard together. Collaboration has to happen remotely and you need an online system to make that happen. Some systems restrict that interaction to your team, while others invite outside clients into the process. ➤ Archive – Collaboration is key, but you need to keep track of those conversations. A bunch of email discussions or decisions made in a chat window are great, but it’s hard to find those again when you need them. A good project management system archives those conversations and decisions so you can go back and find them in one place. ➤ Reporting – Every client wants to know where a project is at, and a good project management system either lets you know so you can update the client or tells the client directly.
  • 41. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik PM TOOLS YOU CAN USE➤ WordPress project management gives freelancers a way to combine your WordPress skills with a freelancer’s need to manage and track time and resources. ➤ For project management to be effective in your freelance development, it needs to work for you. If it’s frustrating or distracting, it’s not saving you any time. You need something that can work the way you want to work.
  • 42. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik HOW DO YOU WANT TO WORK? ➤ Before you settle on the PM method for your Freelance WordPress Practice, think about which tool will create the least amount of extra work and bureaucracy? ➤ Think through how you work alone, and with other team members ➤ Sometimes you need to think through your workflow and maybe try a few different ways of managing a project, before you settle on the method for you.
  • 43. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik HOW DO YOU WANT TO WORK? ➤ Here are some questions you can ask to help figure out what you need: ➤ Internal or External? – Do you want your WordPress project management to be primarily internal for your team only, or do you want to include external partners like clients? • ➤ Front End or Back End? – Do you want something smooth and polished to look good on the front end? Or do you just need something for yourself on the back end? ➤ Single or Multiple Projects? – Do you need to keep your projects separated, or do you want to see details across all your projects? ➤ What Do You Manage? – What are you looking to manage? Do you want to-do lists, milestones, a place to schedule deadlines, a place to track conversations, a place to upload files? ➤ Any Extras? – Are there any extra components you track elsewhere that might make sense to tie into project management? Maybe you track your time or chart budgets, and it’d make sense to see that info here. ➤ The point is to figure out what works for you
  • 45. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik SP PROJECT & DOCUMENT MANAGER ➤ This plugin works with multisite and is actually available in a premium version now. Premium features include a responsive layout, custom fields, custom email notifications, thumbnails for projects, versioning, and file collaboration. You can also add on other features like a standalone dashboard for customers, integration of WordPress user roles and BuddyPress groups, downloadable zip archives, Dropbox integration, Google Drive importer, sub folders, and more.
  • 46. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik WORDPRESS TASK MANAGEMENT ➤ A premium plugin you might want to check out is called WordPress Task Management. It’s simple and straightforward and operates strictly out of the backend of your WordPress site. It allows your team to track activities as they relate to your current projects. These activities can be linked to the whole of your organization or to just individuals, which helps to ensure everyone knows what is expected of them at all times.
  • 47. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik ORBIS ➤ Orbis promises to turn your WordPress dashboard into a full-fledged business management tool and it doesn’t disappoint. This plugin includes all the features you’d expect from a project management tool and then some, allowing you to customize it to the needs of your specific business. ➤ What sets this plugin apart is that it comes with a front-end theme that lets you provide front-end access to your project management tools quickly and easily. You can change this theme as well since Orbis is highly extendable.
  • 48. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik TASKFREAK! ➤ If you need a quick way to manage tasks within the dashboard, TaskFreak! ought to serve you just fine. You can create, edit, and delete projects and tasks. You can also add attachments to your tasks and make comments on tasks using a provided comment system. ➤ TaskFreak! is responsive and perfect for managing public and private projects. It offers multi-language support and recognizes default WordPress user roles so you can easily attach team members to projects and tasks based on their current capabilities.
  • 49. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik PROJECT PANORAMA ➤ A rather robust plugin offering you should know about is called Project Panorama. It’s easy-to- use and quite simple at its core but offers plenty of features designed to streamline project and user management—not hinder it. ➤ Newer features include a project cloning tool that allows you to create new projects without having to go through all the tedious setup steps and an automatic progress calculation tool that lets you get a bird’s eye view of project, task, or phase completion. ➤ What sets this plugin apart is that it relies on visual communication to make project management easier. You can create an unlimited number of project phases with unlimited tasks so you can easily communicate with your team where a project stands with as much detail as you want.
  • 50. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik WP PROJECT MANAGER ➤ The last plugin I’ll mention here today is WP Project Manager. It’s a full-featured project manager designed to be used within WordPress, which means it only includes the tools and features you need to run your site successfully—no more, no less. ➤ Primary features include the ability to create new projects, assign users to projects, send messages about projects, attach files to messages, and leave comments on tasks or projects. You can also create to-do lists with as many tasks as you want with a visual progress bar, comments, and complete/incomplete statuses for keeping tabs on everything. Additionally, you can create milestones for better overall project management.
  • 51. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik TRELLO ➤ Online tools for collaboration and communication come in a wide variety. Some, such as Jira and Slack, are popular among software developers, who might use an agile or JIT (just-in-time) style of working. Trello ($3.75 per user per month), on the other hand, uses a kanban-style work methodology, which is highly visual. Trello is an online, collaborative workspace you can use to manage projects of all kinds, whether they're business-related or personal. It works fairly simply, with drag-and-drop capabilities and an intuitive interface, but it doesn't include some more-traditional project management staples, such as Gantt charts, time-tracking components, or reporting tools. Trello is eye-catching and fun, but it's not right for every project. It works best, in my opinion, for short and quick assignments, rather than tasks that take days or projects that take months.
  • 52. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik BASECAMP ➤ Basecamp is a real-time communication tool that helps teams stay on the same page; it’s less for traditional project management tasks (e.g., resource planning and long-term scheduling). With to-do-lists, calendaring, due dates and file- sharing, Basecamp provides a way for teams to keep track of priorities and actionable items.
  • 53. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik Presenter Sandi Batik WordPress evangelist, consultant, trainer, curricula developer, author, unapologetic geek, unrepentant capitalist, lucky enough to do what I love everyday. I’ve served as Austin WordPress Meetup co- organizer since 2010. With my husband Nick Batik, co-founded Pleiades Publishing Services in 1992 and Hands-On WordPress Training in 2010. Follow me @sandi_batik / @WPATX Contact me at: handsonwp.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/hsandrachevalierbatik
  • 54. HandsOnWP.com @nick_batik@sandi_batik Presenter Nick Batik Started in web development in 1994 and have been a WordPress consultant, and web developer since 2007. A WordPress evangelist, I’ve served as Austin WordPress Meetup co-organizer since 2010. With my partner, co-founded Pleiades Publishing Services in 1992 and Hands-On WordPress Training in 2010. Follow me @nick_batik / @WPATX Contact me at: handsonwp.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholasbatik