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Project Management or how to herd cats

Project managment - Dealing with the players, the process and keeping a web development project on track.

WordCamp Chicago 2014

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Project Management or how to herd cats

  1. 1. PROJECT MANAGEMENT Or How to Herd Cats WordCamp Chicago 2014 Becky Davis @beckyddesign
  2. 2. ABOUT BECKY  Designer/Dev from Chicago  1st WordPress site in 2009  1st WordCamp – Chicago 2010  1st WordCamp site design – Chicago 2011  Number of WordPress custom themes built – 40+  Solopreneur, partner with a lot of great people  meetup.com/Chicago-WordPress-Meetup/
  3. 3. WHO IS THE PROJECT MANAGER?  Smaller project – the designer/developer  Larger project:  A designated person  Any team member  Developer ** Needs to understand:  How sites go together  Who the players are  What they do and don’t understand  What it will take to get done
  4. 4. PROJECT MANAGER SKILLS  Managing Expectations  Proactively Organized  Communication  Let ideas flow first, problem solve second  Documentation  If it wasn’t documented, did it really happen?  Excessive patience • =less aggravation
  5. 5. WHAT DOES A PROJECT MANAGER DO?  Outlines project and steps needed  Sets the timeline/deadlines  Creates the agenda for any meeting/call  Gets the right people involved in the approval/input process  Coordinate people with different talents & agendas  Doesn’t need to be part of every discussion, but does need to know the outcome/decision  Keeps things on track
  6. 6. POINT OF VIEW  Most people in the project will not “get” what the other person is doing  Lots of skillsets/priorities/understa nding  Everyone has their own agenda  Individual discovery 1st before group meeting
  7. 7. THE CLIENTS  Editors(s) – Know the subject matter – not the tech, actively involved. Will have strong opinions, not necessarily understand scope.  Owner(s) – Must have buy-in, final decision maker, may or may not be actively involved. Must get them involved EARLY at key points.  The office staff – Know the subject matter – not the tech, not actively involved. Actually have to use the site.
  8. 8. THE WORKERS  Designer – Hopefully know the tech, actively involved.  IA/UX – Hopefully know the tech, actively involved. Probably doesn’t know WordPress.  Developer – Listen to all above. Make the magic happen.
  9. 9. KEEPING IT ALL ON TRACK  Would that it were all this simple…
  10. 10. TOOLS  Basecamp  Trello  Google drive  Dropbox  Email folders, calendars – whatever works for you and client  Keep the conversation and assets in on central place.  Take the time to train the client on proper usage and house rules.
  11. 11. IN CONCLUSION  It’s all politics baby  Be nice  Be prepared  Be organized  Analyze what went wrong and learn  Have fun!  Questions?