Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Read: Managing Projects More Efficiently

If you're an Interactive Producer take the time to download the latest Flash & Flex Developer Magazine (Free on supply of your email). No, I'm not asking you to brush up on your ActionScript skills, because in this PDF is a useful nugget of an article called "Managing Projects More Efficiently".

It's a refreshing take on how Interactive Project Management is really happening these days. Not for the websites of '98, but for digital channels of today: the microsites, games and social platforms we now interact with. And Troy highlights some of the tools that are now available to help do your job, including a comprehensive Basecamp step-through.

Here's a couple of takeaways:

"Typically about 80% of projects do not meet their deadlines and that cuts into profit."
While it's usually considered around 70% of projects don't deliver on time, on budget, I've never seen 80% published before. Remember this one. And feel comfortable you're not the only one.

All the project management tools Troy lists are available, in the cloud, for a monthly fee. There should be no barrier to you trialling services such as Basecamp, Beanstalk, Dropbox and Done.Done and seeing what works for you.

Approval process: No room for grey.
Read the section on Change Orders, then read it again. Troy's process nails what is a common mistake with inexperienced PM's. Not signposting when something is approved allows a client free reign to keep adjusting to their hearts delight.. at the expense of your time and budget. Make sure there is no room for misinterpretation here, use Troy's note to "please post back the words APPROVED, APPROVED with changes (post the changes) or NOT APPROVED (post information)". ALL CAPS, even better.

Note, interestingly he calls Contractor Agreements what I've always known as Master Services Agreements, but they achieve the same. He's also set on fixed 2 week period Sprints, which I've found often require more flexibility in duration depending on what stage you're at in the game and the objectives of the Sprint.