Lecture 3 Assignment

Web Project Management Home Page Lecture 3

ASSIGNMENT: Describe the strategy you will use to ensure content is delivered on time. Describe your strategy for ensuring you do not exceed your project budget.

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  1. Tonya Price Post author

    Here are links to the Week 3 Assignment Submissions. Please let me know if you have problems accessing these files. My feedback is posted below.

    GlennAssignment Three – Essentials1


    Week 3 Feedback: Glenn Jackson:
    Hi Glenn,

    Very impressive list and analysis.

    Your strategy for keeping projects on time is very good. if you have not been getting time estimates from your team to date it may take a few projects for these estimates to become accurate as your team would need to gain experience in estimating. Estimating based on experience is much more accurate than guesstimates. Be on the lookout for team members who are always too low with their time estimates and those who are always too high. As you spot these trends, just adjust their estimates. Some people can just not estimate correctly.

    I believe it is a big help if all the members of your team are exposed to and understand Web Project Management principles and the process you are using because, as you correctly state, it will lead to everyone understanding why milestones and the deadline are important. The more deadlines are met, the more money a design firm makes and that is always better for everyone. However, even more importantly in my book is the fact that meeting deadlines means less stress for your team. I believe my job is to make sure that my team enjoys their job and that they can do their job and stll have a life outside the company. In part, this means my working with the stakeholder so that there are no last minute surprises that dictate asking my team to work late hours to launch on time. I spend a lot of time making sure that I never have to make this request and if I ever did (I haven’t had to so far!) I would consider it a personal failure.

    If the project is properly tracked then potential issues are almost always spotted in time to correct them before they affect the timeline. That is why being a good communicator – listening as well as disseminating information, is crucial to the success of the Web project manager.

    Dealing with scope creep is mainly an issue of doing a good job during the initial discovery phase of the project when you are learning about the project from the stakeholder, making sure the stakeholder agrees with your assumptions and that the stakeholder understands the impact of any change requests. When a client asks for a major change I usually suggest we consider breaking the project into phases. Continue as agreed upon for phase 1 and then implement the additional change in phase 2. This is especially effective when the client wants an additional feature rather than a change to an existing feature.

    The best way to have an environment of high morale is to include the team in the development of the project plan and to seek their advice on decisions that effect the team during the project. Team members have great ideas and they will feel more valued and provide more value when their ideas are sought and used.

    Controlling the budget

    Trackng costs is very important throughout the project and a key responsibility of the Web Project Manager. As you indicate, it is very important that the Web team understand the need for them to tell you as soon as they spot something in their work that might increase their predicted costs. Your job as Web Project Manager is to create an environment in which such news is met with appreciation for the staff member alerting you to the increase. Team members are sometimes hesitant to mention increased costs for fear the Web Project Manager will get angry and they will be blamed as having failed because they didn’t accurately predict costs. If team members see that the information is appreciated and they are congratulated on spotting the potential issue, they will be more likely to bring such information to the attention of the Web Project Manager.

    Clients hate surprises. Just like bosses. Therefore, you are absolutely correct. You always want to bring news of increased costs to the client as early as possible. When I had a small design firm I would eat the increased cost if I or my team caused it or failed to predict it. I only charged the client if they requested a change that increased costs. It hurt the bottom line in the first year, but my staff got very good at predicting costs because they recognized the fact that the firm would not do as well if we made too many bad cost forecasts. (And we all wanted the firm to succeed.)

    The contingency idea is a very good one. You are right. It is not often used, probably because many clients would freak out at the idea of a contingency fund (especially small business people) but it is a good idea, particularly if the client demands a solution that carries a good deal of risk (i.e. not tried before.)

    No matter how many projects you do, all application costs should be checked when preparing a quote as pricing does change. One time fees can become subscription fees, etc.

    Nice analysis. Your strategy should be very effective.


    Week 3 Barbara Ardoin Feedback:

    Hi Barbara,
    Your experience as a Content Manager is indeed evident. You make excellent points and your strategy is very focused and would be quite successful. The questions you raise are exactly the type of information the content manager would need to ask.

    When you are an expert in a particular area and then you become the Web Project Manager, it is important to consciously work with the person who is doing that job and show them that you have confidence in their ability to do the job. They will be very nervous at times, wanting to impress you, being afraid they might make a mistake or disappoint you. Acting as a mentor is exactly the correct strategy to take in these cases. You will help develop an expert you can have confidence in and who will be grateful for the opportunity you have given them. Let them make minor mistakes, save them from making serious mistakes and give them the confidence and room to grow.

    One note: your content manager should be keeping you up to date on the status of content in relation to the project milestones. I’m not sure how things have worked in the organizations you have worked in but it is a good idea to include the Content Manager as a member of the team and have them attend team meetings. The team should see them as a team member too even though much of their development work is done in parallel with the design and programming development efforts.

    Your strategy with the budget is also very sound. In cases where the client has a limited budget you might also consider whether a phased approach might allow the client to get the product they need over time by starting out with a foundation and then following a plan, add additional features each year, spreading out the cost, but ultimately providing the client with a Web presence that will be a key tool in their success.

    Great job.

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