#2. Managing Projects to Develop/Enhance Online Software or Websites
This 4-hour workshop addresses the knowledge and skills necessary for effective planning and management of the design and development of high-quality websites and online software of all kinds: products for sale, applications, tools, and utilities—whether available your website, mobile device, or other means.
- A new, highly effective methodology to manage software-projects successfully
- Avoids the pitfalls of traditional, construction-industry-based project-management
- Far more effective than popular alternatives to project management, like Agile
- Clarifies what software-project management really is
- Explains how it differs from all other types of management and project-management
- Lays out all the essential tasks for managing software-projects
- Presents a fresh, enlightening perspective on the job of software project-management
Who The Workshop Is For
The workshop provides knowledge and skills useful for project-management work usually performed by
- Project managers
- Executives & managers of online-product initiatives or websites
- Product managers
It is also highly relevant for eCommerce/website managers, business analysts, information architects, and UI designers, who are interested in moving into or doing more of such work, perhaps as part of their professional development.
If You Are Any of the Above
If you are someone who sometimes works on the strategic planning, business analysis, or gathering of requirements for software-projects that you then manage, then this workshop is for you. We strongly recommend that you also attend Workshop #1, which focuses on a new methodology for doing these project preliminaries exceptionally well. Workshop #2 focuses on conducting the project once these preliminaries that serve as the objectives for the project have been finished.
If you do not work on these project preliminaries yourself, but you do receive, or hope to receive, or can influence the quality of the results of such work (who the users are, what they want, how the software is going to try to satisfy them, and so on), then this workshop is also for you. Workshop #1 would also be of value in improving the quality of these preliminaries.
However, if you are unfortunate enough never to get adequate strategic objectives for your projects—the results of doing these project preliminaries satisfactorily—and if you have no ability to get such adequate guidance, then we’re sorry to say that this workshop will not be of much real help to you. Such projects have little chance for success, regardless of how well they are managed. In fact, such efforts cannot really be considered to be projects at all, but are more like a mere process of trial and error with highly uncertain results.
Common Problems Encountered in Managing Software Projects
Planning & Tracking
- Estimates of schedule, budget, & results are unreliable, keep changing
- Costs keep escalating
- Schedule keeps slipping
- Action plans don’t roll-up to or suffice to attain goals and objectives
- Strategic objectives are too vaguely defined to be a sound guide to action plans
- Inappropriate division of labor among team members
- Progress of projects are hard to track
- Management by committee, or, no one really managing the project
Communication & Collaboration
- Work-products are of poor quality
- Communication & collaboration among project-team members is ineffective
- Review & revision process is grueling
- Meetings & discussions are unproductive & inefficient
- Group decision-making processes are slow, difficult, & often lead to poor decisions
- Frequent conflicts among team members & between team & stakeholders
- Stakeholders’ participation in project is poorly defined, organized, & managed
Contents of the Workshop
- Introduction to the fields of management, project management, and software-project management
- Managing in general
- Managing projects
- A new & better way to manage software projects
- The planning process
- Forming the project team
- Starting the project
- Day-to-day tasks in managing projects
- Comparison to alternative ways to manage software projects
This workshop incudes approximately 60 minutes of practice exerices.
What Can Be Improved: Quality, Efficiency, & Satisfaction
By addressing the common problems listed above, design and development projects will be more efficient and satisfying to team members and stakeholders alike. In addition, the online software or websites produced will be of higher quality. Hence, the top-level results such projects are trying to do well are helpfully organized into three categories: Quality, Efficiency, and Satisfaction.
If you use the knowledge and skills taught in this workshop to manage the projects that design and implement your websites and online software, you will maximize your chances that your projects will achieve significant improvements in quality, efficiency, and satisfaction. It is important to remember, however, that quality, efficiency, and satisfaction also depend on how good a job was done on the early strategy, research, product-conceptualization, and decision-making stages (covered in Workshop #1)..
- Quality of the End Result: Website or Online Software
- Website or software meet its objective & satisfy its success-criteria to higher degrees
- Easier to use
- Fewer bugs, less support
- Easier maintenance
- Efficiency of Design & Development Projects
- Shorter projects
- Lower project costs
- Less rework
- Fewer resources required
- Design problems discovered during implementation addressed more quickly
- Satisfaction of Stakeholders and Team Members
- The company who owns the website/software, as represented by executives and managers of various departments, will be more satisfied by the benefits the company achieves from developing/enhancing its website or online software-products
- The members of the project team will be more satisfied in their jobs, in terms of the quality of work they were able to do and the experience of working on the project
- Users of the website or online software-products will be more satisfied, because it addresses aims they care about and enables them to accomplish their aims quickly, easily, and well
Benefits to the Company that Owns the Website or Software
- Higher ROI from its software-development projects
- Greater reliability of scheduling and budgeting of development projects
- Increased sales of its online products, because of higher quality
- Increased usage of website or software
- Get to market quicker
- Decreased support costs
- Lower turnover, as a result of more satisfied product-development teams
- Management by Objective and Self-Control (MBO)
- Team Communications
Alternatives to this Workshop
The historical phases of software project-management can be divided into two phases.
Phase 1 applied the models & methods of project-management from engineering. This was a spectacular failure. Why? Two reasons:
- The models and methods of the traditional discipline of project management are fairly primitive and ineffective, even in engineering settings.
- As we explain in the workshop, developing software is wildly more complex and difficult than most engineering projects.
- Thus, the models and methods that are barely adequate for construction projects are very inadequate for software projects. Six Sigma and LEAN have not changed this.
- Therefore, learning about traditional software-project management is not a practical alternative for practitioners wanting to succeed at managing software projects.
Phase 2 of the great history of software projects was to throw out the baby with the bathwater, by erroneously concluding that if regular project-management methods didn’t work, what we need is no real project management at all. This left PM’s reduced to low-level administrators, just keeping records for a trial-and-error process. This family of approaches is known collectively as “Agile.” Although Agile has met with limited success in a certain subset of software projects, it is downright counterproductive in others. There is plenty of room for improvement in this area.
In all humility, this workshop presents what may well be the first sound methodology and process for managing software projects successfully. For this reason, few if any opportunities exist—books, courses, seminars, workshops, degree programs—for professionals and managers to learn sound models, methods, and tools that will enable them achieve superior results in managing software projects.
This workshop is taught by Dennis Emberling and Simon Hill, award-winning pioneers in the fields of online product-development and management, with decades of experience as industry practitioners and teachers.
Denny has been a highly innovative management and organizational consultant and coach for thirty years. He has made major contributions to such disciplines as General Systems Theory, Information Theory, Communication Theory, Hierarchy Theory, Developmental-Stage Theory, and the management and organizational sciences.
He has developed a large range of innovative maps, models, methods, and tools widely used by practitioners in these fields around the world, including management-consulting firms, Fortune 100 companies, and the United Nations. He has conducted many workshops and seminars covering eighty-five topics in all these fields. As a practicing consultant and coach, he has achieved outstanding results for companies large and small. He is the founder and president of Developmental Consulting, Inc.
Simon is an award-winning digital strategy, innovation, design, and product-management professional for 12+ years, on over 85 projects. He has been instrumental in the planning, design, and launch of over 45 successful new websites, new online products, SaaS, software applications, and mobile applications, for Fortune 500 clients and start ups, serving millions of users.
Simon is expert in all of the major disciplines that form software-product development: business and product strategy, brand strategy, research, concept innovation, business analysis, UI design, and project management. He is a seasoned leader of strategy and product-development departments.
- Managed dozens of projects, with budgets ranging from a few hundred thousand to millions of dollars.
- Directly saved companies millions in product development and operational costs.
- Built product-development organizations from scratch many times.
- Often brought in to troubleshoot; rescued a half-dozen major projects from failure.
- Accelerated time lines by 30%-50%
- Generated hundreds of millions in revenues for clients and employers from his planning, design, and delivery of online-software products.