10/09/15 Class Takeaways

First:

During class we discussed the triple constraint in regards to project management. This refers to the scope, time, and cost as referred to by  Scope, Time and Cost – Managing the Triple Constraint. The article explains that those three factors work like a triangle, you need all three sides to make up the triangle, and if you change one thing it will affect the other two. Depending on how much you changed one thing will determine how much the other two things will be affected. The article described how it is important to let all the parties involved in the project know about the triple constrains so that it’s less likely for them to majorly change one of the factors mid-way through the project. If they understand that changing one thing will affect the others and how that can hurt the project they’ll be less likely to make any changes. The article also described how those factors are there to be constantly monitored by the project manager, if they keep up in monitoring them the chances of the project being a success will be grater.

Second:

During class we talked about different attributes of a project, such as “has a unique purpose”, “has a sponsor”, etc. with a quick google search I was able to find 5 more attributes that we had not discussed. The article  5 Attributes of Effective Project Management gives those attributes and a brief explanation of them. The first one they gave was to chose your methodology, meaning a waterfall methodology where the project’s tasks are passed from the top of a hierarchy to the bottom and they have a specific agenda and time frames they need to meet. They say this is for large companies with larger scope, repeatable workflows, and fixed requirements. The second methodology is agile which is used for groups that have to constantly keep changing to customer requirements, because it gives them more flexibility. The agile methodology works as a group where people have a more flexible planning and work in short time periods, where each period builds upon the previous period. Another attribute they talked about that I liked was to keep keep the lines of communication open with all the parties involved in the project. This way everyone can be on the same page on progress, scope, goals, requirements, etc. They talked how since a waterfall methodology works in a hierarchy, they would most likely send updates  in emails or memos from the top of the company  and down the hierarchy. Where as in an agile methodology there would probably be meetings where team members update each other on their progress, tasks, etc.

Third:

The article 7 Killer Tips to Creating a Website Specification Document to Support Your Search Engine Marketing Efforts gives good tips on how to create a website specification document. During class we talked about how to find the website specifications, meaning what the client wants on the site. But the website specification document is where all that information will be going. They suggest creating the document like this:

  • Purpose of the document
  • Description of the project
  • Front-end functionality
    • Common features
    • Sitemap and website structure
    • Description of every website page
    • Wireframes (home page and at least 2 other important pages)
    • Miscellaneous functionality
  • Back-end functionality
  • Use cases
  • Conclusion

The “front-end functionality” is where all the website specifications the client gave us would go. This sections is what the client is mostly focused on, but I also like the back-end functionality section because this is something the client does not usually think about, but I think it’s important to ask those questions as well, what does the client want done when the customers click on a certain place, or fill out a form, or anything like that. Do they want the customer to receive an email confirming, do they want the customer to be redirected somewhere, do they want to prompt the customer for more info. All of those things along with the front end functionality is what makes the website so finding out from the beginning what those functionalities are will really make the developer’s and designer’s job easier, and also make it more likely for the client to be happy with the site.

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