Running an Effective Project
There are a few keys we need to run an effective project with the highest likelihood of success.
We all want the project to succeed right!
Use the PM system
First we need to use the Project Management system. Proper project management is everyone’s job.
If you have a new issue then create a new card in Trello and add a comment to it. You can notify users on the project with the @ symbol and then typing their name. It should show you the users that are available.
Don’t add 9 questions about 5 things to a single card. That’s simply a recipe for missing things and getting confused.
Each new question gets it’s own card so that we can keep each one bite sized and on topic.
If a card is ‘resolved’ but you still have an issue with it, then mark it as ‘unresolved’ and then comment on it making sure that the proper people are notified.
Take screenshots if you are commenting on a visual item on the site. Screenshots can go a long way to making things clear fast.
If you can record a screencast then adding it is even better so we can hear the issue directly in your words.
Yup that’s right, don’t email items about the project. I don’t check my email as much as I check the PM system. That’s because people in the PM system are already my clients and they deserve top priority.
Email is full of people that may become my clients and they can wait till I’ve dealt with the important tasks for my current clients.
Using email and the PM system also divides project conversations in to way to many spots and will mean we take longer (that costs you) and we reduce the likelihood of finishing the project successfully.
If you’re having a big issue and the PM system isn’t working for some reason email so I can help you take it back to the PM system.
Book your weekly calls (if the project spans many weeks)
I’m going to send you an email each week that tells you to book your weekly call but it’s up to you to do it.
When I have to remind you that means I’m not working for you and expending brain power on things that don’t get the project done.
Projects are more likely to succeed if we have a weekly call.
If you have a multi-week project you’ll have a recurring task assigned to you to book a project call.
Designate a single point of contact
Yes it’s great to get team buy in during the whole project but to many voices in the project management system generally leads to tasks getting off track.
It should be the responsibility of one person on your end to delegate any tasks in the project management system to your team.
So SFNdesign will assign a task to the main point of contact and they can change that assignment to someone else in the PM system based on who’s responsibility it is.
Keep people to a minimum
Like we said above, it’s great to keep the whole team apprised of what’s going on in the project. The most effective way to do this is not by adding everyone that needs to be kept up to date to the PM system.
We have a weekly call for updates which is a great way to keep other stakeholders up to date and allow them input.
If they want more updates then you should schedule an internal meeting to report on the project progress.
To many cooks in the kitchen reduces our chances of project success.
Submitting a ‘bug report’
Of course the goal is to have no bugs at all in the site but unfortunately I’m a human and human’s make mistakes. At some point in the future I’ll save enough for the robot perfection upgrade and no bugs will happen.
Until that upgrade here is the best way to submit a bug report.
- Use the PM system
- Include which browser and operating system was being use and the version number of both
- If it’s a bug with a user then include the email of the user or their WordPress user name
- Include a link to the page/post/content that the error is present on
- Include a screenshot if you can
Now here is an example way to write a bug report.
Our user ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ can’t see his products when he signs in to his account. His order number is #555 and it looks like it’s fine in the WordPress admin but when he signs in it doesn’t show up as expected.
He’s using Firefox 32 on Windows 8.1.
If we’re having a number of users with the same issue then keep all submissions of the issues on the same task in our PM system.
If it’s a new issue then create a new task for the issue.
Remember adding 3 different issues to a single task is a recipe for someone missing something until we all get our robot perfection upgrades.