Here’s my Digital Project Manager manifesto – my several point plan & goals which align what I say and do, in terms of delivering Digital Projects. I always find it helps to set out your stakes before you begin.
1) Detailed and fixed Scopes of Work – regardless of ‘continual evolution’ when it comes to software and how developers sometimes use that as a crutch in my opinion to deliver half-baked product, Scopes of Work (or SOW’s) should be detailed enough so the business knows what’s going on, the developers know what they are developing, and the client knows what they are getting. We can do ‘continuous development’ after the first release is completed!
2) Testing, it must be in the plan – Regardless of budget availability, there must be time & money invested into proper testing. Rushing out product that’s not fit for purpose is not something I dig, and neither should you. Projects get 20% added to the budget by default purely for testing. And you can bet complexity of the software will drive that up so don’t be surprised to see 30-35% time & money attributed to testing. No ‘shrug reports’ here!
3) Don’t know what we’re doing – don’t start – if every single person doesn’t understand the goal, the end game, the terminology, the business case, what we’re trying to do and why, then we don’t start. It’s that simple. We go back to point 1 above until we all do.
4) Estimate, and then estimate again, then again – All developers, creatives, managers & technical teams are responsible for accurate estimating. Don’t be offended when I then offshore the project scope to a different team to get a second, third & fourth opinion and then come back and question things. Writing that subroutine to handle images will take four days? Really?
5) Know when you’re in the shit and say so – If the projects in a mess, the documentation lacking or the code a joke, I’ll halt everything from day one and start again – because there’s no point sailing to the shore if the boats got a hole in the bow. Right? Phase 1 was delivered on time & on budget – course it was!
6) What’s this, a PM who wants to look at code – yeah that’s right I’m irritatingly dangerous knowing just enough to know when that four day estimate you gave me in point 4 Mr Developer, should actually only take one! And let me see your commit branches, and your backup, and your code comments, I’ll find that pig’s lipstick code – yeah all that good stuff too.
7) Beer in a decent pub – Jeez’ can we just go get a beer on a Friday & remind ourselves we’re human too. In a decent pub that serves properly foamy beer, and not any flat sh*t