Book profile: Managing web projects, by J Rodney Turner
The start of the project
It is better to spend a week planning and have a team of eight people work at 100% efficiency for 12 weeks, than a team working at 50% efficiency for 13 weeks. The project start process can also be used to build team identity and build psychological attachment between members.
Follow the principles of goal-directed project management, developing a strategic plan in terms of milestones. By clearly assigning milestones to different project teams or team members, you can co-ordinate the inputs of different people, especially those working remotely.
With tight timescales, the quality of web-delivery projects is at risk, so effective quality management processes must be applied. In all but the simplest cases, it would take an impossibly long time to work out the chance of achieving the spread of outcomes. Thus, a technique based on simulation and sampling has been developed - Monte Carlo analysis software.
Monte Carlo software will offer a choice of distributions and give guidance as to which are appropriate. You do not need to do the sums, just nominate the distributions. The model must then be run several thousand times.
Closing the project
You need to ensure that all work is finished at the same time and that different outputs are tied together. With a wide range of stakeholders, you also need to ensure they all come online together to achieve maximum benefit. A project review can also improve future performance.
This was first published in May 2004