Project Management

My rules for managing projects:

  • Use email sparingly - really only use it for notifications that new content is available. 
  • Use a collaboration platform - of course, I like Confluence
  • Everyone on the same page - everyone has access to the relevant information - working out loud. 
  • Information highlights - rather than drowning in information, a page showing highlights of what is happening or decisions made, is a good idea. 

Information gathering - data we need from the existing systems:

  • Any existing or old requirements documents, wishlists, design documents etc. 
  • Process documents
  • Help documents
  • Training documents
  • All the fields in existence
  • Sample data
  • All required values in dropdown lists etc
  • An understanding of how much data there is, and what shape it's in. 
    • It's always going to be bad, just how bad is it
    • How are we going to clean it up. 
  • Existing forms
  • Existing reports
    • Including excel spreadsheets, board reports, anything that uses that data. 
  • A look at existing screens - if that is not possible, then screenshots.

Current system

  • What's good about it
  • What's bad about it
  • Where does it fall down
  • Where do things fall through the cracks
  • How is it tracked and monitored
  • How do you deal with problems
  • What is a perfect scenario
  • What is a really bad scenario. 
  • What are all the other scenarios. 
  • What data is missing from the system, why, where is it?
  • What data shouldn't belong in the system?

Other information we need:

  • Any and all other systems that the business uses - whether they are related or not. 
  • What the board, executive or management needs out of this system.
  • What are the legislative requirements or restrictions. 
  • What are the inputs to this system. 
    • Eg Website, web forms
  • What are the client's / end users / stakeholders needs. 
  • What are the emotions / thoughts and feelings around the project. 
  • What is the politics and history of the project.