7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 6, 2015 8:49 AM by Vyke

    An Exercise in Project Management

    DanielShanahan

      I recently listened to Kirk Bowman and Susan Fennema of Mighty Data discuss project management at their company.

       

      I thought it would be a good exercise for me to think through and write down my process - or, what I think is my process. I thought this might be a way to quickly identify milestones.

       

      How do you identify milestones for your projects?

       

      Here is my list:

       

      1. Create tables and fields
      2. Organize layout structure
        1. Folders
          1. None (user layouts are not in a folder)
          2. Modal
          3. Mobile
          4. Reports
          5. Data
          6. Admin
          7. Developer
          8. Sandbox
        2. Layouts
          1. User layouts - detail
          2. User layouts - list
          3. User layouts - modal
          4. User layouts - iPad detail
          5. User layouts - iPad list
          6. User layouts - iPhone detail
          7. User layouts - iPhone list
          8. User layouts - Web Direct detail
          9. User layouts - Web Direct list
          10. Data layouts (one for every table)
      1. Design/structure relationship graph
      2. Build value lists
      3. Scripts 1 - import utility scripts
      4. Scripts 2 - create navigation scripts
        1. Menu navigation
        2. Related record navigation
      5. Scripts 3 - business logic script
        • 1. Re: An Exercise in Project Management
          TorstenBernhard

          Hi Daniel

           

          I would say that your's is a sorted list of work packages. Or is it written in the sequence you will work through the packages?

          Usually, I put things in an order like: What shall be done first, second, and so on.

           

          Most times customers cannot provide a full specification of what they require. So the starting point is to sit down with the customer and define functionalities. Back in the office, define data structure, layouts, then work packages. Important milestones in my projects are the ones where the status quo and a demo is presented to the customer in order to gather feedback and to make sure that everyone has the same understanding of what has be to achieved (can be a moving target). When complex business rules are to be implemented, I spend time on documentation, write it down and discuss with the customer until I am sure - and the customer is sure - that I fully understood this part of his business process.

          • 2. Re: An Exercise in Project Management
            Vyke

            To add to Torsten, I also look at a project as modules. Each piece of the app is a module as long as it can stand alone. As each module is dealt with, it becomes a milestone itself.

            • 3. Re: An Exercise in Project Management
              schamblee

              I can't say that I have my projects organized as you have it in your list, for the same reason Torsten Bernhard states.  I do go back and organized everything as much as possible.  If you have to come back a year or so later to modify your work, it is a whole lots easier when organized.   I group device layouts together and then I break down the other similar to yours with a Reports, General Ledger,  Main, Navigation and System Folder.  Depending on the project I may add more.

              • 4. Re: An Exercise in Project Management
                DanielShanahan

                Thanks Torsten.

                 

                Torsten Bernhard wrote:

                 

                Most times customers cannot provide a full specification of what they require.

                 

                I agree.  I intentionally left out the discovery phase in order to focus on the nuts and bolts of starting a project.  But I agree with you regarding the starting point.

                 

                Torsten Bernhard wrote:

                 

                Hi Daniel

                 

                I would say that your's is a sorted list of work packages. Or is it written in the sequence you will work through the packages?

                Possibly.  I'm not familiar with the phrase "work packages" but it could be very well the nature of my list.

                 

                Most of my development time is spent in the user interface layouts and business logic scripts.  And I suspect there are many potential milestones in that process.  And, every project I do starts the same way (not including the discovery phase), which is represented by the list.  If the customer doesn't require mobile layouts then items B.iii through B.vii are not created (however, I still create A.iii, a Mobile folder).  There may or may not be milestones in that first part, but this exercise is helpful for me to see recurring actions.

                 

                I do have some templates I've created but I haven't gone through the process to say first this, then this, etc.

                 

                Thanks for explaining your process; that is helpful.

                • 5. Re: An Exercise in Project Management
                  DanielShanahan

                  Thanks Vyke.  I too, try to understand a project in modules (or phase, components, etc.).

                   

                  Vyke wrote:

                  Each piece of the app is a module as long as it can stand alone.

                  I like that definition.

                   

                  As each module is dealt with, it becomes a milestone itself.

                  Seems like a nice, clean approach.  Thanks.

                  • 6. Re: An Exercise in Project Management
                    DanielShanahan

                    Thanks schamblee.

                    • 7. Re: An Exercise in Project Management
                      Vyke

                      It works well for me and has for many years. I like your definition break down, but that's similar to what I go through for each "module" that I build.


                      Also, I tend to group things a little differently, but not to differently.


                      Module (<Insert Name>)

                      • Folders
                        1. UX
                          1. Detail layouts
                            1. (Det - <Layout Name>)
                          2. List Layouts
                            1. (LST - <Layout Name>)
                          3. Table Layouts
                            1. (TBL - <Layout Name>)
                          4. Mobile Layouts
                            1. (MBL - <Layout Name>)
                          5. Printable Non-Report
                            1. (PRN - <Layout Name>)
                          6. Schedule Tasks (scripts)
                            1. Any layouts used by scheduled scripts
                        2. Reports
                          1. Module (<Insert Name>)
                            1. RPT <ALL/XLS/PDF/PRN> - <Some Report Name>
                        3. Data
                          1. Import Layouts
                          2. Bulk Modify Layouts
                          3. Comparison Layouts
                        4. Admin - Is however it needs to be laid out for the project.





                      I'm not saying I disagree with your setup, I like it and would adopt some of the steps, but I would continue to use it at a module level rather than a project level. This way, when I need to work on something, I can isolate that module's logic, layouts, etc quickly and easily. Makes it so much easier when working on projects with dozens of modules and thousands of layouts/scripts.