Project Management

Good management is an integral component to successful projects, and this track aims to discuss and innovate on the practices, principles, and tools that make projects run better and faster. We hope this content will speak to project managers/directors, scrum masters and other “PM” profiles looking to fine-tune their skills and interact with, and encourage a more engaged community.

Join us to learn how to better estimate, lead, review, report on and strategically plan your projects and portfolios.

Suggested Topics

  • Project estimation
  • Project planning techniques: Sprint planning, resource allocation, Backlog management
  • Scope, risk, and change management strategies
  • Project management case studies
  • Project and portfolio reporting tactics: “how to” with specific tools, charts, reports. (PMs like spreadsheets)
  • Leadership and coordination approaches: working with remote teams, encouraging self-organization, encouraging cross-functionality.

PROJECTS: BREATHING LIFE INTO THE LIFECYCLE

Project management is both art and science. Building high performing teams, particularly in remote collaborative environments can be a tremendous but always worthwhile challenge.

From the initial lead, to contracting, and early into discovery we are forging relationships and building a rapport towards a project's success. We're setting up frameworks to structure conversation, and funnel its outcomes into actionable problem spaces.

How do we make it all happen? Can't we just agile all the things?

Unfortunately, there is no magic formula.

How to say "No" by Saying "Yes!"

When there's a powerful stakeholder in play, how do you say "No" from a position of strength and authority?  You do it by saying "Yes!", of course!

Nobody likes to hear the word "No" (except maybe this lady), but as a Project Manager, it often becomes your duty to deny demands from your client and, sometimes, your team.  Come learn tactics on how to turn down difficult requests, while re-aligning all parties to project goals in order to maintain morale and momentum.

This session will give you an inside look at the project management tools that Kalamuna uses to develop strategies for combating scope creep, managing expectations on both sides of the fence, and helping to avoid that awkward situation where you feel like you can't say "No" in the first place.

Taming Godzilla: Drupal Development with JIRA and Confluence

JIRA is a powerful issue tracking and collaboration tool, but it can easily become a monster. While the Atlassian tools can accelerate agile development and empower teams to work together more effectively, they can also quickly become a burden to users and create unnecessary overhead for team members who are just trying to get their job done. This presentation will show how JIRA and Confluence can be leveraged to help teams work together throughout the lifecycle of a Drupal development project.

I'm a Scrumberjack and I'm OK! Prioritizing Your Scrum Product Backlog for Drupal Work

This session will cover how to prioritize and maintain a Product Backlog within a Scrum/Kanban environment that balances "keeping the lights on" with new product features.  This is meant to cover a site or group of sites over time vs a finite project scope. 

Continuous Discovery: The Next Agile Frontier

An oversimplification of the Agile mission could be "to deliver the most value with the least amount of software". It is difficult to know whether a piece of software is valuable before it is in-front of real users. In short, we need to deliver small chunks of software as often as possible to evaluate their value.

 

At CivicActions, we use Scrum as our framework for continuous delivery of small software-chunks; and we have chosen user-centered design methodologies to discover the ideas, products and features that will deliver the most value to our clients and their users.

Agile Your Agile: Changing process one step at a time

Agile project management emphasizes working in small, manageable chunks. Teams should identify their goals and then constantly re-evaluate their progress and direction. Oddly, many agencies attempt one giant leap to switch themselves to processes that are all about baby steps. This session will suggest that web agencies think of their own project teams as the product on which they are iterating. What is the Minimum Viable Product for a team at your agency using Agile techniques?

Release Management for Live Websites

When working with multiple larger Support-based contracts, "agile" can start to break down after the Implementation stage. Once a site goes live, often the project team will be adjusted, or sometimes it will change completely. Because of this, certain changes to the development workflow should be considered.

The Terrors of Task Management Tools: A Case Study

Thinking of moving to a new project management tool? The road can be harrowing and full of hidden perils, but don’t turn back now! As a Project Manager, you are expected to manage and execute countless tasks in the most efficient and painless manner possible, but the myriad of task management tools available is daunting to consider. I will take you on the path Zivtech followed: evaluating software options, learning team pain points, and understanding which business needs can be handled by these systems.

Let's be honest: Estimation is guessing

Everybody would love to spend weeks in a detailed discovery exercise; writing nitty gritty of the application in product backlog and thinking through on the application architecture before submitting the proposal. Unfortunately, dreams don’t come true!

Getting the estimation right in the sales cycle quickly (especially in early stages) is probably what strengthens any agency chance to win the project. So how you’d go about making your best shot with limited resources/time of your architects/developers?

Successful Project Management = PROFITABILITY

Profitability is never a guaranteed outcome.

Using Drupal along with an Agile Development Process is an excellent way to eliminate much of the wasted efforts (time=money) found in a traditional Waterfall Development process. By comparison, using an Agile Methodology can reduce cost by as much as half, or provide up to twice as much product for the same budget! However, Drupal and Agile alone are not enough to ensure a profitable outcome.

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