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Well-founded project management practices can help make sure that your team is working together, the client is happy, and the project is on track. Planning and executing a project can be in a job in itself, which is why many teams include a project manager. But not all teams have a project manager - perhaps you are a solo developer or work on a small team. This session will address managing projects from the perspective of a non-PM doing the project management work, the processes involved to get things done, and the tools used to support these processes.

This session embraces over five years of experience successfully planning and executing Drupal websites. For four years I wore many Drupal hats (site builder, developer, themer) and primarily worked on projects by myself; now I am the technical lead of two project teams with 4 members each. Our development team has grown rapidly in the last three years, from 2 members to 10 members, and our project management team has not been expanded to handle the increased workload. This disproportion had led to the technical lead often fulfilling the responsibilities of a project manager, as is the case for me.

We will cover factors that contribute to mismanaged projects and share steps to avoid them. Expect to come away from this session with some good tips and tricks for managing your next project, including:

  • Getting to know your team, the stakeholders and the project

  • Keeping track of evolving project requirements using project management software and a spreadsheet

  • Documenting site building procedures and expectations with Google Docs

  • Organizing tasks by category and milestone with task management software

  • Following up meetings with a summary and action items (it can be as simple as an email!)

  • Holding regularly-scheduled status meetings -- who to invite, what to cover, how to stay on topicĀ 

Throughout the session I will be showing the project management system ActiveCollab, but the techniques can be applied to other project management systems including BaseCamp, Trello, and Redmine.

This session will be beneficial for developers, site builders, and themers that are responsible for planning and executing projects and have little or no experience with project management.

20 minutes
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