In the previous post, I wrote a bit about the tools I've used in project management. This post is going to focus a bit on process and how one might assemble usage of the tools.
First off, if you work in a development shop - you really should devise a process that works for your team and stick to that process. As Malcolm Gladwell says, you need to practice any "art" whether it is ice hockey, singing, lawyering, etc for many hours to perfect it. Context switching between processes will disrupt your flow state and make it tough to learn efficiencies. That doesn't mean to say you shouldn't have retrospectives at the end of a development cycle to discuss what worked and what didn't work. However, you shouldn't alter your process specifically to please a client - it doesn't work.
If you work for a company where you are making improvements to the site, you should define a process and stick to it to provide predictability to your stakeholders. They want to know what to expect and when.
Relatively recently, at Drupalcamp Colorado, it was suggested that I lead a session on project management and the tools those in our community might use. This seemed like a segue from a series of interesting conversations that were started at Drupalcon Chicago. You see, the general feeling is, there is no silver bullet. There is no grail of a tool that does everything a single Web Producer, Project Manager, Product Manager, or Content Manager might need or want. There is clearly a gap that is filled with a series of different products. This walked hand in hand with a desire to review processes at work and engage in course corrections. It is an excellent habit to follow - look what you are doing with a critical eye, analyse why you are doing it, and make changes as needed. I have worked across four different shops with a wide variety of different ways of practicing project management. I have used these methodologies and tools across ~ 50 different Drupal projects and another 25 or so custom PHP MySQL projects.
I've been a social networker for many years. I was one of the first to jump on Linkedin when it was released in 2003. I was an early Twitter adopter. I was a little later to the game on Facebook. I use aggregation tools like Ping.FM. I've signed up for Klout - which is interesting, but that is for another article. I have over 20K photos on Flickr. I actively use YouTube - even more so since they pretty much removed length and size limits on video uploads. I dabble on a mess of other such site. So, when Google+ released, I was an early adopter.
Greggles led up the closing statements at Drupalcamp CO just about a week ago. I took a little video of the session (included at the bottom of my post) but a few things jumped out at me.
426 attendees at Drupalcamp CO this year and 108 people signed up in the last week. Drupalcon Barcelona (the first Drupalcon I attended) had about 450 people. In other words, in just a few short years this camp has gone from being a loose gathering of a dozen or so individuals to an event the size of Drupalcon itself 4 years ago. 24% of attendees identified themselves as female. 75% as male. 1% as other. The camp is growing up with Drupal and becoming a full blown conference in its own right.
This time round I attended the opening plenery, 10 sessions, ran one BOF on Project Management Tools and Techniques, attended the BOF on Drupalcon Colorado, attended an employment BOF, and went to the closing session. I also met This happened in an incredibly densely packed two days. The sessions, by and large, were good. Some were much better than just good. I took a few photos as I found moments to take a snap here and there. If you want to see an aggregate of all my posts from the camp, I filed them under the tag dcco2011. That is the same hash tag folks used on flickr, twitter, and youtube as well.
WORKBENCH - Dave Ried did a presentation on Workbench, a cool module that behaves a bit like groups and access control and taxonomy access, and a bunch of other modules with a little article draft-y goodness. These are my notes from the presentation and I took a video of the presentation that is down at the bottom of the post.
Dave started out talking about how...
- he works for Palantir
- the mostly build institutional nonprofit websites
- they worked on the University of Chicago Website
A couple of the guys from Monarch Digital in Colorado Springs did a "good cop/bad cop" session on Development Best Practices. Using a contrast between best and bad practices proved an effective way to generate conversation. At the beginning of the presentation, they indicated that they had started out by using FTP with no versioning what so ever. This led to discussions on:
1) Source Control
2) Local Development
3) Ticket Tracking
4) User Interface
I attended the session on Drupal 7 Usability at DrupalCamp Colorado. Last year I attended the same session on Drupal 6 and was made painfully aware of the shortcomings of the stock Drupal UI in D6. Watching the testers struggle incited nervous laughter. We needed to do better as a community. Drupal 7, without a doubt, has great improvements over previous versions of the software.
However, all was not grand.
All was not good. I sent out a few tweets as the presentation ensued.
Creech Matthew Saunders
Ben Jeavons led a session on contributions to the Drupal Community. It played off the themes that Webchick started during the camp Keynote. He started with a general review of how to contribute and segued into a general BOF style discussion. I took a few notes - below - and video, which was broken into two chunks.
Do you contribute? Why should you? How can you? What do you go through to contribute? The problem is, of all Drupal users, few contribute. By contributing you learn faster and ultimately make better money.
Rick from Monarch Digital brought one of his clients, "Tony", to the camp to discuss the Client Perspective of development. The session really had its seed in fear, worry, unrealistic ideas and goals (or even no real goals). Hearing candid and honest conversation about what caused so much distress was eye opening. My notes are below and the presentation broken into two videos below that.
Tony's first experience was a failure and the second was a success and these experiences represented the good, the bad, and the ugly.
His First Experience
Matthew Dorman from NorthPoint gave a presentation at Drupalcamp Colorado on project management, focusing on questions to ask with a look at different tools. These are my notes and the video I took of the session is at the bottom of the post.
Get involved by going to:
- NorthPoint uses Jira with Greenhopper
--allows you to do agile development with scrum, create stories, issues, etc
- uses Open Atrium
- Pivotal Tracker