matthew's blog

Project Management - Get Your Efficiency On!

Submitted by matthew on Mon, 2013-02-18 23:50

drupalcon portlandIf you include the work that I have done in the theatre as a stage manager - I've been engaged in project management since 1989. 24 years is a long time to think about and practice a craft. I wrote a bit about how technical theatre seems to impact software project management. I've been writing about technology and project management since 2004/05 and I've been managing the builds of complex database driven systems since 1999. All of this has led to my using many different project management styles and tool sets.

I've submitted a session in Portland on just this subject.


Learn from my 18 years of Project Management Experience with Technology. I've done it all - cowboy, waterfall, extreme, and agile scrum.

Learn why...

  • Waterfall doesn't always work
  • Agile has a place, but isn't the holy grail
  • Cowboy can kill the relationships you have with your stakeholders
  • How "Fixed Scope" is a lie
  • That a combination of approaches is the answer

Project management requires a blend of techniques and tools to effectively shepherd projects from ideation to release. We'll explore and discuss different tools and methodologies that can help make your project successful.

Managing Web Assets Across Multiple Dropboxes

Submitted by matthew on Wed, 2013-01-16 21:48

The Problem
I contract with a few different companies at a time. I have email addresses with several of them. Each have their own clients who want to share assets - things like comps, artwork, wireframes and so forth. I've played with a variety of ways of sharing these assets. You can attach them to tickets in your ticketing system, but you may not want your client to be in the ticketing system. I've also had clients that were savvy enough to use a repository like GIT or SVN - but that is fairly rare. In comes Dropbox. Dropbox synchronizes and version controls on drag and drop. Almost any client can wrap their heads around that concept.

This works fabulously for one dropbox. However, if you are in a situation where you need (want) multiple boxes, things get a little squirrelly. Dropbox does not support this. Luckily, if you are a mac user, a little script in your terminal window will fix this lickety split, allowing you to have as many drop-boxes as email addresses you work with.

The Kitchen Refresh

Submitted by matthew on Sat, 2012-12-22 17:40

Kitchen Refresh We live in a house built in the 50's. It is sturdily built as things were back then. We have made some improvements. It has a new roof. The gutters are the seamless kind with a leaf barrier. We've added central air. The outside windows and doors were replace and the living room, which had a picture window, has a giant bay window that lets in lots of bright light. Our open back patio was screened in to create a wonderful summer-time space to enjoy the warm weather but avoid the bugs. Our family room had nasty carpet, so we put in a lovely light laminate. We got a high efficiency stove to put in the fireplace to help heat during the winter.

ferrets and pupWhat we had never done was work on the kitchen. The original kitchen from the 50's. Well, the floor had been replaced, kind of. You can see *what* it had been replaced with along with our ferrets at the time enjoying a meal with our puppy at the time. The limit to the changes we made to the kitchen had been a little paint and a new vinyl floor. That was a decade ago - pretty much the lifetime of such a floor.

Lullabot Podcast on Project Management

Submitted by matthew on Fri, 2012-11-30 12:26

When I was at BADCamp a few weeks ago, Addison Berry asked if I'd be willing to participate in a podcast on project management. I am a process geek having spent years working with 100s of developers, product managers, executives, clients, and project managers across the arts, government agencies, non-profits, media companies, schools, sports, and retailers. This has made for so many different configurations of project management styles, methodologies, and personalities. I've learned from all of them.

My Professional Journey

Submitted by matthew on Wed, 2012-11-28 00:08

Changes

Six months ago or so I joined Trellon after a long stint with Examiner.com. I enjoyed the transition being the primary Project Management resource, Tech Team Lead, and liason to the Executive Committee on a single large project to CTO at a small development shop. The developers at Trellon are top notch and I want to thank them for making me feel welcome, taking my advice, and I'd like to believe coming out of the experience able to work just a bit more efficiently. I was recruited into the fold by Morbus Iff - truly a disembodied brain. Thanks Morbus, I appreciate it.

The Project Management Team of Stuart Broz and Avram Sand have been a pleasure to spend time with. I think the three of us did a great job of increasing efficiencies through use of best project management practices during my tenure. The Tech Leads - Chang Xiao, Fabian Franz, and Michael Priest - have shown terrific thinking through technical challenges in projects with creativity. I'll think back and smile about Munich - getting to know Artem, Vadim, and Vlad. John and Gil - my hopes are that you continue to grow as developers in your tenure with Trellon.

Finally, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to Mike Haggerty and Bob White for allowing me to join the Leadership Team. I do hope that my contributions have and will continue to help the organization grow and evolve.

CRM Core, Trellon, and BADCamp

Submitted by matthew on Thu, 2012-11-15 12:29

Trellon LLCI had expected to get this blog post out far earlier. Unfortunately, I was one of the unfortunates that was stricken with the DrupalFlu this year at BADCamp. Turns out that quite a few people ended up getting sick. So, here we are two weeks out from the summits and I'm finally getting down to writing about what happened at the Camp.

CRM Core

I want to start out by calling out a community project I've been working on at Trellon. CRM Core has been piloted across multiple sites that Trellon has been working on. These pilots have helped the team really refine the framework and have led to a DEV release that the team is now using in public virtual code sprints.

CRM Core is a set of modules for managing contact records within a Drupal site, providing support for contacts, relationships and activities. It provides basic CRM system components and a framework for extending these components to build a custom system that will allow an organization to effectively meet their needs with respect to contact, relationship, and activity tracking.

I'll Be Presenting on Project Management at DBUG

Submitted by matthew on Wed, 2012-10-17 09:23

I'll be presenting at the next DBUG meeting. The meet-up will take place at Open Media Foundation, just south of Downtown Denver. 700 Kalamath St. Denver, CO 80204 (map).

What will I be talking about? About a year ago I was asked if I would keynote at Drupalcamp Austin on Project Management. I quickly altered a presentation that I was working on - it was intended more as a work-shoppy kind of affair - to be more key-notey and included cats, manholes, fighter jets, pyramids, castles, waterfalls, ravens, monsters, wine, books, and just a little H.P. Lovecraft. The presentation was updated for Drupalcon Denver and then, again, for Drupalcon Munich. Since becoming the CTO at Trellon, I've continued to evolve my thoughts on process as I work closely with this distributed team. I'll be making adjustments to the presentation on Tuesday to reflect some of these shifts.

I've included the previous presentations below if you're curious. Otherwise, come on out to the DBUG meeting on October 23rd - enjoy some hot pizza and cold refreshments provided by Aten Design Group and the amazing space provided by the Open Media Foundation - and we can have a great time together!

Drupal Association Elections - Thanks for the Support

Submitted by matthew on Sun, 2012-10-07 19:04

About a month ago I decided to run for the Drupal Association elections. I've been told that I'm nuts for wanting to serve in this capacity. The fact is, in many respects I've lived a life of service. This started as a boy when I sang in a Men's and Boy's choir. This choir practiced Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons after school for several hours. It then had two services on Sunday - one in the morning and one in the Evening.

My Top 10 Reasons This BADCamp is GLADCamp

Submitted by matthew on Fri, 2012-10-05 01:37

Number 1 - A New Camp for Me
In just a few weeks I'll be headed out to Berkley with Trellon. I'm proud that Trellon is a core sponsor. I became an individual sponsor. While I've attended camps in Denver and Austin, this will be my first BADCamp. Everything I've heard about the camp leads me to the belief it will be amazing. I'm very much looking forward to attending.

Number 2 - Presenting (I hope)
I'm involved with more proposals for presentations of any Camp or Con I've attended thus far. This is really exciting to me. I hope that you'll take the time to vote them up so we'll be able to share things we've learned recently, things that we've created, and how my experiences as a process geek has helped the team approach projects. You have until October 8th. So, what session proposals am I involved with?

  • DRUPAL'S MOBILE APP GENERATOR AND YOU: LEARNING HOW TO LOVE THE SMARTPHONE / TABLET
    Do you often think about making your mobile Drupal website friendly for smartphones? Or have you already started to build a Drupal mobile application using MAG (Mobile App Generator) module and PhoneGap? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you should attend this session!

  • CONTACT MANAGEMENT IN DRUPAL: GETTING RESULTS WITH CRM CORE
    This session will present 8 things you can do with CRM Core to manage contact relationships and accelerate your site development. We will also focus on ways you can extend it to handle use-cases specific to your business needs.

  • AGILE GYMNASTICS AND TIMEBOX TUMBLING
    Project management requires a blend of techniques and tools to effectively shepherd projects from ideation to release. We'll explore and discuss different tools and methodologies that can help make your project successful.

Questions from Meet the Candidates Session 4 - DA Elections

Submitted by matthew on Wed, 2012-10-03 00:17

This is the last of the questions asked in the Question and Answer sessions for the Drupal Association elections. There were only two new questions that were asked during that time. Here are my thoughts.

1) valthebald: What threats to the Drupal community do you see, which are not handled by DA? How CAN they be handled?

The biggest threat to Drupal and the Drupal community not handled by the the Association is competition. This competition manifests itself in both other opensource projects and from the closed communities. At the end of the day, most looking for a platform or a CMS seek something that:

  1. is cost effective
  2. reflects the client's brand and aesthetic
  3. scales to the traffic they need it to scale to
  4. is easy to use

In general, we can eke out reasonable results on 1-3. There is still work to be done - but the fact is folks looking for the CMS do not...

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