DC2009:Managing the Development of Customized Joomla! Websites

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Tim Forbes, the Director of Project Management at PICnet, will be speaking about successful Project Management Techniques employed at his company in developing large and customized Joomla! websites. His experience in writing requirements, managing client expectations, estimating work hours, testing, and quality assurance to develop unique extensions (such as Version Control and ACL) for large organizations such as the American Society for Microbiology and American Academy of Physician Assistants is invaluable. During the last three years, Tim and his team has helped PICnet become one of the most dynamic companies in the Nonprofit community.

Session Notes

Catherine: Trying to figure out how to maintain/integrate twitter and facebook. Accidental project manager and having problems with people. It takes 8 people to update our website.

Monica: I want to understand a little bit about change management and how to manage website changes when they are thrown at you, dealing vendors, identify consultants, and understanding how to train people in Joomla! so that we don't have to answer questions as they arise.

Todd: Work at nature reserve. Don't want to be a project manager but it will make me a better manager overall. We're in the middle of moving our website over to a CMS.

Karen: I work at a NPO. Currently redesigning, redoing our website using Wordpress as our CMS. There's a lot of data about achievement gaps and we want to make sure that parents get and understand this information. Curious about how to use Basecamp with outside vendors.

Roberta: Design & development of websites and work with large organizations. Looking to learn more about non-profits' problems.

Noelle: ______ Association. Starting a project that will involve a new website and database. It's currently an offline database that needs to be online and integrating it with the database is a pain. Trying to learn as much as possible before we begin this thing.

Grace: I work at CITI. General website management tips and balancing the interests of multiple stakeholders in the organization. Making it an effective/collaborative process. Need to redesign our website and need to figure out how to do that best.

Hunter: User experience designer. Want to learn about what's going on. Might be starting my own web project.

Gorav: Need to do a full redesign for our website. Just looking to see what people are doing.

Wendy: Dabbled in project management. CMS/CRM/metrics etc. integration and reporting.

Andy: Getting a new website. Five websites and are currently all old websites. Open to whatever CMS system.

Ernesto: What are the needs of non-profits. MPCA.

Courtney: Build Drupal sites for non-profits. Double role as developer and accidental PM.

Scott: Not a PM. Worked at CITI as developer.

Scott: It's critical that developers and project managers are separate people. The roles and responsibilities are different and the priorities of the project differ depending on who is in-charge.

Cheap, fast, and good: Pick two. This is a principle often used in Project Management.

PMs need to keep track of timeline, budget, etc. so that people above them can make decisions as they need.

Wendy: What do you do when the CEO/ED comes to your desk and says 'I want a new website'? How do you determine what exactly to figure out what to do first?

Hunter: I always look at this from the design perspective. Make it about the user experience but determine your goals first.

Roberta: Think about it from a user perspective i.e. make it user centric. For example, not just put twitter on a website just because twitter is cool. Given a feature, does it fall in line with the vision of the organization and is it useful for your users.

Pradeep: Explained PICnet's approach to big projects. There was some discussion between agile vs. waterfall development.

Glennette: You need an online strategist.

Kafi: @wendy, what went wrong?

Wendy: Things went over the timeline and overbudget.

Pradeep: There are two parts to this question. Vision to RFP and RFP to End Game. We've been talking mostly about the latter.

Scott: Wendy put together the best RFP ever. She will be hosting a session this afternoon. Hope all can attend. Using an RFP, you can weed out vendors and determine the quality of vendors who respond.

Pradeep: There are products and services out there that have very small budgets for website development.

Monica: @Hunter: How do you understand what stakeholders need or want?

Hunter: You talk to them, interview them, have them fill out surveys. You reach out to people and offer them gift cards etc. and other things to have them review your ideas as a favor.

  • Crowdsourcing
  • Rolling things out in phases
  • Is it necessary to separate the ownership of product vs. project?
  • Cheap, fast, and good: pick two.

Hit-by-a-bus test