Phases of a Project | Knowledgebase | System Scheduler | Indexing and Updates Tracking | Speed Kills | Data Integration | Version Control | PRINCE 2 | Agile Manifesto | UNSPC (United Nations Standard Products & Services Code)
Knowledge is POWER!! As a librarian, I have felt that power in Dewey or meta data. Now I am using it in my favour here in the guts of a messy project map. We intend to manipulate that informational power in our favour no matter what stuffing around the customer tries on us! I'm falling over I'm so happy to be on top of the project again, not the underling any more!! We are in control, not the customer with their limited knowledge and business prowess. We are ready for all comers. We will nail down words and keep track of hassles. Everything will be logged and analysed and teased out into patterns to guide our little ship away from the reefs or plundering pirate ships!
We have a competitive edge because we built our own project management system and can now control the customer and halt them and keep the project on track and not losing money. We got more out of building our own project management tools than the fee we charged the customer for the software we developed! We invested our own money in the project management system and own it and can modify it to improve it and do not rely on the customer stuffing us around.
In January 2006, after 5 years of hell doing larger Web portal projects by the seat of the pants, we have developed a comprehensive project management information system which we use to monitor and control costs in our larger projects. If the customer does not submit to our methodology we import their emails and chat sessions and documents no matter and edit and create our own version of the specification. This helps us get on top of the messy design strategies many non-technical users try to use on us to get their way.
It is proving a winner and we wish we had spent the time and money 5 years ago to stop the rot of progressive losses through many many complex and hard to handle jobs from small business customers who have all the ideas but have no idea how software is developed, tested and deployed so try to cut corners and make us live in poverty through their mismanagement and tricky ways.
These are the specific steps we will pursue to collect information for project management - like it or not - we will not be phased by non-technical users evading hard work. Once we have collected and entered the costing, timesheet, design, infrastructure, bug and module information, the computer does the number crunching for us quickly and on time to stop rorting and hopeless management practices by non-technical users.
This is the beauty of having information management and computer software skills - we can build a killer information system that really kicks butt!
By absorbing the costs of software management, both we and the customer win. We save time and money and the customer cannot swindle us and gets a predictable result. If the customer won't run their business properly re technology, we do and this feeds back to us in savings all around. A small investment by us has paid off dividends that go straight to the bottom line!
As of January 2007, we used UML briefly (ArgoUML) to model our projects using OO (object-oriented) methodology. This started to help us simplify and shorten the process of designing or redesigning a large project. However the customer was lost so we resorted back to using our project management system again (plain text and images) instead of classy UML to remain viable.
We use generic programming patterns for successful projects to create specifications if the customer fails to communicate with us what they want to save confusion from illiterate ramblings. We have handled 2 attempts by an illiterate customer to write gibberish and get away with it. Now we make a guess and build the site and modify it near the end to save useless design decisions by an illiterate customer putting us off track. This also stops stalling and cost blowouts by mismanagement at the customer end.
We prefer 'agile' software engineering methology which requires large amounts of testing with some refactoring or rewriting of existing source code or software during the development cycle. This involves incremental design which we find stays on budget better than the monolithic 'big bang' approaches to design that wait for testing at the end when it is very hard to fix and may in fact destroy the project if it fails at this point.
You can liken the monolithic approach to the fixed price mentality of project management where the customer forces all the risks and costs on the developer so they don't have to pay for the stress. However we just do a fixed price on the initial quote and then give incremental mini-quotes for any additional changes the customer dreams up and drives the risk back to the customer which usually stops many silly ideas in their tracks when the real cost starts to emerge and some compromise has to be arrived at to stay on budget and finish the project with less feature points but adequate functionality to achieve a satisfactory outcome.
In April 2007, we setup a simple knowledgebase for each customer to provide self-serve support since as we were remote in Orange at the time and could not always give immediate support onsite, over the phone or internet in person. Many customers need extra help as they are small businesses and struggle with using and setting up basic computer and communications technology and we have limited resources to fill this gap in person. This came out of a suggestion for support from a customer which we felt the KB was the best way to fill that need without travelling or always being online or hiring extra staff.
In the end I had to look up the knowledgebase for the customer and this assistance saved me time in processing support requests. The customer had no time to look up the KB.
WWWalker has a lot to offer in system management. Don't overlook our skill level. As we compare what our business has to offer with other much bigger software houses we can see we are competitive and businesses should give us a go! We use our system programming ability inhouse also for our own benefit.
In October 2007, we built a Web-based scheduler which takes data imports and queues and runs them using scripts. This can be adapted to any production line software or data processing system. The scripts are fully configurable and flexible and require little rewriting or editing as we use agile development methodology. This will increase productivity for our project development and decrease costs in managing complex projects or testing schedules leading to a win-win situation whereas many jobs run over budget and cause major headaches picking up the pieces. This shows our ingenuity and skill at managing big complex jobs because we are a system programmer and can program at a low level to achieve increases in productivity.
In June 2008 we wrote a Web-based indexing tool to create an index and bibliography for a book we were editing. This allows us to work anywhere on the Internet.
In August 2008 we wrote an updates tracking system so we could see when a change request to a document went through or was omitted and manage the updates process.
In July 2011, we are looking at implementing system tools using Amazon Web Services Cloud.
In June 2014, we started looking at Microsoft Azure for machine learning and system management.
In December 2011, I started using a Subversion repository for storing and managing version control of software source code, HTML, graphics and any digital media related to a project.
In March 2014, I started using Bitbucket Git repository for storing and managing version control for a mobile project.
The faster a programmer works, the faster the boss or customer expects them to work.
Created: 24 Jan 2006 16:33
Last Updated: 11 May 2016 13:55
WWWalker Web Development Introduction