Process Deliverables

By: Jake DiMare

I think I am going to do a series of posts which deal specifically with the process and the various deliverables I use to successfully Shepard all the various stakeholders through a typical project life cycle. I believe this exercise will allow me to think more deeply about my craft and perhaps get a better sense of perspective. This deepened understanding can only serve to make me a more effective project manager.

For the uninitiated, process and deliverables are terms which are very meaningful in the world of project management. A process is basically a map of the steps it takes to complete a project. Deliverables, meetings and milestones are all terms used to describe the actual steps taken.

Today I walk through a process on most software projects which was taught to me by some very brilliant folks at a previous employer. I take each step blindly without thinking too much about what it means because I know it works. I have thought a little about how it works but the simple answer in today's busy market is: "it works fine". Great...this is true...but I am sure I could do a better job. So, at some point...very soon I will begin. I may pick a day a week and dedicate myself to analyzing some aspect of the process and the process as a whole.

Selling Interactive

By: Jake DiMare

I really enjoy the "selling" aspect of my job. When I am helping my clients figure out how to solve business problems with technology based solutions I am a lot more excited about my work. I am a project manager and consultant which means I am often the person a client will talk to when they believe they need a new web site or other web based application developed.

The best part for me is there is no pressure. It is my job to communicate with a person until I understand their problem. Then I collaborate with them to architect a solution to the problem. I believe it is this earliest phase where the most room for creativity actually exists. The client communicates their goals, constraints and requirements. As the consultant I gather all this information and then come up with a plan.

Really...in the final analysis a good sales process is a conversation (dramatically simplified):

Client: I need a web site.
Me: Great! Tell me...what do you plan to do with this web site?
Client: I plan to make money of course!
Me: Ah, you need an eCommerce web site. What business are you in?
Client: I am in the business of selling widgets all over the world.
Me: OK, so we need an eCommerce site with content localization and multiple language support.
Client: etc.

Once I have learned all the requirements I can switch to goals:

Me: OK, we have talked about the requirements...what are your goals? What would you like to see the site help you achieve from a business perspective?
Client: Well, I would like to see web based sales increase 5% over the next year.
Me: Excellent...are you currently open to expanding into new markets?
Client: We would like to further explore this possibility.
Me: Have you considered an SEM (Search Engine Marketing) strategy to increase overall web traffic?
Client: We would like to further discuss this...

If I have done a good job as a communicator I am eventually rewarded with a sale. I see some more process beginning to crystallize...it's early but I have been doing this quite successfully in professional environments for about 3 years now...I will be ready to teach others how to do it soon enough...it will be at this point I need a method or strategy which can be duplicated.


Giving Thanks

I am relaxing, quite gratefully, with a good friend's family in Maine. I need to call my brother and wish him a happy day. This first season without Mom is bound to bring up a lot of sadness for us both. It's important to remember all the good stuff and celebrate the positive things we learned from Mom.

So today, I am very grateful for the strong power of example my Mother's life was and continues to be for me. Her strength of will and dedication to getting the job done...No matter what...Was the greatest gift anyone could have ever given to me.



The Spirit of 2004 Blog

So, I have another blog enterprise to share with the world...this one being authored by my good friend Adam Silverman. I am lending him editing and technical assistance to make his brilliantly funny sports insight available to the blogosphere...


Check it out!