Demystify your projects

Projects don't manage themselves, and there's no book of recipes. Project Management involves people so it's an art, not a science. But there are some basic techniques. Use them well and your project success will follow.

Decide what should happen

"The hardest single part of building a software system is deciding precisely what to build." Fred Brooks wrote this in his essay No Silver Bullet in 1986 and he's been proved right many times over.

So get some help! I can make sure that user requirements, business requirements and technical constraints are well understood. Observation, interviewing, workshops, prototyping, UI design management, testing — these are all techniques that I can bring to your team.

Make it happen

"If you come to a fork in the road, take it." Advice from Yogi Berra.

With a clear understanding of choices and decisions, your development team can be motivated to do their best. So what form of communication will create that understanding?

Of course, you need core documents and standard reports to govern the project — just as a house needs a foundation. But there are many more effective ways to align users, developers and business managers. I can guide your team toward the kind of shared vision that makes everyone say, "Yes — we can make this work."

Find out what happened

"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first and the lesson afterwards," said baseball pitcher Vernon Law.

Don't let your mistakes go to waste — and make sure your successes become a corporate habit. Let me help you assess your team's experience and write the lesson plan for their next project test.

Professional Biography

John Turnbull was recently (December 2007) XMaLpha's Project Manager on the Iowa Legislature's LINC Project. He is a project manager, product manager, publisher, and software start-up veteran who has been leading teams, meeting deadlines, and making good things happen since 1976. He combines a career in commercial publishing with 15 years of software production and a taste for all things XML.


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