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Project Management

  • With waterfall, the project moves in one direction after each phase is complete it moves onto the next phase. Agile on the other hand focuses on smaller iterations and has a focus on completing a minimum viable product. The best example that I heard of is if a client needs a car you don’t just start trying to build a car the first iteration is a skateboard which is a form of transportation like the car but extremely basic. The next iteration would be to add more features and build a motorcycle. This is much closer to what the client requested in fact the client might be happy with this product as is.

    Because of its nature waterfall methodology produces tons of documentation including diagrams because they have to get it right on paper before moving onto the next phase. Agile requires less up front documentation and has more chances of removing bugs. Written documentation is usually hard for the customer to imagine the result.

  • A business analyst works in many industries and thrives in a changing business environment. A business analyst improves business processes, plans elicitation activities, manages requirements, negotiates with stakeholders and compares and confirms solutions.

    A business analyst acts a as a liaison between stakeholders. They need to understand business operations and how organizations function. A business analyst uses investigate skills to determine the problem. Analyzing different types of information. Given the problem to solve, the business analyst identifies the best course of action for the business to take. Identify the best solution that delivers the most value to the organization. They recommend solutions to allow the organization to achieve business goals.

    Involves identifying the correct stakeholders. Interact with many different business customers including end users, management and executives. Business analyst requires good communication skills, as they need to be able to question stakeholders and end user to ensure that they capture all the requirements clearly and concisely. It requires developing relationships with stakeholders. Work with project managers, stakeholders, subject matter experts and end users.

  • Prototypes are not just about cost savings or catching errors. They help the development team to capture the right requirements from the business areas to build the correct product. Prototypes help the users to get their hands on something so they get a feel if the product will work for them. It increases understanding across all project team.

    Types of Prototypes

    There are different types of prototypes. Prototypes can be divided into wither low or high fidelity.

    Low Fidelity Prototype

    A low fidelity prototype is pen and paper. I sometimes do this when I meet with my clients and I need to clarify what goes where. I draw out simple doodle in very high abstraction. An image might be represented by a single box with an “X” in it. If multiple pages or screens are needed in the product, I might draw tiny screens on the page with arrows connecting them so I can understand the navigation flow.

  • A statement of work defines the work to be done for a project. It defines all the requirements to client. It includes what must be delivered, how and when it must be completed by. These are all the projects deliverables.

    A statement of work is often used between a client and supplier. It should not be a template. It should be custom to the client. It is often a few pages in length and it must be well written, clear, and concise with little ambiguity.

    It is the first deliverable the client receives often soon after an initial meeting with the client. It confirms the understanding of what was discussed. It tells a story by giving the background of the situation and what needs to be done to fix it. It is a simple contract. It documents the terms that have been agreed in the initial meeting.