The Web is Not a Project : How to Effectively Manage Your Web Operations (MPD1)

One of the biggest mistakes made by web teams is thinking about the web as a project. Projects by definition have an end and the project mindset is the primary reason the overall quality of websites deteriorates over time. When web teams define their work as a series of projects, the live site is often ignored as new projects become a priority. The result is content that quickly goes out of date, spelling errors and broken links undermine the credibility of the site, branding is compromised, and there is increased exposure to legal risks. In addition, many web teams have not created the internal processes and procedures necessary to efficiently manage the ongoing support of the site. In this presentation, Mark and Doug will introduce the audience to the field of web operations management which provides a framework to efficiently manage ongoing operations to meet business objectives and maintain the operational integrity of the site. Topics will include: • The differences between project work and operational work • How the project mindset is damaging your website. • How to move from project management to operations management • How to develop a website operations plan • Demonstration of an operations management system that streamlines requests and task management, improves internal and external communications, and provides resource tracking and reporting.

Agile: Not Just for Developers Anymore (DPA3)

Agile is a proven methodology to support incremental continuous improvement. It works well when requirements can be expressed as discreet user stories that describe specific kinds of people doing specific things whose value is well understood and agreed upon. But where do those stories come from and how can we be sure they are the "right" stories? A common criticism of Agile is that it works well to manage engineering teams working to deliver individual features, but can feel awkward to creatives like content strategists, user experience experts, and visual designers who may see "the big picture" getting lost in small pieces. This can pose significant challenges to integrated, cross-functional teams seeking to adopt Agile as a single methodology for all of their work. Add to this that higher ed's leadership culture is often more comfortable with traditional project management methodologies and a waterfall approach to planning, and Agile can be quite difficult to pull off. This session will offer a whirlwind tour of Agile and explore how it can be extended to manage requirements and content strategy, UX and interaction design, front and back-end engineering, and visual design and theming. We'll cover process, tools, and deliverables and discuss how to introduce Agile to stakeholders with varying levels of skill and commitment in ways that support the success of their web projects. If you're new to Agile and considering its use, this talk will help you anticipate some of the challenges ahead and offer strategies for meeting them. If you're already using Agile, then hopefully you'll learn something new and share your own approach. Whether you manage an internal cross-disciplinary web team, subcontract parts of your web presence, or work as an army of one, Agile has a lot to offer.

Project Management: The Musical! (MPD6)

Sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music: “Stakeholders pausing and missing their deadlines, Engineers working to tag all the headlines, Scheduling has me all tied up with strings, These are a few project management things!” — All great musicals tell stories of some sort of journey. It’s usually a tale of overcoming some type of adversity, with plot twists, occasional heartbreak, and humor. And isn’t that what a web project is? Musicals simply include songs to help move the plot along. We’re going to give an overview — with a soundtrack! — of how to best manage a website design and development project from contracting to post-launch. We’ll share tools and spreadsheets, steps to take, how to work with clients, and how project managers overcome the odds to navigate it all towards a fantastic product at the end. It’s going to be informative, and at times very very musical. Along with learning how good your immediate neighbor is at audience participation, you will learn items such as: — how to get your project organized for success right from the start — what analytics and KPIs to review — what to do when stakeholders disapprove — how to handle scope creep — how to survive a project with humor through use of the occasional show tune This session is not technical, and is great for both beginning and advanced project managers alike. A general knowledge of popular Broadway musicals is helpful, though not required. There will be one or two opportunities for sing-a-longs, and the audience should feel welcome to join in.