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13.07.2015
In this post I draw on some project management techniques that I routinely use in my day job to help set up my new WordPress blog.
Dear readers, you may know me as a travel blogger but I also have one foot in the world of Project Management. At first the task of moving my blog from Blogger over to a self-hosted WordPress format seemed daunting. This is where project planning can help to bring order from the chaos and leave you feeling more in control. Once you have a list of all the activities and tasks in your Work Breakdown Structure, you can make a Schedule.
Your Work Breakdown Structure and your Schedule make a major part of your Project Plan, but there are a few additional things you might want to consider. Thanks for your information about this planning tool Tom, I thought that it was only me that loved to plan these things, although sometimes my plans get overtaken by all the other things in my life. Abstract: The IT Project Framework (also known as the IT Project Management Framework) identifies, defines and describes the key activities that an IT Organization must perform, in each and every operating Environment, in order to successfully deliver a versioned Release of IT Solutions and Assets, such as Products, Software, Systems, and Applications to their intended Markets, Customers, Operating Environments and End Users.
Before getting into the Project Framework, itself, we first have to understand the definition of Project.
A set of defined Tasks, Activities, or Actions that have been grouped together to achieve some desired set of Results, Outcomes, Objectives or Deliverables, such as Products, Goods or Services. Given this definition of "Project" as a basline, we can now define, both, a Business Project and an IT Project. A set of defined Tasks, Activities, or Actions that have been grouped together to achieve some desired set of Results, Outcomes, Objectives or Deliverables, such as Products, Goods or Services, all specifically for or by Business (i.e. As you read through this framework, you'll find some patterns that apply, both, to Business Projects as well as to IT Projects. Also, the IT Project Framework and the details, here in, are based on and align with the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Many IT professionals view a Release as nothing more than a specific version of a specific Asset, such as a Product, Software, or System.
Given that a Release is the equivalent of an IT Project, it goes without saying that a successful IT Project Manager "always" ensures that his or her Project Plan, revolves around, covers and accounts for all SDLC specific activities.
With respect to versioning, Releases are always associated with an Asset, Service or a Capability and represent a versioning of such Assets, Services or Capabilities.
If your enterprise does not use Versioned Releases as a way of controlling units of delivery and bundles of repeatable work activities for its Products, Capabilities and Services, it may want to reconsider doing so.
In summary, the typical IT Project is equivalent to one single Release of a Product, System, Software, Service, Capability or any other general solution that is delivered by IT to its End User communities, whether they be paying Customers or not.
The above example shows us that, when we use SDLC phases as the foundation for laying out our IT Project Plans, we start to clearly group "like" Acitivities or Tasks.
The above figure shows how a single Product, named "XYZ," is broken down into a number of different Releases, inteded to be delivered over a period of a number of years.
Looking closely at the above example, we can now see that any phase in the SDLC acts as a basic Milestone unit in an IT Project Plan, and all combined phases of the entire SDLC (i.e.
Given that an IT Project is equivalent to the Release of a Solutions, such as a Product or Service, it would be an easy assumption to make that an IT Project Manager and a Release Manager have the same roles and responsibilities. Unlike the IT Project Manager, the IT Release Manager has more responsibilities than the IT Project Manager because he or she must not only be concerned with the identification and execution of Release work but he or she also has the responsibilites of defining and delivering the entire Release, including but not limited to the identification of what the Release will encapsulate or deliver (i.e. The above figure helps us understand how IT Project Plans and the IT Project Manager Role fit into the bigger picture, as is relevant to Releases and Solutions. Because the SDLC can be standardized and because it is very repeatable, experienced IT Organizations use Project Plans Templates as tools to help standardize IT Delivery.
A mature enterprise usually has between three (3) and ten (10) standard IT Project Plan Templates, for common IT Project Types, that are published to all Project Managers and Project Teams for reuse. You can always identify a good Project Manager because he or she looks for or creates highly reusable Project Plan Templates. Release or IT Project versioning allows for things like segmentation of work, against other Releases, and also is a great way to capture and correlate knowledge about that specific Release.


A Release Plan or IT Project Plan should be set up to follow the phases of an SDLC, whenever possible, so as to reduce the risk of unaccounted for Tasks, within the Project.
Each individual IT Project or Release is part of a greater Program, often associated with a multi-year plan for an Asset or a Solution, such as but not limited to Systems, Applications, Software, and Hardware. The patterns that IT Projects or Releases follow can be represented by Template Project Plans.
Using Templates for Project Plans allows many advantages, such as rapid setup of a new IT Project or Release as well as the constant improvement of each Template, with each new IT Project or Release, leading to higher quality of delivery. Templates can be used to address the simplest IT Projects, such as incremental updates to an Asset, or complex IT Projects, such as Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestitures.
You can always identify a good IT Project manager because he or she constantly pushes for reuse, through solutions such as IT Project Templates. In previous system everything was put together and you need to know how everything works before working with BlogWall. Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License. I often get asked how long it will take to implement a CRM system, so I though I would use this blog post to try and address that question, and I’ve included an outline project plan for guidance.
While there is a measure of contingency build into the plan it depicts a time-line it is still fairly aggressive, and doesn’t factor in some of the day to day business realities that can disrupt projects, such as key staff being unavailable, or other business priorities putting a project onto the back burner. In the above plan the development time involved is light relative to other activities, which reflects the flexibility and ease of development of the current generation of mid market CRM packages. Poor execution in the development phase can significantly extend the user acceptance testing stage .
In this plan we have a detailed requirements gathering phase before vendor selection, because we believe that makes for a more cost effective and value enhancing project. Data preparation and cleansing can be an extremely time consuming phase hence the 100 man days set out in this CRM project plan.
I suspect the time-lines I’ve described above will run counter to some of the prevailing market wisdom. Popcorn projects – as I mentioned above, some CRM deployments are simply about keeping users happy.
Vendors are not good with CRM project plans – my experience is that vendors are not good at defining or communicating how long a CRM project should take. It depends what phases you take into account – when I hear someone say they rolled out a CRM project in say 12 weeks I wonder what they mean?
I guess the final point to make is that being realistic about CRM project plans is pretty important.
Richard Boardman has worked in the CRM industry since 1995 and is founder of the independent CRM consultancy, Mareeba CRM Consulting. Progressive companies are now using predictive analytics to deliver an optimal service experience before a customer calls to complain or responds to a survey. A project is a distinct piece of work that will deliver something at the end, in my case a new WordPress blog. A year’s worth of posts to move, not to mention with all that techie stuff with servers and HTML, and learning a new blogging platform. This is really a list of all the things you can think of that need doing, organised into different areas of work. The most widely used tool for setting up your schedule is called Microsoft Project and most often a Project Manager will use a view which has the Timeline across the top, and project activities and tasks represented by bars across the page. For example, I can’t link my hosting account to my domain name until I have registered my domain name.
Communicating to your Stakeholders. Stakeholders are anyone who may have an interest in your blog, such as readers, journalists, advertisers. Just be thankful you didn’t have to sit endless Project Management Qualifications like I did, to learn these easy techniques for your blog. One of our main goals is to keep it simple which enables anyone to start working on a project plan without much difficulty.


In the new application all major parts are separated into different applications that run separately.
Each application has different level of complexity separating them make each of the cleaner.
I cover this point in more detail in a blog post called truncating the fuzzy front end, but in essence the time elapsed in considering whether to undertake a CRM project can actually dwarf the time it takes to execute once the decision is made. However, if the requirements gathering and design phases are not comprehensively and competently completed ,they are likely to significantly extend the development phase. Some vendors will skimp on, or not perform, basic internal testing which again can significantly extend the duration and cost of the stage. I think there are a couple of reasons: firstly they do a lot of popcorn projects and struggle with the rigours of a value-enhancing implementation, and secondly I suspect that undue candour about project time-lines could result in lost sales. There have been many otherwise successful CRM implementations that have been labelled a failure because they couldn’t deliver against an unachievable project plan. Based in the United Kingdom, Boardman has been involved in more than 200 CRM system implementations. In this Mastery webinar, Ernan Roman of ERDM will reveal transformational Voice of Customer research findings regarding the personalized communications that buyers expect, and how this can drive double-digit improvements in response rates and customer engagement. Join this Mastery Webinar for leading-edge thinking and examples of "predictive customer service," including how signals from the Internet of Things can predict service failures and enable the organization to be proactive. Held May 17-19 in Denver, Colorado, this event will feature powerful keynote addresses, engaging workshops, and valuable networking all aimed at driving business success through customer insights and intelligence. SCORE 2016 will feature powerful keynote addresses, engaging workshops, and valuable networking all aimed at driving business success through customer insights and intelligence.
I wrote it at a time when I had just moved my Heatheronhertravels site from a Blogger platform over to WordPress and was trying to work through all the different tasks I would need to cover.
This is different from the ongoing work you might do to improve your blog once it is set up, such as building up your readership. You can start with a blank piece of paper, writing down the different areas of activity and then breaking them down further into the smaller tasks. Other tasks can run at the same time, for example I can be choosing my WordPress theme at the same time as setting up my hosting account. An Issue is something that has affected your project and may be a problem, a Risk is something that might happen. The plan also assumes all users will go live together, which in practice may not be the case, and on-boarding will need to occur for each group going live. I discuss this in more depth in this blog post, but popcorn projects operate on much shorter time-lines. Defining sensible time-lines is therefore a key survival tool for would be project managers, teams, and owners. Attendees will also receive two special reports focused on research and best practices for CX leadership. You may find that some of these activity areas are ones you want to subcontract, such as designing or customising your theme or website.
You can see a simplified version of my Project Plan below – click to enlarge and see more detail. You can take a look at my Work Breakdown Structure below – click to enlarge and view in more detail.
An example of an Issue is that I may not have the time or skills to customise my site, but I can manage this by employing a developer to do it for me.
An example of a Risk is that I could lose my readers because they don’t know where to find my new site, but I can manage this by the communictions I do and the way I direct readers from my old site to my new site. If you look at the above project plan, then it’s pretty apparent that the phases you take into account when talking about a CRM roll will have a huge impact on the quoted duration.



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