Matt is the Director of Technology for examiner.com
Matt is on the organization committee for DrupalCon Denver – Collaborative Publishing for Every Device – and looking after the volunteers. (He’s looking – so contact him)
Matt has been involved with Drupal since 4.6.
When Matt started with Drupal – he had some programming background – but was “different” – He was nurtured by the community – sometimes harsh… sometimes bizarre… but certainly part of it… Embrace new people when they join – celebrate the differences – its worth it when we try. (well said)
Matt’s strength is project management… and examiner.com has had some big shifts in project management over the past 2 years.
Part 1 – Some moments in the history of project management
until 2700BC – project management was by necessity. The pyramids etc saw periods of productivity and rest.
1st Century BC – Marcus Vitruvius Pollio -
to this point – we didn’t know what our dependencies were – or planning for materials / labour.
Then came Henry Gantt – 1861-1919 – “Father of planning and Control Techniques” – his methodology identified dependencies and tracking time.
The process of project management we use today comes from the military – CPM and PERT – highly accurate inventory and timing…
Part 2: 3 Software Methodologies
1. “Cowboy” – great for unpredictable projects / fast / requires a lot of trust – and can lead to missed expectations and miss-communications. – Highly informal – focuses on stakeholders
2. “Waterfall” – after the project was done the examiner wanted a lot more planning and predictability. Highly formalized, focuses on requirements, inflexible, planning is frontloaded. Waterfall doesn’t work very well with Drupal projects – and there’s really no such thing as “waterfall” – there will ALWAYS be changes.
3. “Agile” – weave, move, flexible.
Whatever the approach – we NEED project management for successful outcomes.
At this point – Matt put four great testimonials from people who talk about project management.
Funny stuff – clients can be completely unreasonable… and developers speak a different language… Whatever craziness occurs during a project – it comes back to management and communication. Both the dev. and the client need to be accountable for the time spent.
Lack of planning, communication, process, focus, and difference in culture make for nightmares for us our partners.
Our job is to bring calm to the chaos. We are the cat herders… we don’t just herd developers, themers, we herd clients, owners… and they all speak different languages. Communication is the key. We keep the team from being distracted by shiny things
“Just add this one little bobble… ” Surely it can’t take that long… but its way more than that (he’s so right on this). The PM has to shelter people from all the crud. Strong communication is the key.
Manhole covers are heavy so they can’t be picked up – and they’re round because its the only shape that won’t fall into the hole. This is the role of PM.
The Agile Approach:
Examiner’s Timebox Timeline:
Matt spent some time going through their Development Calendar
Daily Scrums – what did you do in the last 24 hours, what are you doing today – what are the blocks in your way
This process creates a faster, better, more awesome development team.
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