Project Management

Articles that span all aspects of project management. Not only the how to but the lessons learned depending on the discipline.

Drupal Strategist

I am currently providing Drupal services on two Drupal sites. The tasks performed have included:

  • Drupal configuration
  • Drupal development strategies
  • Client training
  • Testing and Troubleshooting
  • Developer management
  • Planning and defining custom code requirements and logic
Client: 
QED Group, LLC
Role: 
Drupal Strategist
Status: 
Open
Start: 
2011.11
End: 
Present
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
Sections: 

Dumbarton United Methodist Church Site

On this project, my role was to develop a Drupal site for Dumbarton United Methodist Church. Tasks included:

  • Submit a proposal
  • Collect requirements
  • Create wireframes
  • Capture the design from the client
  • Coordinate theme development
  • Coordinate logo development
  • Coordinate hosting services
  • Develop the site
  • Develop banner images
  • Work with server techs to configure server to support Drupal
  • Design and deliver Drupal training sessions
  • Coordinate logo design and development
Client: 
Dumbarton United Methodist Church
Role: 
Planner (IA, UX), Builder, Trainer
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2010.05
End: 
2010.08
Platform: 
Web-Drupal

Sections: 
Technology: 

The Legal Balance Fee-based Community Site

After experiencing some challenges with a Drupal developer, the owner of TheLegalBalance.com looked for a new developer. I was hired to take the existing theme design and make it the Drupal fee-base community she wanted.

My role included

Client: 
The Legal Balance
Role: 
Web planner, builder, implementor
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2009.07
End: 
2009.11
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
Sections: 
Technology: 

KDMD Portal Implementation

The USAID Knowledge Driven Microenterprise Development (KDMD) Portal is a Drupal-based portal of sites built on Drupal 6.x. My role with the QED Group included both liaising with QED’s web development vendor during the site development process and helping to build internal Drupal capacity among the KDMD team.

Responsibilities included

Client: 
QED Group LLC
Role: 
Requirements Analyst and Technical Assistant
Status: 
Open
Start: 
2009.08
End: 
2010.05
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
Sections: 
Technology: 

EG Learning Center Implementation Support

The QED Group contracted with me to help them with this Drupal implementation project. For this project I was asked to assess a site they had received from their developer and then help them bring the project to launch. My tasks included

Client: 
QED Group LLC
Role: 
Requirements Analyst and Task Leader
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2009.09
End: 
2009.11
Platform: 
Web-Drupal
Sections: 
Technology: 

Drupal Roles: Wearing Multiple Hats

If you do a search for Drupal jobs, the most common jobs listed are Drupal developer, Drupal themer, and Drupal designer. If you look at the skills required for each, they say basically the same thing: HTML, CSS, PHP, SQL, and Drupal experience. If the job is graphic, you might see additional requirements such as Photoshop, Flash, etc. I wonder what the person will be doing in these jobs. Is a developer the same as a coder or is a developer the person who builds the Drupal site?

Building a Certification Program

Most of us have either heard of someone being certified to do something or maybe we have been through a certification process ourselves. Depending on the certification, the process could be to simply take a test. Or, it could be more involved such as to include one or more of the following: multiple exams, training, education degrees, experience, recommendations, and demonstration projects.

Building a Dynamic Workplace with Cross-Training

What is cross-training? I use this term to describe a management approach I tried as a Project Control Manager for TRW. A project control manager is responsible for managing the financial books of a government contract. The number of staff in this type of office is often limited in order to keep total project costs down. They are typically delegated to specific business tasks, enabling each member of the staff to become very good at what they do.

Instructional Design versus Building Online Courses

When we are given a tool that makes the development of online learning easier for the novice, we risk loosing the power of the design process. The temptation to open the course shell in Blackboard, for example, and start adding sections, items, folders, documents, etc. can be overwhelming. Add to this temptation the fact that the course is already being delivered in the classroom, why bother with design? Or, the belief that the if the classroom course is using Blackboard to host its classroom materials, then taking the course online is a snap, so why design?

Joint Application Design Workshop

As a PEC, Inc. employee, I was asked to design, develop, and deliver a JAD workshop for the Administrative Office of the US Courts' Project Management Education Series. The JAD (Joint Application Development ) techniques was developed by IBM in the late 1970’s. Since then, it has been considered to be one of the “best practices” for:

Client: 
Administrative Office of the US Courts
Role: 
Instructional Designer, Developer, Instructor, and SME
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2002.01
End: 
2002.01
Platform: 
Classroom

Sections: 

SEPG Training Management Database

As an employee of TRW on the FAA-ASD/SETA project, I supported the FAA Software Engineering Process Group responsible for training FAA employees in software engineering to support software engineering process improvement by offering software engineering courses to the FAA that support the CMM. The coordination and reporting requirements were such that a database was required to stay on schedule and ensure quality support.

Client: 
Federal Aviation Administration
Role: 
Database Designer, Developer, Implementor
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
1996
End: 
1997
Platform: 
Desktop

Sections: 

FAA NAS Architecture Cost Database

During a critical evaluation of the FAA by Congress, TRW was instrumental in helping the FAA create a National Airspace System (NAS) Architecture that address the concerns of all involved. As part of this effort, two types of databases were created: engineering and cost. The engineering databases held information about the systems. Each version of the database comprised a different systems configuration in an effort find the most appropriate. The cost databases mirrored the engineering databases with the applicable costs for the configuration.

Client: 
Federal Aviation Administration
Role: 
Acting Information Systems Manager for TRW
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
1995
End: 
1995

Sections: 

Online Instructional Development in Higher Ed

In brick-and-mortar higher education institutions, where online learning is a grass roots effort, the quality of the course is dependent upon the professor/instructor. In other words, online environments quite often mirror classroom environments. A good classroom environment often translates to a reasonable online experience as well. The professors who put as much energy into their ability to teach and create quality instructional strategies, as they do their research, quite often deliver a better learning experience.

A Drupal Life-cycle

The process of Drupal web design has moved to the front of my thoughts recently. I am not necessarily talking about the graphic design but instead the information architecture component of the design. I started thinking about how much has changed since I was creating basic HTML sites. What constituted planning back then seems a far cry from what is needed for a content management system (CMS) where the number of pages can be significantly larger.

PMP Study Guide Sessions

The client wished for his staff to work towards Project Management Professional Certification. I proposed a series of lunch time study sessions designed to explore the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Body of Knowledge in preparation for the Project Management Professional exam. The structure of the sessions was designed to allow the participants of the sessions to practice the principles of project management in context with their own project management needs.

Client: 
The Mills
Role: 
Instructional Designer, Developer, Instructor, SME
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2005.05
End: 
2005.08
Platform: 
Classroom
Sections: 

Project Management Course: Advanced

I designed, developed, and delivered EDIT573 Project Management: Advanced for George Mason University's Graduate School of Education.

This course focused on the tool, Microsoft Project 2000, and how it supports the planning, execution, and closure processes of project management. Upon completion of the course, the learner will have a sense that project management involves a multitude of skills. Given the course text, lessons, and activities, students should be able to

Client: 
George Mason University, Graduate School of Education
Role: 
Instructional Designer, Developer, Instructor, SME
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2003.00
End: 
2004.00
Platform: 
Blended
Sections: 

Project Management Course: Basic

I designed, developed, and delivered EDIT573 Project Management: Basic for George Mason University's Graduate School of Education.

The goal of this course was to provide a basic understanding of Project Management as it relates to the development of interactive multimedia instructional (IMI) projects. This course introduced learners to basic project management principles and theories.

Client: 
George Mason University, Graduate School of Education
Role: 
Instructional Designer, Developer, Instructor, SME
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2003.00
End: 
2004.00
Platform: 
Classroom
Sections: 

Velocity Tool Training

This was a classroom training for the web-based Velocity tool, a project management system providing a multi-user environment with real-time data updates so that anyone in the company can instantly see the modifications carried out by others. The tool supported functionality for all phases of project management – including working with the project, working with the project schedule, requesting resources, and managing project costs.

I was responsible for:

Client: 
Nextel
Role: 
Instructional Designer and Developer
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2004.05
End: 
2005.02
Platform: 
Classroom

Sections: 

MSU Non-Traditional System

MSU partnered with Jenzabar to create a system to manage non-traditional training events. In other words, non-credit courses. Multiple departments within MSU were vested in the effort. MSU Global, as a leader in developing and delivering non-credit courses, was the lead in determining the requirements for the system.

As requirements and testing task leader, I was the technical liaison between MSU Global and the technology departments responsible for the development of the system. As technical liaison, my duties included:

Client: 
MSU
Role: 
Requirements Analyst and Task Leader
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2006.09
End: 
2007.06
Platform: 
Client/Server

Sections: 

International Business Certification

This project started as an instructional design consult. The project was to develop instructional resources that support the classroom instructor and students. The resources included:

  • Readings and Resources
  • Activities and Assessments
  • Presentation slides
  • Glossary

I was tasked to provide instructional design assistance as needed to the project manager and subject matter experts. I later took over as project manager to complete the project. When the products were ready, I provided information for the web site that hosts the materials.

Client: 
MSU Global
Role: 
Project Manager and Instructional Designer
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2004.08
End: 
2007.09
Platform: 
Online
Sections: 

Customer Relationship Management System Upgrade

The goal of this project was to upgrade MSU Global's customer relationship management system from Maximizer to whatever would fit their needs best and stay within budget. My responsibilities were to:

Client: 
MSU Global
Role: 
Project Manager, Info Architect, Systems Analyst
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2007.03
End: 
2008.02
Platform: 
Client/Server

Sections: 

WEMS for GMU IT Training

As an employee of George Mason University, I was asked to create a database that could be used to track the statistics associated with services offered by unit within the Department of Instructional Technology (DoIT). To make a long story short, I designed and coordinated the development of WEMS (workshop, walkins, events, equipment, and evaluation/survey management system).

Client: 
George Mason University Department of Instuctional Technology
Role: 
Sr. Instructional Design and Dept Webmaster
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
1999.03
End: 
2000.06
Platform: 
Web-ColdFusion
Sections: 

Citizen Planner Online Program

The Citizen Planner online program covers the core tasks associated with being a Planning Official. The online program started as a project to convert classroom based lectures into online modules.
The program is made up of seven independent study online modules. Each module has four to eight units with an anticipated completion time of 1 hour. The seven modules and their units are sequenced to allow learning to build and expand from one module to the next. The program has since been expanded to include five special topics modules currently in development.

Client: 
MSU Land Policy Institute Extension Office
Role: 
Project Manager, Instructional Designer, SME, Author
Status: 
Closed
Start: 
2004.09
End: 
2009.12
Platform: 
Online

Sections: 

Requirements and Change Requests


"Bring me a rock, please."

Ever get the feeling that you are being asked to deliver a product or work that has not been completely defined? You assume you know what a rock looks like based on basic information provided. You find it and paint it, only to find the client wanted a small round rock painted red, not the large square rock stained blue you assumed was needed.

Instructional D3 Models

Instructional designers today often refer to the ADDIE model when describing the phases of instructional design and development. My experience analyzing, designing, developing, and delivering courses, workshops, and training events tells me that the simplisty of this model gives an impression that the Instructional D3 discipline is routine.

The following topics help illustrate the complexity of Instructional D3.

Sections: