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I’ve Started So I’ll Finish… I Promise

So week 1 of my first project and the pressure is on. Proper on. As in ‘ring spasm-ingly on’. But thats cool, I can handle that.

Gulp.

How the hell can you ‘Project Manage’ a vague idea into a product? How do you start?… Well here is the thought process we (I got some help from the guys in the office cos I was blundering round like a blind dog) went through to turn the vagueness into something more solid, albeit still an idea:

  1. We (Connected) decided we wanted something. We have been calling it BIG.Toe for a long time and everyone has a sense of what it is. A window into VITES, a face to VITES.
  2. We looked at who we could sell it to – in fact – who we needed to sell it to.
  3. We came to the conclusion of marketers.
  4. We looked at who marketers were – ‘busy, non-tech etc…’
  5. We looked at what general features marketers want (note we haven’t got a product yet).
  6. We married what Big.TOE could provide to what marketers want (idea of product)
  7. We populated a list of features that agreed on this marriage (a product)
  8. We then broadly spec’d the product, which for us was mapping an interface, (note the spec was very broad indeed.)

Phew! Thanks guys we have an idea for a product! πŸ™‚

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I had a milestone to present a scope accompanied by a spec to the boss which was coming up so that was the next stage. So I took the broad spec we drew up in the thinking-meeting the day before and completely annihilated it. I owned it. I questioned every aspect of it, attempting to keep the goals of Big.TOE in mind and I did a bloody good job. I managed to reduce a multi-page spec with drill down navigation down to three (yes 3) pages, with only 4 form fields, all in the aim of applying KISS. Our clients don’t want Big.TOE to be a complicated thing to use.

As it turned out I had missed a couple of elements… but that is fine. I talked about Big.TOE to my colleagues and these holes were quickly filled in. Essentially the spec had been through a transformation and had become more refined… It was good fun that. Whapap!

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Received some advice. “Be careful with time estimations“. You’re better off saying I don’t know, give me a day (or half a day) to make an estimate then blurting one out. People will hold you to an estimate; not to the minute, but if you’re 500% off – see linked article below – then you can end up in a world of pain.

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