Monday, May 14, 2007

Web Project Management Best Practice

I was contacted to take part in an e-consultancy review of Online Project Management a short while ago, and received a link to their report on best practice in this area today. [UPDATE 16/05/07 - Linus Gregoriadis, Head of Research at e-consultancy, let me know I was pointing to a link for survey participants only, so - just in case you have bookmarked this, the link has now switched.]

I have to say, having skim-read the first-half, that it very much matches my experience. For instance, as a PRINCE2 qualified practitioner, I would have to agree that the PRINCE2 "exception"-led model of change management (and over-reliance on detailed specifications) can work against managing rapidly moving Web projects (where XP and other Agile methods build this into a rapid and iterative loop).

The great thing about a Web project is that you can manage the overall project with one methodology and branch off (in a controlled manner) software development, for instance, in a slightly different direction. I think it pays to be cute and take a pick-and-mix approach, rather than try to adhere to a monolithic approach, all in the name of getting things done. I don't think this has to be at the cost of losing control of time, cost, quality and associated risks; this is one of the reasons that I enjoy Basecamp as a Project Management tool: it helps me control the project while being flexible enough to stand setting up PRINCE2-type methods, controls and stages as categories.

Note: prince2 link updated on 10/03/2010 thanks to helpful comment.


J.C. said...


If you like Basecamp, I suggest you check out OnStage as well. It is similar, but fills in some of the holes that I think basecamp has.

econ said...

Hi Mark, thanks for this write-up on our project mgt survey :-) Please could you contact linus at asap. Regards

Jon said...

You should definitely give a try for online document and project management- easier to use than most and based in London!

Mark said...

Thanks jon - always keen to support local talent! I'll check out the site and see what there is on offer: if you want to leave another comment explaining the main benefits of huddle over Basecamp, it might be helpful...

Jon said...

Hi mark- basically Huddle manages more complex projects in a better way than Basecamp; from your dashboard you can view every huddle you manage or have been invited into, and you get an overview of everything going on across every project from this central place.

Also supports thumbnailing on all image or pdf files (don't think Basecamp does)

It kind of brings a more social network aspect to project management- bit more touchy-feely than other programs!

Hope it's worthwhile advice!

abycsales said... is a great new site that does a fabulous job of project management. It’s completely browser-based, really easy to use, and has a free version. Cool videos too - I love it!

CDLS-nl said...

Hi Mark,
I'm interested how you implemented Prince2 methodology in BaseCamp.
Is there a weblink to this?

Mark said...

It's some time since I did this (the company I now work for is PMI focused) - however, if I remember correctly (and as noted in the post), I set categories for the major methods, controls and stages, and then applied these categories to messages, to-dos etc. It worked up to a point (i.e. until wanting to allot multiple category dimensions - such as risk, evaluation stage). I haven't used Basecamp much over the past year, so it may well now have evolved to a stage where it is more straightforward to allocate multiple categories, and therefore use Prince 2/Basecamp as a useful tool in the project mix.

Online marketeer said...

I noticed that in this article, you have a link linking to using the text PRINCE2. I thought you probably meant to link to the official prince2 website:

It is probably more appropriate to link to, especially that APMG (the accreditation body of PRINCE2) is becoming increasingly concerned with the copyright issues in terms of domains that contain the word PRINCE2.

Out of good faith I thought you might want to know this and update the link.

best regards,

Kylie Wilson said...

To stop making avoidable mistakes in project management one can also try attending good PMP classes conducted by any of the PMI registered REP's for gainig expertise best processes of project management. Any good PMP prep course will provide students with lots of actionable insights in project management along with preparing them for PMP certification.

Mark Thristan said...

Hi Kylie,

I don't mind the advertisement (although I would point out that I do not endorse any link in the comments section), although I would prefer that you declare your affiliation in doing so...

Having said that, I am firmly in favour of PMI and PRINCE2 certifications, as well as seeing PMs follow agile certification also (such as SCRUM Master).

I should also point out that the same holds true for Business Analysts with BABOK and IREB CPRE.

Knowledgeable PMs tend to make for good PMs, and PMs who continue their learning, such as looking at how to recover failing projects, how to replicate project successes, how to handle different types of risk, and how to manage Programmes of work etc. will tend to profit from their learning.