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Project management and time management

It seems to me that, while one can manage his/her time outside of a project, it would be difficult to manage a project without managing time.

I could not imagine a project with a set of tasks, and no dates.  How can one plan without time references?

On the other end of that spectrum, if a project is late, can it still be considered successful? In some industries, being late is part of the deal, it's normal and expected. However, in other businesses, being late mean penalties and a tarnished reputation.

So, what is the most important: doing it right, or doing it on time? 

My position here would be both. It's no use delivering something on time, if it's not fully completed and functionnal. There is nothing worse for a comapny's reputation than a beta-level product released. Clients will forgive lateness to a certain extent, but they will not forgive and product that doesn't work.

However, there is a limit to a client's patience. Sometimes, when trying no to make it right, but to make it perfect, we miss […]

By |2008-02-22T14:00:00-05:002008-02-22|

How do you choose which features to include?

As any software development company will tell you, there are always more features to add to a version than there is time to implement them correctly. Hence, we face a challenge: implement more features with limited functionnality, or implement fewer features will full functionality.

It may be tempting to implement as many features as possible: spread-sheet product assessments and feature comparisons would proudly bear the YES checkmark next to all the lines in the requirement list. However, being able to say "yes, we have reports" quickly followed by the limitations of the feature is no way to win your prospective client's heart. As they use the feature, they will quickly realize that, although the feature is there, it is stripped-down and not what he or she expected.

I believe that if we are going to implement a new feature, not only should it work, but it should also be complete. It should have all the functionnality that is expected. If you can import user data, you should be able to import all user data, not just […]

By |2008-02-20T14:00:00-05:002008-02-20|

Effort is not always proportional to value

Sometimes, that new feature that took so much time and effort, that was so complicated to implement, is not important to the client. This can be heartbreaking for developers.

I've seen it often: my press release is sent for approval, and the project manager comes to me, asking why the new feature is not mentioned in the release. I see disapointment in his eyes. After all, they worked really hard to make it work. All that effort should translate into a killer feature that customers will flock to, right?

Not always. Sometimes the effort translates into something that is taken for granted by the client. Sometimes, the little-worked-on feature turns out to be the big selling point for a product.

The case of the one-client feature 

There was this product launch where the development team had implemented a very complex algorithm in the product, at the express request of a client. The client himself was very pleased with the algorithm. However, he was the only one in the market to use it: this client was such a pionneer […]

By |2008-02-18T15:56:00-05:002008-02-18|

The Defining Moment

I imagine every company has a moment like this, where its founder decides to take a leap of faith. Faith in himself, the product, and the promise of success.

For Websystems and project management software, this moment happened in the Fall of 2001. Back then, Daniel worked out of his two-bedroom appartment, and AceProject was called FreeTaskManager.

Daniel and I met when we both worked at Multitel, and lost our jobs in the post-9/11, dotcom crash layoffs. I was a technical marketing coordinator and he was a software developer. Daniel had put together AceProject’s predecessor, FreeTaskManager, and I was working with him on the interface terminology and documentation.

So it was that we both ended up jobless. The logical course of action would be to look for another job, and keep FreeTaskManager as a sideline. Or was it?

This is when the leap of faith happened. As we were working on FreeTaskManager, Daniel stopped, thinking. He said:

“Karine, do you believe in FreeTaskManager? Do you think I should focus on growing my business, instead of looking for a job?”

This was […]

By |2008-02-14T13:00:00-05:002008-02-14|

Welcome to the First Post

Hello everyone!

It’s finally here: AceProject’s community site. Not just a blog, but a user forum too. Not only do we get to talk to you, you get to talk back as well.

A Blog
In AceProject’s blog, we will talk about everything from project
management, software development, product management to marketing in a
Web 2.0 world. In essence, we want to talk about our life as a small
team making it in the great big industry of project management.

We will also have product announcements, where we  will let you know what’s brewing at Websystems.

A user forum

The forum is for you. What do you like most about AceProject? What do you
dislike about AceProject? How would you like to see the system evolve?

More than that, it’s a good way for all of us (users and creators alike) to
get to know each other and share our experience and knowledge.

Tell us what you think!
We are looking forward to hearing from you. Don’t hesitate to drop us a note.

About Websystems

Websystems is the creator of AceProject. Founded in 2001 […]

By |2008-02-12T15:00:00-05:002008-02-12|
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