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Collaborative Web Development: Strategies and Best Practices for Web Teams (book and cd rom) Paperback – 21 Sep 1999
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In Collaborative Web Development, author Jessica Burdman shares the successful secrets of managing a web project, including collaboration, communication, and budgeting. The book provides many case studies of both successful and unsuccessful Web sites, and will help web-project managers pick and manage their web teams so they can sell their projects and needs to executive managers. The ultimate goal of this book is to make a "level playing ground," offering a similar vocabulary for developers, marketing people, and IT managers, so everyone is "bought in" to the Web project.
From the Back Cover
Developing an effective and successful presence on the Web is a requirement for all organizations. As the Web has matured, the development and management of sites has become increasingly complex. Today, Web site development requires the close collaboration of diverse professionals such as programmers, interactive designers and engineers, animators, videographers, writers, marketers, and businesspeople--all working within a highly coordinated and structured development process.
Written by a leader in Web development methodologies and processes, Collaborative Web Development brings structure and sanity to what is often an overwhelming and chaotic process. Drawing on the front-line experiences of practicing professionals and numerous real-world case studies, the author will help you get a handle on the issues and challenges you face, with proven strategies for effective coordination among team members and clients, a smooth development process, and a successful end result.
You will find in-depth discussions on crucial topics such as:
- Working with clients to determine the goals and scope of a project
- Pulling together an effective team
- Developing a Web Site Development Cycle that is appropriate for your project
- Planning the project, establishing procedures, and setting a timeline
- Communicating effectively with team members and clients
- Managing the client relationship
- Balancing scope and technical sophistication with cost and time constraints
- Managing large-scale Web sites
- Meeting quality assurance standards for Web projects
So that you can benefit from the experiences of those who have been through the process, this book includes concise interviews with accomplished Web site managers and developers who reveal valuable insights and practical suggestions for successful Web site development.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Maybe the book could be useful to people who have absolutely no experience in working with companies that have a web site, but there's got to be better stuff out there.
I would NOT recommend Collaborative Web Development for anyone who has any bit of experience in project managing for the web.
As new dot.coms joing the late-2000 not.coms, it's becoming more and more obvious that parts of the Web development industry are remarkably badly run. The stories of mismanagement at Boo.com were just the start. After ditching a quarter of its staff, Iam.com has sued its Web development firm, Razorfish, for producing an unusable site. Ex-employees of Digital Entertainment Network are swapping tales about the weirdness of trying to get anything done there. Web sites need to be managed, and the evidence suggests the task is harder than it appears.
Why so tough? Analysts often claim that the defining characteristic of Web project management is speed - that famous "Internet time" we heard so much about before the April 2000 tech-wreck.
But Jessica Burdman doubts that time is the essence of the Web development challenge. She notes the often similarly aggressive schedules in fields like software creation. (She could just as easily cite television and print production guidelines.)
Burdman's book suggests instead that the central challenge of Web development is the sheer breadth of the Web development task. That task encompasses everything from application programming to direct marketing copywriting to Internet security to video production. The people who perform these tasks will arrive with different backgrounds, different expectations, different requirements for a work environment. Burdman expands on 20 different types of core, extended and special team members. One site manager comments to her that development managers "become more like an orchestra conductor than a project manager".
In smaller projects - typical of the environment in Australia, from where I'm writing - team members must often play multiple roles. That elevates the demands both on the assembler of the team, and on the team members themselves.
The diverse nature of the Web team also poses a substantial communications challenge. In a family, notes Burdman, everyone can communicate almost intuitively. The same holds for families of designers, programmers or sales professionals. Assemble people from these different families for a project, and the non-verbal, implied communication must be reconstructed.
But the broad nature of the Web team brings rewards as well. In a world of narrow specialisation, Web development provides a rare haven for the talented generalist who can think in structures and processes.
And if your project involves high-level coding, your development team will contain a rich pool of structured intelligences - good programmers, who can bring rich insights to a project. Burdman quotes one technology director as saying that "(software) engineers must participate in every step of the process ... They're smart people and if you have them all in the room, great things can happen."
If you're new to Web project management, then Burdman provides an informal checklist for managing Web projects. Her book whisks you across the little-mapped territory of Web project management in just over 200 pages. And it concentrates on the team-intensive aspects of the task, which necessarily occur later in the development cycle.
Burdman spent time as a technical writer before she "stumbled into Web project management". Perhaps as a result, her book suffers a little from the classic shortcoming of the technical writer's product: overview without authority. A better book might not only list the challenges, but draw attention to the challenges that matter most. A better book might draw less on the author's small group of sometimes disorganised-sounding friends. A better book might embrace more fully the rigor of established fields like software development, where effective methodologies such as use cases have grown up over time. A better book might avoid telling slips, such as calling "requirements" a layman's term for "specifications". A better book might even include higher-quality documentation templates than the lightweight efforts on this volume's obligatory CD.
But if you're wondering why Web development management seems so tough, there are worse places to start.
In the past, project handling is such a kind of management skill, however, the author agrees that working in advertisement and IT industries are perfectly merits as being a web-tech project manager, they need a quick thought and fast response, especially those have technical knowledge. Sometimes, some managerial guys do not understand the feasability and difficulty on the implementation indeed...^_^.
For this book,it converys a message how to conduct web project management in a concise way. 1) How to deal with your members? Their skillsets? 2) How to negotiate with your clients?(The most important point is that how can you "fix" the project scope/requirement instead of let it extending continuously. Many projects become endless due to their contract has not been explicitly signed and the requirement is not completedly collected. Of course, it needs changes but author suggests us to put the extra stuff to next phrase. REMEMBER: target on deadline and cost) 3) How to break down your tasks? 4) How to convey appropriate documents/contracts/schedules?
Arrr...there are some examples to demostrate the project management techniques as well, to show whether it is good or not.
A comprehensive web project management guide for me..but in fact, when I go to [...] to take the project manager exam, I think I need to dig into more theories for project management, then I intend to buy a more serious management book instead.
For me, I learn a lot from this book and it helps me how to understand some management routines. Of course, there are still many unexpected events during the project cycles. As the book mention and suggest... Being a project manager, you need to be... 1) Get a cool-headed mind. 2) Be humorous 3) Well-Organised 4) Good Communication with others.
Those sentences are still on my mind.