Project Management is easy. It is like riding a bike. Except the bike is on fire. You are on fire. Everything else is also on fire.
A whole set of easy looking tasks with enormous responsibilities to take care of - Yes you guessed it right, we are talking about "Project Management" - a task which seems easy to everybody else but to the one who is doing it. While the main intention of project management is to complete the project with less struggle and to deliver it within the budget and on time, not everybody has an idea about how much planning, strategizing and communication it involves.
The other day I was curious about what Drupal.org has to say on project management. Nothing less than a bible for all Drupal developers, I was sure to find something of my interest for a Drupal project management, & I was not surprised to find a set of Drupal Project Management Tools (a suite containing several components, structured as Drupal modules) But what left me wondering was, are these tools and project modules enough to achieve a Drupal project's goal. As a Drupal project manager, tools are just not enough to bring the scope of a Drupal project to completion. From Drupal website design to development and maintenance, there is a lot more to Drupal Project Management and it is certainly not one of those tools.
Irrespective of your approach or methodology and the type of project to be handled, Drupal requires preparation. From objectives or goals to the time frames, you need to be quite clear with what the client requires and this is possible only if you and your client are on the same page. Inputs from your team who are experts in Drupal will be your trump card in the process of planning and preparation. This will not only enable you to come up with better time frames, you would also be able to know the prerequisites, inter dependencies and the work condition.
Never fail to miss critical inputs irrespective of how small they are to the Drupal project. You might end up missing something valuable.
Always keep the communication lines open. It might be from your team, the client or even the end user, every input is important. Though the inputs might not be from a Drupal expert, it might still be something which you could have missed or you don't even have a clue about. This type of open communication makes managing your Drupal project easy as the success entirely depends on this. Good communication allows you to discuss challenges, roadblocks, and risks associated with your Drupal project, which in turn helps you focus better on your goal.
Prepare for the Change
A Drupal project requires you to keep your Drupal developers busy, and at the same time keep stakeholders happy as well. No matter how big or small your Drupal project is, changes are certain. Some of these changes might be tiny little ones while the others can add up to more than what you initially thought would be. Thus it is very important that a balance between flexibility of your resources and the changes associated with it is maintained so that the work flow is not disturbed.
But before taking the risk, it is important to analyze whether these changes are significant enough in your process to achieve the target. A key question in mind would always be; are the changes really necessary?
Transparency = 90% of Drupal Project Management
You need to ensure that there is a high level of transparency between your client, the core team, and the extended project team. One way of doing this is by keeping them proactively in a loop. This corroborates trust building and open communication between the team members. For example, if there is a delay in your Drupal project, let the client know about it! Never end up in a place where they come looking for you.
Take Feedbacks Seriously
Never be reluctant to receive feedback from anybody related to your Drupal Project. Feedbacks are the steps to improvement & we all need people who can give us such feedback. Feedback helps you realize your mistakes and learn ways to tackle them going further. Such constructive criticism helps in stabilizing the project before it goes off the deck completely. What is better than staying one step ahead from yesterday and performing in a superior way?
The bad news is time flies. The good news is you are the pilot - Michael Altahuler
Time management is the most important factor of a Drupal project. But before you even jump into the pit and start juggling with multiple tasks to ensure you manage everyone else's time, you better be good at managing your own time! And the good news in a Drupal project is that everything can be broken into smaller tasks for you and your team. Irrespective of its size, breaking down your project into smaller tasks helps your team to visualize and focus in a better manner.
On a global scale, Drupal project management is on a completely different level as you deal with global challenges and competition. Thus, time management becomes a complex issue to deal with, and this is when you need to avoid complicated unknown schedules and tasks. Keep it simple and keep it real.
Add Some Life
Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is a success. - Henry Ford
Teamwork is by far the best possible way to handle any hassles in your Drupal project. Bond with your team, take a day or two out from the busy schedule to do something fun. Research has proved that such activities help people work more efficiently on a project. As a matter of fact,Drupal development companies around the world conduct Drupal cons and Drupal meetings to create a bonding between developers from around the globe.