Web Project Management: Delivering Successful Commercial Web Sites Review

Web Project Management: Delivering Successful Commercial Web Sites
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This book is not about project management.In fact, someone versed in the Project Management Institute's Project Management Body of Knowledge will cringe at some of the statements made in the book (more about that below).It is, however, about delivering successful commercial web sites and it provides the best approach I have ever seen.
Here are some of the things that make this not only unique, but the most authoritative book I have read on the subject:
(1) It is not an IT centric book that focuses on technical issues. The author brings to the forefront the real critical success factors in the form of four equal sets of requirements:commercial, creative, content and technical.In 2000 I was a member of a multi-million dollar dot com project team for a large international company, and from that experience I totally agree with the author's view.
(2)The author manages to balance the time-to-market pressures that permeate commercial web projects with the by-the-numbers method imposed by IT.As such, this book addresses the development life cycle from inception to production by aligning implementation to development life cycle stages. It manages to accomplish this and still cut the project's cycle time by removing any fluff.What is fluff?The tons of non-essential paperwork produced by some of the larger consulting companies.What is not missing are the essentials, as evidenced by the repeated emphasis on testing, the attention given to configuration and change management, and the realities of post-implementation support.These are extremely important and are too often overlooked.
(3) The project controls that are proposed in this book are exceptional.While the author muddles through stuff like the proper definition of critical path, he shows how to effectively control a project by managing to deliverables.Contrast this with the common mistake of managing to a schedule and you will see the real effectiveness of his methods.So, while he misses the mark on some project management fundamentals, he sure makes up for it in pragmatism.He also makes up for his "transgressions" by laying out a project roadmap that, if followed, will guarantee success. If we project management "purists" lighten up a bit while reading this stuff we might learn a trick or two.
The big surprise is the author is not an IT professional - his background is TV producer! Or, perhaps it's not a surprise at all considering the fact that there is no room for failure or missed production schedules in the TV industry, while the IT profession is notorious for massive schedule and cost overruns.What impressed me greatly is the wide range of technical issues that are addressed:browser compatibility, content formats, scripting languages, etc.For someone without an IT background the author demonstrates a solid grasp of real-life issues and gotchas.
Those of us in IT need to carefully read the parts that address creative and content management.We are used to working with technical peers from vendors - working with copywriters and artists requires a wholly different way of interacting and communicating.Moreover, content needs to be treated in an entirely different matter than data, and it also comes with an array of legal issues that we are not trained to think about.
What I discovered , despite my previous involvement with a commercial web project, is there are so many factors I had never considered prior to reading this book that most projects are flying blind.As such, this book should be read by every team member, creative, content (artists and copywriters), technical, legal and commercial (marketing)*before* undertaking such a project.This will ensure that the entire team sees the big picture and understands the complex interrelationships, and all issues and factors are addressed.Mr. Friedlein deserves the highest accolades for making what I believe to be the most significant contribution to this field. My only regret is that I am limited to 5 stars.

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Product Description:
Web Project Management presents a solid Web project management method for building commercial Web sites.Developed by pres.co, a leading interactive agency, this refined eight-stage approach lets you closely manage your project's contributors, quality, costs, and schedules.Importantly, the book also details how to define, measure and understand the success of your project on an ongoing basis.This book is an indispensable resource, whether you are a project manager, online manager, Web director, consultant or producer.

* Includes insider tips from the perspective of the world's leading Web developers.
* Focuses on project management as it relates to e-commerce.
* Teaches you to organize and put together a team, develop goals, manage schedules and budgets, overcome pitfalls, maintain, evaluate and evolve a commercial Web presence.
* Includes an introduction to the key principles of Web project management and a case study of the Channel 5 Web site-a popular project managed by the author.
* Provides templates, via a companion Web site, that you can use to develop your own project documentation, a discussion forum, links to related sites, a glossary of terms, a database of useful white papers, and an Internet knowledge quiz.

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