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Most projects we do demand quick turnaround times, however, 24 hours is more than quick, it is insane. In this discussion we will talk about the process, skills required, and project management techniques that went into building the Alpha version of GoOutside.com for the Hack4Reno event. Using a team of 3 developers, a designer and a project manager (me), we were able to produce an engaging, feature rich and award winning web application in just under 24 hours.
1. If you are ever asked to manage a project that seems impossible, mandate that you get to pick the team. This project would have never happened without all of the players on the team.
2. Be sure to have a team meeting prior to the start and define the end goal... for us, it was to win the event!
3. When time is tight... be sure you shoot for the stars, but understand that is not what the final product will be.
4. Share the load... this comes back to the discussion about the team, a good team will pick up when others are slacking.
5. Meet and check progress often.
6. Don't be afraid to crush some pipe dreams... as long as the team knows the end goal isn't jeopardized... they will no care.
7. Though not my favorite job... ensuring that you are a cheerleader for the project is a mandatory job duty for any project manager.
8. When the end is in sight but the team is producing poor quality work, make them all focus on one task and work together to complete it. This will re-energize the team and make them come back together.
9. Celebrate! A good team wants to keep working together... so celebrate.