So recently I decided to get a company in india, brickwork, to do some of the boring bits of a project for me. It mostly consisted of doing research into affiliate programmes. There has been some confusion but I think that we are getting there. Considering I paid for 5 hours labour I think that they have ended up doing about twenty for me. Still waiting on the final results so we shall see.
The key to it all; say exactly what you need them to do. If there is a process go through it literally click by click. Do not assume anything, if you are coder then imagine writing a script to do the job with decision points clearly highlighted along the way.
I'll update when I've got the final results back, hopefully they will make more sense this time.
I've been thinking about this having done lots of it recently on a project with a lot of scrutiny on it. Reporting daily is tedious in the extreme.
Secondly it was via email and Excel, the horror. If there is one indication that you are doing something the wrong way that is it.
If your dealing with multiple projects this get old very very quickly.
So I've been thinking about something that that can send out reports for me, more importantly that lets people subscribe to the information that actually matters to them. This information shouldn't be spread out in various emails and files scattered about the place.
Do I have a solution, no do I hell but I'll keep thinking about it. Tell you one thing though tools like mingle aren't the way forward.
At some point an agile thing (developer, project, business, whatever really) interfaces with something else. This is hard. Oh and its boring, its boring because you have to keep repeating the same ideas until they stick. And then un-stick them and re-explain because the wrong ideas has suck.
An electronic engineer would call this an impedance miss match.
The standard , solution to this seems to be to preach, oh sorry educate what ever is on the other side of the interface. The essential problem with this is that unless the entire work decided to be agile there will always be an interface. So we need a way to deal with it that doesn't involve conversion.
Oh and to be honest wile we think that its the most important thing in the word, err, no one else gives a damn.
They would mostly just like it to work please, soon if possible.
So how can we avoid going nuts repeating ourselves. Simple, get someone else to do it for you. Absolutely insist that someone from the other side of the interface is involved in the agile thing you are doing.
They can then go and explain what is going on for you, thus preserving your sanity.
Oh and your going to fail if you don't have it.
Every one who knows me knows that I've always got a next great plan or something I'm going t o build normally based on a book that I've just read. Well I'm reading a lot at the moment and a bunch of ideas are rattling around in my head. Most of them are to do with Project Management and communicating progress and status to people outside the project.
Email is not the answer nor is Excel. As a very good developer said to me the other day "If your using excel, your doing it wrong"
When the idea is fully formed I'll write more on it.