Digital Media

Monday, January 15, 2007

Web team roles by Thomas J. Shelford and Gregory A. Remillard

Did anyone else get the feeling they were reading a fortune cookie or a horoscope while reading this?

The developer: "Thrives on mental challenges, brainteasers, and puzzles - the more difficult and convoluted the better."
"The tech lead is your savior and friend. Cherish this person always and keep him or her close."

But seriously, this chapter was insightful. The number of roles listed far exceeds anything that my company has. I think everyone wears two or three hats as far as our Web site goes.

I appreciated the emphasis on communication placed on the project manager. Communication is so important, but it's hard to realize how important until it breaks down. Problems get exponentially larger and can prevent the project from being completed. It's also important to check in with members of the team to make sure things are going smoothly so that if they are not, there is time to deal with it. This is especially true in my newspaper job because deadlines that are so tight. I tend to procrastinate a lot, but I have found that procrastination is not an option when you're trying to keep track of 20 different stories and seven different pages at once. If I don't do something now, it won't get done.

On the receiving end of communications, I know how frustrating it is to feel like you're not quite in the loop because an editor didn't retransmit all of the information you need to know to do your work. If you don't know what you're supposed to be doing, how can you do it? I have had to learn to be very proactive when it comes to understanding the processes of my work.

This chapter also reflects the likelihood of team members requesting multiple tweaks and other favors from designers and developers without going through the project manager. While this is probably fine once in awhile, it should not become a habit because, as the author says, the designer and developer become distracted from the work they are doing and might not be able to meet their own deadlines. If the project manager is informed of the requests, it helps the designers and developers out because the project manager knows they have additional work to do and may be able to shift the schedule to accommodate those changes.

I can also see the importance of including members of the team early on in the process so everyone understands the expectations for the project and is not surprised by anything later on.

This quarter I would like to get experience that will help me to be a project manager. This chapter really makes it apparent that so much of the project manager's responsibilities include communicating with the team. To be able to do that, the project manager must know what is going on herself. This requires good organizational skills, something that I could definitely improve upon. So hopefully I will get better at that this quarter as well. I am also interested in the techniques for planning a project such as the white board session and diagrams mentioned in the chapter. I would also like to have a better sense of the roles of others on the team. While this chapter was a good introduction I feel like I could still learn a lot more.


  • I like the relation to a "horoscope" description...similar to those, there is some truth and useful insight to each description :)

    By Blogger Stephanie Wilder, at 1/16/2007 7:36 PM  

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