15 Minutes of My Time
fjorge operates under a unique business model in that we are an agency whose primary audience is other agencies. With that in mind, our partners come with fully packaged projects including creative directors, designers, account managers, and project managers. They’re looking for a developer (or two) to bring their project to completion.
So, why does fjorge include project management as part of any project we participate in, no matter how large or small?
There are several reasons, and here are our top five:
We use Basecamp to keep our project information organized and collaborative. The fjorge Project Manager is responsible for keeping discussions, todos, timelines, QA feedback and meeting notes organized, so our agency partners have easy access to the project status, and our developers can find the information needed to keep the project going. Having a fjorge Project Manager means agency partners can ask us questions about the project without our developers pausing from writing glorious code in order to find the answers.
Fifteen minutes of my time saves hours of development time, because I am the hub of information so developers can keep developing.
Along the lines of communication, technology has its own language, and I’m not talking about coding languages. Developers encounter unique issues that can be difficult to explain to non-technical people. As someone with a non-technical background who’s daily life is enveloped by technical speak, my job is to help developers translate their needs and concerns in plain speak, while similarly helping to translate agency partner needs and concerns using technical references.
Fifteen minutes of my time saves hours of development time, because I remove the language barrier and prevent incorrect guesswork from becoming rework.
fjorge Project Managers are not only managers for their projects, they are managers for a specific group of 4-6 developers, which we call “pods.” Our project managers determine how our developers navigate their time, which projects they can jump on, and when they’re available for new projects. One of the greatest “uniques” fjorge has to offer is our ability to keep a project going even when the original developer on a project can’t complete the work. I have the ability to lend someone from my pod to help a project in need, or request additional developers from another pod when one of my projects become at-risk.
Fifteen minutes of my time saves hours of development time, because I can keep a project going by juggling developer schedules.
We work with interesting logistical challenges in that our timelines require a delicate balance between our agency partners’ clients’ agendas (the end client, and yes, it’s as confusing as it reads), and our obligation to ensure our developers have a constant flow of new work as projects end. In other words, our developers are scheduled for back to back projects, so when the end client requests extra time on a project, the fjorge Project Manager needs to determine
- whether kickoff for the next project needs to be pushed out
- if a different developer can wrap up the existing project, or
- if a new developer needs to be assigned to the next project.
Either way, both projects will get to the finish line with a top notch developer, but timelines and resources are constantly changing behind the scenes.
Fifteen minutes of my time saves hours of development time, because I create contingency plans so the job always gets done, when it’s needs to be done by.
Just like designers, developers seek perfection. However, in pursuit of writing perfect code the fundamental needs of a project can be overlooked, which leads to rework. This is the essence of scope creep. fjorge Project Managers tightly manage scope because in the technical field nearly anything is possible, but only scope is required.
Fifteen minutes of my time saves hours of development time, because I can prevent developers from going down the rabbit hole, and instead keep them focused on the light at the end of the tunnel.
If you’re an agency partner, know that your fjorge Project Manager is possibly your best friend on the project (even though that Keeley girl can be pretty hard-nosed, sometimes). If you’re a developer, know that your fjorge Project Manager is here to support you when you’re looking for just the right words to clear a project roadblock.