[UPHPU] Project Planning Software

William Attwood wattwood at gmail.com
Fri Feb 1 13:54:28 MST 2008


Diagraming objects and their relationships can easily be part of any time
estimate, and allows other developers to understand data in the future, or
you to understand an enhancement you need to make on something you diagramed
a year ago.  I usually have the first deliverable any internal-development
items, which include sandboxes, diagrams, meetings, etc. This way I can
schedule it all in, and management can understand some of the inner-workings
of their development department.

I think in "Photos" most of the time, not in words like a lot of people.
While I don't have a complete photographic memory, it is there somewhat,
which makes it difficult to understand a concept without making it a type of
object relationship in my head.  When I can document graphically what I need
to accomplish, I have a much easier time finishing the work and estimating
time frames.  This is why I dive into UML, ORM, and other flowcharts to help
me organize data, relationships, and program.

White boards are great for conceptualizing a project and brain storming
solutions with other people.  Most programmers think faster than they can
write and/or speak (moreso than normal non-programmers) due to the nature of
programming and the mindset a programmer gets in when formulating an idea
into objects and code.  White boards are a type of organizing, and are my
first step to any project.  I then take my "idea" chicken-scratched on the
white board and make any diagrams I need to, then get input from others on
those diagrams and keep going through the project process.

In regards to bidding/estimating a project, I include a lot of "unknowns" on
deliverables, items I need to dig into, and follow up in future meetings
with those items and timeframes, then add an "Unknown/Testing" portion as
it's own deliverable that is a % of the overall project.  This allows wiggle
room for anything that "comes up".

With all of the above ^^ I run into problems getting a good process down to
go from concept to working, delivered project and to communicate the entire
process to management.  That's why I'm looking for good diagramming tools
and any project planning input others have.

--Will



On Feb 1, 2008 1:38 PM, Trevyn Meyer <trevyn at esourcehome.com> wrote:

> Does extreme programming fall into this category?
>
> http://www.extremeprogramming.org/
>
> I dont see "yet" how UML diagrams ect can even exist in a marketplace
> like web development.  Especially when most customers are visionary, and
> the developers and UML people.  extreme programming, allthough I dont
> follow it completly, seems like th ebest planning tool for me.
>
> Whiteboard/document --> program,
> Whiteboard/document --> program,
> Whiteboard/document --> program,
> Whiteboard/document --> program,
> Whiteboard/document --> program,
>
> Its very hard to budget/bid on projects, but that is the art of project
> management imho
>
> Trevyn
>
>
> MilesTogoe wrote:
> > well, everyone will likely have their own approach but I think it
> > breaks down into 2 categories: data driven and whiteboardish.
> > On the data driven there are the big players: Primavera, MS Project,
> > Gnome Project, yada, yada - they require a fair amount of maintenance
> > with formal procedures - advantage being it gives you data backed
> > queries / reports.  There are probably a zillion "leaner" packages as
> > well.
> >
> > On the whiteboard side: well, if you are on Windows, it's hard to beat
> > Visio for flowcharting, displays, etc.  In fact it's the only app I
> > really miss on Linux (oh there's Dia, Kivio, etc but they really don't
> > measure up to even the pre-MS Visio).   For the most flexibility, we
> > use Inkscape.  We mockup web pages  in Inkscape (my awesome tip of the
> > year - since it's really easy to group divs and move them around,
> > recolor, change fonts, etc) and just sketch up program flow diagrams
> > the same way we would on a whiteboard.  A tablet makes this an awesome
> > productive experience.  Advantage over a real whiteboard is that the
> > diagrams can just be saved, reused, emailed around - the SVG format
> > can be simply displayed in Firefox, Safari, and Opera (and with plugin
> > on dumb & dumber IE).  Probably could view SVG on an iPhone as well
> > (that's pretty cool for communication).  And of course Inkscape
> > drawings can be easily saved to png or pdf as well.
> >
> >
> > William Attwood wrote:
> >> Hello Locals.
> >>
> >>    I'm an organizational creative.  I like to diagram flowcharts
> >> prior to
> >> tackling a project, and adjust them to meet changes as they happen.
> >> This
> >> seems to make it so management can see the project a lot easier than
> >> if I
> >> was trying to explain the code workings to them.
> >>
> >>    I am wondering, what software do you use to plan projects? Microsoft
> >> Visio for ORM/UML diagrams?  Some open-source application?
> >>
> >>    I ran across LovelyCharts based in Flex, and was surprised that it
> >> does
> >> the linking for you and "Assumes" what you mean, allowing you to
> correct
> >> that assumption if need be.  Is there other software out there that
> >> is like
> >> this or better, saving time and making the diagramming and planning
> >> process
> >> easier?  What do you use?
> >>
> >> Thanks guys
> >> --Will
> >>
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> >>
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> >>
> >>
> >
> >
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>



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