Well before contract, we’re often faced with project inputs that are astonishingly vague. Even RFP’s that can go on for dozens of pages, often miss critical big picture details related to legacy systems, and outline comparably nebulous descriptions of new deliverables. As account, bizdev, and pm leads, if we’re crafty, and a bit lucky, we might successfully parse and interpret these documents to the point of defining a reasonably satisfactory scope of work.
Even then, with shiny contract in hand, and a kick-off date on the calendar, project starts can often engender a rather unsettling feeling! Even the most senior project stakeholders look around the room, wondering who will break the silence. How do we proceed? What are the pieces of the puzzle? How might we craft a design and development time-line that reliably captures the needs? How do we achieve our goals, and minimize risks of project failure?
“Gap analysis”, in its various forms can provide a critical conceptual organizing tool in navigating these early uncertainties on complex projects. In this talk, we discuss some case studies, big and small, and illustrate how gap analysis techniques can reduce what initially seem like intractable complexities into clean project plans. This is less about document and report generation, and more about a way of thinking about project challenges that leads to clarity.
Chris is the founder and team leader for Knectar (www.knectar.com), a 15 person web development firm based in Western Massachusetts. He specializes in advanced web site architecture, team development, technical project management. Chris has managed dozens of complex web application productions, including content management systems, enterprise level e-commerce systems, and custom API (application programming interface) designs. Clients include Harvard Medical School, Jack Daniels, Temple, Buzztala.com, MIT, among other global brands, start-ups, and universities. Chris is also the lead product designer of Piston (www.pistonapp.com), a web-based capacity management application. Chris has two kids, likes strawberries with vanilla ice cream, and 'old man jazz'.