IS480 Team wiki: 2012T1 Timber Werkz LearningExp

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TW developed by.jpg

The IS480 project - a challenging yet rewarding journey for us!

Building this platform not only required a great deal of commitment from our members, but also the invaluable support and advice provided by our client (Oak3 Films Pte Ltd) and our Project Supervisor (Professor Benjamin Gan). Our team is also extremely grateful for the participants who were involved in our user tests as well.

This is a summary of what we've gained during the course of the project:

  • Project management skills
  • Change requests management
  • Technical development skills
  • Conducting usability tests and managing user feedback
  • Communication skills (i.e. collaboration with team & negotiating with the client) and;
  • last but not least, the friendships and bonds that were built as we toiled hard and supported each other =)
~ Team TimberWerkz

Mid Term Reflections

Member Reflections Member Reflections
  • Managing the trade-off between project scope and constraints (i.e. time available and manpower) as there were at least 2 major scope changes
  • Had to prioritise tasks effectively at hand and communicate them to the team so that deadlines are met
  • Learnt the importance of engaging with actual users to ensure that the system is designed according to their expectations
  • Keep the design of new features consistent with existing conventions to reduce users' learning curve in using the feature
  • Realised that getting real users has more effective and accurate results than getting testers to "act" as a particular test role
  • Learnt to analyse the issues and proposing appropriate solutions to the results from the Usability Test
  • Learnt the importance of client management i.e. managing their expectations of final deliverables and, making sure that requested changes are clearly stated and understood by client
  • Understood more about javascript and jquery development while implementing tooltips
  • Felt that good communication with the client is critical so as to develop application to their expectations (i.e. understanding their requirements, clarifying business processes)
  • Gained deeper understanding about good UI practices (e.g. placement/colour of buttons, layout etc)
  • Managing and prioritising change requests is critical to keep project on schedule
  • Everyone is pretty new to each other; in fact, some of us are working together for the first time. Learn to make use of each other’s strengths and weaknesses when certain help is needed
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Finals Reflections

Member Reflections Member Reflections
  • It was a rewarding experience to be a Project Manager for a project that involves real clients and business requirements

  • Learnt to be more flexible (especially with the valuable feedback from the client) and to prioritize and make changes according to the schedule and time limitation.
  • Better understood how to manage the expectations of the clients; and to negotiate and justify our ideas.

  • Also learnt to communicate and explain the consequences of change requests raised to allow the client to have a better perspective
  • Understood the real value of user testing because what developers see and what the users experience is totally different

  • With that, we have to learn how to balance the testers feedbacks with the original functions the client is looking out for
  • I've enjoyed myself in this journey, not only have I gained skills in developing in PHP but learning to complement each other as well!

  • Picked up other interesting skills e.g. video editing (doing voice overs, animating videos etc)
  • Learnt to analyze and understand client’s requirements and create a system that will aid in their business processes

  • Understood the importance of questioning and seeking the right answers in terms of what the client wants; and think through to see whether it will be useful if implemented
  • It was a good experience working with the client as I get to understand better about how to manage change requests and the significance of User Tests

  • Team dynamics is really important to carry us through tough times; and I'm grateful that all of us were willing to help each other out during our busy periods of Weeks 12 - 15 in SMU!
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Future Improvements

What we could have done better... in future!

  • Project Management
  • Schedule Metric
  • The "Remaining Effort" Line in the Burn Down Chart can be tweaked to form a curve based on the past trends of Burn Down Charts as shown:
  • TW BurnDownChart.png
  • Our team's Burn Down Charts typically start with a huge gap at the beginning since we included buffer time in each sprint for change requests and other unforeseen circumstances. Hence, by comparing remaining efforts required to the remaining time available in the form of a curve, it allows us to detect any schedule delay early.
  • Refer to the current burn down chart here.

  • Change Request Management
  • Gather statistics & display them graphically using the following data:
  1. No. of Change Requests Raised
  2. No. of Requests Implemented
  3. No. of Requests Placed On Hold/Not Implemented
  • This will allow our team to monitor change requests more effectively
  • It can also be used as a tool for the client to be kept informed and updated

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