Posted by: salpy | April 20, 2009

Project Manager’s Entry

Hi, I’m Salpy Kelian, project manager for the Infusion client project. Since I’ve already written the About section for this site, I’ll be focusing on what it was like to organize the project.

Kayla of Infusion Development had left the project fairly open ended, so it was up to me to try to narrow down our focus before we started coming up with ideas for the project. Since Kayla had emphasized that a marketing pitch would be required for each proposal, I knew the first place to start was to research where Royal Caribbean International (RCI) stood in the cruise line business. I found that they were 2nd in terms of market share – 22% compared to the 44% of the market held by Carnival Cruises. Obviously in order to attract more customers to RCI just using a Surface application would be difficult, so I tried to not only research the quantitative data, but also the qualitative aspects such as wait times on board for services. One complaint that was common on cruise lines in general was the long wait at the Purser’s desk where excursion purchasing or other financial transactions are carried out.

After putting together a seven page research document along with ten pages of appendices, I relayed my research results to the rest of my team. Eventually we decided on a Virtual Concierge as our primary project proposal, followed by the RCI Community concept as our secondary one. Once the client decided to go with the Virtual Concierge, I then had the task of listening to my team’s ideas in how the project would contain and how it would flow. Even after a few meetings where we spent quite a few hours going through what we thought we wanted, I still found that sitting down to wireframe the project took a long time. The initial “Project Map” where I laid out each movieclip required, elements and code required on each, and how each movieclip would transition to the next, took me four hours.

Event with our project map, I found later on that I had to restructure our wireframes after the designers ran into issues as they proceeded with the project. It’s a bit strange looking back at the project management binder and just how much it contains. It was my first time as a project manager and I found that there was a lot of work to be done initially in order to get things going. There was definitely a sense of pressure to get things organized and planned out so that the project had clear guidelines. Many of my personal projects were shifted to lower priority while I researched RCI and planned out project execution.

After it was all said and done, the project came together fairly nicely despite bumps along the way. As for a future in project management, I think I’m going to have to say no thank you and stick to development instead.

For those of you who are interested, I’ve posted both of the original client proposals on this blog so you can see how far we came from our inital start.

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