Econsultancy Web Project Management Training - Course Review

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By Guy Levine
on 16/10/09

I have just attended the Web Project Management Training course ran by Denis Howlett in Manchester and thought I would do a mini review. I think it’s important for any SEO company to do ‘business’ training as well as digital marketing training, especially when it is skills that are used to keep clients happy and projects on time.

From first look, the training materials were outstanding, as well as the Econsultancy brand. There was a thick wadge of advertising material, a workbook/print out of the slides and a branded notebook which i liked so much I tweeted about it. Denis the trainer was really friendly and warmed us all up really well.

So to the content

The first section was around the difference between old school traditional project management and funky new Agile methods. It was really good to see how all the methodologies worked, and the real outcome was to use a bit of both. We then went on to talk about what causes web projects to succeed or fail. A fair bit of this was aimed towards more IT lead projects with more complex development requirements but was interesting to know all the same.

Functional Specifications were something we also looked at, which were ultimately a list of all the things the project must do and a place to tick them when done. Simple technology but it just makes sure all the functionality is accounted for.

We then spoke about Agile, Lean Manufacturing, Extreme Programming and Scurms. As a side note, we have embraced quite a lot of Lean/Agile at Web Marketing Advisor, using policy deployment for our business planning and daily Scrums to keep on top of internal communication, so it was interesting to see project management tools.

Estimating, prioritising and planning for contingencies were also covered. This was quite interesting as it allowed us to see some really useful tools to ensure projects were managed well. It also seemed that it was these 3 elements which could make or break a project.

Dennis also covered some really cool online tools which could be used to help with project management.

So what did i really think?

I had a good day. The content of the course and the quality of the material/trainer were top notch. The course was quite heavy on theory in the morning but i suppose some theory needed to be covered so we could understand. It was definitely aimed quite nicely a companies who do web development as opposed to us digital marketers who are working with clients who want a set result with us generating the project spec. I also think that the course was more of an introduction to project management than the definitive course. It would have been nice to get some templates or process flows which we could use or implement straight away.

It was definitely a day well spent, but for me was a series of good tips and light bulb moments as opposed to a real practical guide on planning projects. I also remember thinking it was aimed at running projects for clients and not running and managing multiple internal projects.

If you have been on the course or have any tips on project management, let us know!