Imagine Cup 2011: Creating a project plan, part 3 of a few

In my previous blog about  creating an Imagine Cup project, Imagine Cup 2011: Creating a project plan part 2 of a few.  Let’s close off the discussion about the Imagine Cup 2011 Project planning, for now, with making it real.

It only takes your imagination at this point to create a project, the project could be a game, software design, embedded systems or a digital media video or animation.  A project usually doesn’t require a magic wand, but even magic wands take time and some discipline, as you should see by now.

Our project plan requires also that you utilize and manage resources.  Understanding how to manage resources, is often refer to as “experience”.  We all want to get to the point of the Imagine Cup 2011 Party night, that’s fun and a big relief.  But it won’t be the relief of success unless you get organized now, and you will need to work with others in managing resources and people. 

For example, on Thursday and Friday, I was in a “Team” Offsite, which included planning for the new year.  Scott, my new manager, did an amazing job of getting input from the team.  I think that Scott did a great job of pulling together the team and resources.  In an Imagine Cup team, the person doing the “project management” is usually not the leader like Scott, but rather on level with the rest of the team.  Scott as a manager has to be responsible for corporate reporting your team doesn’t.  Also, trust me these Microsoft managers have so many blogs to read, it is unlikely that he read this far in my blog, so I am not kissing up.

To recap, write down your project goal as a team.  Write all of the resources you need, if you don’t know where to get it, then the Microsoft Academic Developer Evangelist or your Mentor (and you should have a Mentor) should be able to help you out.  The Microsoft person has restrictions on the assistance they can provide, but if it is related to generally where do I get this stuff, the Microsoft person can help you out.

Once you do that, get everyone to write a list of what they think needs to be done, don’t do this together, do it by email (hopefully hotmail!) back to the project manager.  The project manager should then generate a compiled list of everyone’s suggestion, no modifications.  And then a list of where the project manager has used to eliminate the duplicate items.  These items are called “work breakdowns” by some people.

In few blogs I will cover how to do assignments, set a baseline project and then track the actual time to do the work items.  All of this is important for your final presentation of your project.  

Keep reading more of my blog, as I go into how to build out a Software Design project

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