The first thing on my plate is to build an existing client a new project management application. This client has a very process driven organization, and they are constantly working to improve and streamline their business. I have been working with them for over a year and enjoy my working relationship with each point of contact. The business owner needs a project management application for strategic planning.
While building the strategic planning application I get an email from my manager about tomorrow’s staff meeting: “Come prepared to share a discovery/solution/ah-ha moment that can be shared in one minute or less at the meeting tomorrow. Sharing will be timed. An example could be a formula or form rule that you got cooking recently that made life exciting.”
Hmm… what have I learned this week that might benefit my peers. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been thinking about how different users approach data, what capabilities they need, and what should be hidden. I write down some fodder for tomorrow’s discussion.
It’s a small application and I get the basic structure down in a few hours. My client sent a corresponding spreadsheet so I loaded the data as well. I have a few questions so I sent an email to the client listing the outstanding items. Once the core of the application is finished, I create a few basic reports. I create management reports that show all projects where the user (person logged-in) is the project manager and summary reports of all projects for higher-level managers. For staff, I create reports so that users can easily identify the tasks they own.
The final step is to create a functional dashboard. A dashboard is a home page where you can view reports, informational text, links etc. It often gives an overview of the data in the database, similar to a scientific poster.
I chose key reports and determine how they should be presented to give a clear picture of the data. This application has three main groups of users: administrators (including the business owner), managers, and staff. Each group has different priorities, so I customize the dashboard for each role. I include sample records and let the client know it is ready for them to try it out.
It is almost the end of the week before Christmas and things are slowing down. Between school holidays and a lower expectation of availability, I usually plan my vacations during times it’s easy to say ‘I will not be available.’ I know my clients will be taking time off for the holidays too. I go though the list of things that need to get done before I go offline. The list is getting shorter….
Questions? Share your thoughts!