Web Design

Google Calendar Project Management Orgy

For those working in digital agencies (and i reckon similar for many other industries) will know the pain about filling in time sheets, keeping track of multiple projects, working under tight timelines and the other pains revolving around keeping all the balls in the air while having the sanity to give the best you possibility can with a clear head.

One of the ideal way I initially envisioned was just to use a tool. An online collaborative project management tool such as Basecamp (as there is simply just too much hype around it), especially when the fairy tale story of how a web design company became a web2.0 product based company. So cool right? I mean everyone in the team should religiously open up the cool online collaborative tool and update it right? Its really not difficult right? But trust me, its still a pain to do paper work no matter how sexy the paper is.

So should such project management be centralised (ie. one person updates everything) or decentralised (ie. everyone does their part and update their own bit)?

Before we go into any further thinking, lets have a look at the following:

Google Calendar Orgy

I’m thinking using the Schedule resources via Google Calendar method might work. This is how i think it can work:

  • Each project has a calendar. So the calendar represents the projects & the events in that calendar lines up to become like a project schedule, you can even say its somewhat like a gantt chart, but in a calendar format.
  • Each resource (person) has a calendar. So this calendar represents the person’s daily schedule and the special thing about these calendars is that they auto-accept invitations.

So lets take a normal project for example. It has the following stages:

  1. Plan (wk 1 – 4)
  2. Design (wk 5 – 8)
  3. Build (wk 9 – 12)
  4. Launch (wk 13 – 14)

So we open the project calendar and create these “events” or “tasks” : Plan, Design, Build and Launch. Now each of these “tasks” will need resources to “action” on them, so we “invite” the necessary “resources”. As these “resources” auto accepts the invitation, they are then pegged as allocated resources for these project task.

So now the project manager / traffic person will set up all the project tasks and allocate all these tasks to the neccessary resources.

As Google Calendars can be shared and accessed via feeds, the following can be done.

  • Clients : subscribes to their own project calendar to understand the most updated project timeline and tasks scheduled for their project.
  • Resources : subscribes to his own resource calendar to understand the tasks scheduled ahead for him / her.
  • Project Manager : subscribes to all the projects he / she is managing.
  • Traffic : subscribes to all resources calendars to understand the resourcing plan weeks / months ahead and to assign tasks to resources.
  • Bosses : subscribes selectively to what they would like to know.

So if you are still with me, i believe its not hard to imagine how this sounds very workable in theory. I’m not sure though if it will work out in reality.

So here comes the orgy part. If I’m traffic and in charge of resource planning, then I have to subscribe to everything. Lets take for example if there are 10 projects and 20 resources in the company, i would have 30 calendars! OMG! Just having to view them stacked on top of one another is already… /faint…

So what do you think? workable or not?

3 thoughts on “Google Calendar Project Management Orgy

  1. As a resource, it’s useful cos you need to know which deliverables are due first, then you can plan your time accordingly.

    As a client/PM, it’s useful to track milestones and deadlines.

    As traffic, you’ll end up spending too much time trying to keep track of the changes on all your calendars.

    As a boss, you prolly subscribe to none and make your PMs tell you about their calendars once a week.

    I think useful for everybody but the Traffic person.

  2. At the moment hor, I use ActiveCollab to solve the orgy issue, multiple projects, multiple resources and multiple clients, all with their own logins and permissions to track the project, submit issues, discuss etc.

    So far, i think its wise enough for a traffic to use it and easy for a boss to scan through it.

    The google calendar idea, i tried previously, together with using Google Sites as a project site and having pages / gadgets, somehow, it aint so productive and intuitive although control is there…

    Perhaps working that way with internal team mates may work…while ActiveCollab will work with both internal and external team.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *