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Project Management - Workplace, Freelancing and 'Civvy Street'

In the workplace, I've been responsible for managing a number of projects - from building a nanotechnology website in Chinese (and also customising the CMS into Chinese), to setting up a webcam in an isolated location with no phone-line or electricity.


a juggler juggling catsIn my role at Angus Council, I project managed the setting up of a webcam in Glen Clova, Angus. As mentioned above, this involved arranging for electricity to be added to an outhouse building, and for a phone-line (and broadband) to be added to the same building. If you can remember the old childhood game where you had to move around a room without touching the floor, then that will give you a good idea of what was involved regarding the phone-line and electricity work.

The work involved liaising with several people (from shepherds to lawyers, mixed with electricians, housewife-farmers and various BT engineers), and keeping everyone happy and interested in the project. To see the finished project, click on the link below:

Other projects that I've managed in my current post include the creation of new sub-sites within the framework of the Angus Ahead Portal website. This work involved liaising with colleagues from various departments, and also working closely with Graphic Designers. Listed below are three of the sub-sites that Ive recently project-managed:

Organising and giving IT training classes to help my colleagues learn a Content Management System (CMS) called 'Active Edition', are smaller projects that I currently perform. As well as giving these classes, I also write bespoke User Manuals so that the new users have a reference document to hand. Oh, I also run a Technical Support Line for these same people!

While working for the Institute of Nanotechnology, I project-managed the creation of a Chinese website about nanotechnology. The website is in fact a bi-lingual website, with the other half of the site being in English. This work also involved customising the open source MAMBO CMS, so that a colleague working in Tianjing could use it. I also had to train my colleague so that she could use the Chinese version of MAMBO that we created.

On a freelance basis, I've built a number of websites for various people and organisations. For these projects, I pretty much did everything: planned, wrote, designed, built and published the websites. I also planned for the future maintenance of the sites. Managing these projects involved working with a wide range of people - from golf club committee members, B&B proprietors, holiday villa owners to a charity run by pensioners. So I'm well used to working with all types of folk. Please refer to the Freelance Page to see these finished website projects.

While working as a Writer for Sage, I project-managed the putting together of a domain name booklet/manual for customers, and also worked alongside a Multimedia Designer to create some e-business demos.

When working as a Content Writer for the National Library of Scotland, I co-managed a digitisation project called 'Scotland and India' with one of the curators. In summary, I've project-managed numerous projects in the workplace. In addition to the above, I've been responsible for managing many smaller projects, such as wriitng house style guides, domain name management, content migration, building sub-sites, email newsletters, creating online forms, and all that a project like this entails.

'Civvy Street' Projects
Sashaying into 'civvy street', I'm currently doing a project to convert all my family's cine film into a digital format. Back in the day, I also used to work on football fanzines and university arts fanzines - using a battered old Olivetti, some glue, Letraset and a well-dodgy steam-powered photocopier. Oh, and finally, I'm currently working on a special birthday project for a pal who turns 40 (or rather XL) in November 2010. I've got access to the electronic version of the OED (it's fantoosh, so it is!) via my local library, and am making a boy's own list of all the words that were 'born' in 1970 (<:

Managing Budgets for Projects
For all the freelance websites that I've built, I've sat down with the client right at the outset of the project, and have given them an estimate of costs. This estimate of costs comprised info such as web hosting, domain name renewal, web stats (e.g. Smarter Stats), software and labour costs. I also give the client an estimate of their annual costs following the completion of the project, based on future web hosting, web stats (i.e. based on paid-for web server logs stats) and domain name renewal.

In the workplace, I've had responsibility for managing the budget for a Google Adwords campaign (at Edinburgh Bicycle), and, in many cases, giving advice to managers about costs for websites/newsletters, design work (print and web) and advertising projects. Also, I've been responsible for planning and estimating costs when working with external companies. In general, however, the overall control of budgets has been the responsibility of the Departmental Manager. Oh, and as I work in the website and graphic design field, I often get asked about projects costs on an informal basis by friends and acquaintances.

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