Project Management 101

May 17, 2009

I was recently tasked with a project to create a case study evaluating consumer purchasing behavior for a website. I started the project with a good idea of how the project should run but with no actual outline. Big Mistake! First, I created a list of customers who had purchased our product via our merchant account between certain dates. I got half way through calling my list and realized that I was leaving out a ton of customers because we also offer the payment option called paypal. Also mid way through the list I realized that I should have created a list of questions that could tell me what I needed to know about the customer. Such as how did you hear about us? What were you promoting? Were you using a tracking tool? What results did you get? Would you buy the product again? So, now those questions answered for some of our customers but not all of our customers, which gives me slightly unbiased or inconclusive results as the measurement was not the same.

Lesson #1. Outline project. Create a goal. Determine the required actions. Determine why you are creating the project.

Lesson #2 Create a script. Who am I going to call? What am I going to say

Lesson #3. Set deadlines. Mini deadlines and Major deadlines. I didn’t set a timeline for when the project would be finished. Would I call 10 customers? Would I call 20 customers? should I call 250 customers? when is enough, enough? Lesson learned. Give yourself a deadline.

Lesson #4: When collecting data, decide how to organize the data in advance. Too much data can be a distraction.

Lesson #5: Make sure you have a copy of the original data incase it is needed for that or other studies.

Lesson #6: ctrl S, ctrl S, ctrl S… need I say more?

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