Recently I received some questions from a student who is just starting out on their freelance web development journey. For those new to client work (and even those with experience), managing client expectations, contract terms, and payment schedules can be incredibly daunting. Here I’ve provided my tips to help you in your own freelancing. [Read more…] about Freelancing Q&A: Tips for starting out
Last week Fred Meyer from WP Shout published the first draft of an “Honor Code” for small business web developers. I don’t know of any website owner or website developer who hasn’t had at least one client relationship sour. In an industry with as wide as a knowledge gap between vendors and customers as software development, trust is more than paramount. I highly recommend this article for anybody who works with clients or vendors in the technology and software space.
This is part II in my series Lessons from the Tabletop: Things I’ve learned about project management from Dungeons & Dragons. Read Part I here.
Game masters also have an inside joke: “No plot survives contact with the players.”
When I attempt to drive the plot, dictate the player options and the pacing, the players begin to disengage. The same thing happens on teams when a leader begins to white-knuckle the steering wheel.
[Read more…] about Lessons from the Tabletop: Letting Go
For the past year or so, I’ve been getting together with a group of friends once a week to play Dungeons and Dragons. The popular role-playing game from the ‘70s has enjoyed something of a resurgence in the last few years.
In the game, 4-6 players act as characters that they create using randomized dice rolls. One player, the game master, tells the other players about the world and what they see. The players respond by saying what they’d like their characters to do, and the game master will tell them if they need to roll any dice to determine the outcome of the attempted action.
Unlike most RPG video games, the (usual) goal of Dungeons and Dragons is not to win. The goal is to tell a good story. To that end, it is an extremely collaborative game. The players and game master together craft a narrative. There are heroes, villains, growth, remorse, and the usual range of human (or humanoid) emotion. Usually there is a fair bit of conflict too.
In my group, I act as the game master. Even though I’ve been leading professional teams for over a decade, I have learned a lot about project management in the process of adjudicating a world born out of my friends’ collective imaginations.
[Read more…] about Lessons from the Tabletop: Things I’ve Learned about Project Management from Dungeons & Dragons