[webproducers] Re: persuading a project manager that formal testing is important???

  • From: Maia Gemmill <mgemmill@xxxxxxx>
  • To: webproducers <webproducers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 02:09:38 -0400

On 6/27/02 12:55 PM, "AKF" <outdoorminer2002@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> You make some valid points but there are times and
> organizational cultures where PM's are emasculated by the powers
> that be and all of the methodology in the world can't change the
> situation.
> I was a PM at a big ad agency and was in charge of PMing all
> work for one of their biggest clients. Unfortunately for me,
> there were no safeguards in the organization's process to allow
> me to do my job according to accepted practices. Even so, I was
> still accountable for everything so it was my ass in the fryer
> if the project got fucked.
> In this particular agency, Account drove everything and I mean
> EVERYTHING. PM's weren't even introduced into the process until
> well after a project was already pitched and the contract
> already signed. Often, I wouldn't even know about a project
> until Account dropped a stack of background materials on my desk
> to inform me about a conference call with the client.
> Thus, I often spent just as much time trying to futz with
> schedules and budgets to accomodate things like QA as well as
> retro-fitting functionality that the project required as I did
> actually managing the project!
> I tried time and time again to change this culture by insisting
> that I be involved as early as possible in a project's
> life-cycle but to no avail. I was both the victim of a poor
> management structure (with no real internal Champion) that
> resented my prescence and that thought that PMs and other team
> members were not capable of forward thinking.
> Obviously, this might be an extreme example but I'm almost
> positive that it's not an isolated one.

I can assure you, it is not. I've seen exactly the same scenario as Ari is
describing happen over and over and over again. In my experience, PMs were
often much more junior (both in terms of age and in the org chart) than the
account manager, who would pressure to cut corners. The parts that got
squeezed most often were testing and HTML production (design on the other
hand could drag on for months while the art directors examined their navels
waiting for "inspiration" to hit).

"Testing? We don't need to schedule more than a few days. We can always fix
the problems after launch."

Of course, you know what happens then: the client is upset that they got a
crappy product, and then the account manager runs to the PM to scream bloody
murder about it, when it's their own damn fault in the first place.



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