Teamwork Done Wrong

This week in my project management class we had to complete our project update deliverable as well as carry out our project.  For our deliverable we had to provide an updated MOV and a description of where our project went throughout the fundraising.  My group had to change our MOV due to the fact that one of the professors did not want to participate in raising money for the Ronald McDonald House.  However, we were able to find a different professor that was interested in helping out the good cause.  My professor had mentioned that the fundraising may not go as planned, and it definitely did not.  Due to a lack of communication from our group leader, we were unorganized and we were unable to effectively collect money for the cause.  

Throughout this process, I have learned a lot about preparation.  In order to be effective, a project must be planned for accordingly.  Also, not that I did not realize it before, but communication is a huge part of working in a team, and when it lacks it causes issues that are nearly impossible to overcome.  I would have liked to have taken over the group, but in the real world, you cannot just start managing your manager.  Through this entire process, I have learned to expect the unexpected, and I have learned that you need to consider all possible failures when planning for a project.  I feel like this was a good experience because it has shown me how anything and everything can go wrong, and I feel like I can now better prevent this in the future.  

A New Direction

In my Internet Marketing class I collaborated on a presentation with a couple classmates, one being a Delta Sigma Pi brother.  Together we researched Office Max and came up with some recommendations for its website.  We went through and graded usability, search engine optimization, and social media presence.  Throughout the creation of the presentation, I feel like I learned a lot.  I focused on the SEO section of the presentation, finding what Office Max did well and what they didn’t do well.  Thanks to the internet, there were a lot of useful tools that I could use to analyze their effectiveness.  Overall, after analyzing tags, keywords and their competitors, Office Max did a fairly poor job compared to the competition.  They didn’t use alt tags, didn’t use their title tags and description tags effectively, and they had poor use of their keywords.

I felt like I could not have learned more through creating this presentation.  Because of projects like this, I have decided to pick up a minor in marketing, with a certificate in interactive marketing.  Being able to analyze a companies website will come in handy in the future, considering that is probably the first thing I would have to do when beginning a career in the field.  Also, I learned a lot about the search engine optimization process, and how to properly analyze a website.  Through the work of my classmates, I also learned a lot about how you can effectively to deploy social media for a company. 

Building

In my project management class I had to develop a quality management plan for my fundraising event.  In this management plan, I had to develop an MOV, describe some process, product, and project metrics, as well as develop verification and validation activities that would ensure quality.  Through doing this quality management plan, I feel like if any road blocks come my way, I will be able to find a way to still have a successful fundraiser.  Also, in my Internet and Web Computing class we had to develop our own SQL Server database environment.  I did this by installing SQL Server 2012 Express onto our VM that we have on Azure for the class.  I then created my new database and a product table, and connected that to a table built from my website.  

 

Thanks to developing a quality management plan, I am one step closer to knowing how to successful manage a project.  Now I can say that I have made a quality management plan, and hopefully soon I can say how I used it throughout my projects’ life cycle.  I can see how this could be extremely useful if I get into project management some day.  Throughout this project I have also learned the importance of communication and teamwork, as this project has been entirely dependent upon it.  As I have learned this semester, even though you may not be handed the most applicable coworkers in your team project, it is extremely important to be able to still work together.  I feel like I have definitely gotten a lot better at working in a team.  Also, through using SQL Server, I have found yet another useful tool with the application.  I feel like I learned a lot about what I can do with SQL Server this week, and now that I have more experience with it I feel like it is something I can put on a resume.  

Heading Towards The Home Stretch

I have an exam this week in my Business Computing Environment and Networks class.  The exam covers the structure of the internet, internet domains, DHCP, and TCP/IP in depth.  It has been busy in that class, as I am also working in a group with a couple classmates in which we are setting up our own virtual machine and building webpages on it as well.  I have a project very similar to this in my Internet and Web Computing Tech class.

In that class, we just received our final project, which is to build a program using Visual Basic or AJAX.  The standard recommendation is that we take our knowledge that we have learned using both this semester and build an online shopping center, with a shopping cart, checkout, confirmation email, as well as an email to our inventory center and system.  However, our group decided to think outside the box and submitted our Business Case to our professor today discussing our idea of a Windows Phone application.

What’s nice about a Windows Phone is that it works much like a computer, meaning we can use Visual Basic and AJAX to build an application for the phone.  My group is building an iPass app, tentatively called “iPasser”, in which iPass users can access their account information, as well as view where tolls are along their route and the costs for the user during their trip.  I’m very excited to work on this as I feel that it is more than feasible and it could be a very useful application.  I can’t help but feel the need to start creating deliverables for this project like I have learned in my Project Management class this semester!   I’m very excited about getting started on these applications, but first I need to get through my exam.

Project Week

This week has been just as exhausting as last week.  I feel like I’ve gotten a lot done however and my grades are looking a lot better because of it.

To update last week’s post, I managed an 88% on my Internet Marketing exam.  It was a good way to end last week.

This week started with a lot of work, specifically in that same Internet Marketing class.  Our class was split up into groups to work on projects throughout the semester.  On Monday we had our first project due.  We were given a product and had to design a web page, PPC ad and landing page for the ad.  After designing these we had to write a lengthy paper describing how our website would be designed to optimize usability and search engine optimization, as well as describing how our PPC ad would gain the attention from possible consumers.

The product we were given was suntan lotion, and we had to go ahead and create our own company from there.  We came up with the idea Broski Bronzer, so that we would target a section of the population that hasn’t been targeted very much.  We figured this would give us an edge and less competition as a start-up company.

All in all, I think the assignment turned out very well.  I feel like even though I had a good grasp on the concepts of search engine optimization and usability, it was really cool to take those concepts and put it into an actual website.  A few years ago my mom was trying to start up her own company and wanted me to build her a website.  Taking what I learned from this assignment, I feel like I could now do a very successful job of that for her.  It’s always a good feeling to know you are getting something useful out of college!

First Blog Post!

It has been a busy week.  Tomorrow I have an important test in my Internet Marketing class.  The exam covers Display Ads and Customer Acquisition Techniques, Search Marketing, and Social Media Marketing.  It has taken quite a bit of reading and studying to know the information thoroughly, however I feel prepared for the exam tomorrow.

Today I had a deliverable due in my Project Management class.  Earlier in the week I met up with a fellow group member and we worked on our project schedule and budget for our main project for the class.  We are planning, running and executing a planned project to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House.  In this deliverable, my group member and I worked extensively with Microsoft Project in creating the schedule and budget.  It was very useful, as I know feel I have a good grasp on Microsoft Project for future endeavors.

Next week looks like a busy week as well, as I have an exam in that very same Project Management class and I have an extensive report to right for my Internet Marketing class.  I will be updating how that goes next week!