ICM 590 has helped prepare me for my final project, which I’ll embark on this fall, by having me think critically about the schedule, budget and work involved in the project. It has also helped me better analyze the various tasks I need to complete, and prepared me for the risks involved, including potential technology blunders and time constraints.
I especially enjoyed the interaction with the other students in the class. Part of the requirements was to provide feedback to other students on their project plans, Gannt charts and other assignments. I learned a lot from reading the feedback my classmates shared and I was able to revise and improve my project plan according to their suggestions. We also started discussion threads on the blog, with different topics each week that we could share our perspectives on. I found the conversations engaging and insightful. One subject I found particularly interesting was analyzing a web design cost estimate calculator (http://www.designquote.net/html/dq_estimate_wizard.cfm). The range of perspectives about that tool was interesting to read and helped me see things in different ways (in terms of budgeting).
I’ve done a lot of projects in my life, for school, work and in my personal life, but before this class I hadn’t put a lot of forethought into them. The lessons I learned here will help me revise my plans quickly when issues arise, properly budget time and financial resources and be more realistic while executing the project. It’s easy to envision how you would like something to go, but when you start mapping it out beforehand, you can see a lot of potential troubles and adjust accordingly.
I found the level of detail we provided in the Gannt charts/schedules to be challenging, as I’ve never mapped out a project with that amount of detail before. The software we used, Microsoft Project via Citrix, was a challenging program, with some glitches and difficulty saving and exporting the documents we created. However, I gained a good sense of how to break down the project into small pieces and make sure all the pieces connected or linked up to one another.
Aside from a better analysis of my own project, I came away from this class with a better idea about project planning in general—from its history to its modern day uses. I have a better understanding of the benefit of planning something out in detail beforehand. I also see the benefit of applying it to everyday projects, even routine projects in the workplace.