DrupalCon Portland Sessions

In May it's time for DrupalCon to come to Portland, Oregon. For this DrupalCon I've submitted sessions on project management, estimation, knowledge management, UX and business development. Here's a summary of each session and what you can do to help it get selected for the conference.

Sessions are selected based on several factors, one of them being community interest. A great way to communicate community interest is to post a comment on the session's page on the DrupalCon site stating why you'd like to see this session being selected. Follows are summaries of sessions and links to the respective session pages.

So without further ado:

Top Ten Reasons You Should Say No To Fixed Bids

This is a session I am co-presenting with Shannon Vettes of Commerce Guys. Shannon and I presented a session at DrupalCon Munich last year. Based on feedback and our own experience we know that fixed bids are a major hurdle to delivering web sites that meet customers' expectations and keep web agencies happy. We want to raise awareness of this. Fixed bids are often favored because customers feel it gives them control but in reality they almost always cause projects to fail to deliver on expectations. The reasons for this are many but fixed bids make it hard or even impossible to fix root causes due to the waterfall approach it enforces. In this session, we will look at fixed bids and give you concrete and proven reasons and arguments why to avoid fixed bids and make your customers, and developers, happier.

If this sounds interesting, please go here and post a comment saying so: http://portland2013.drupal.org/session/top-ten-reasons-you-should-say-no...

The Science Of Guessing - Drupal Estimation Techniques From Project Managers

This is a rerun of a session Shannon and I did in Munich in August of 2012. It's the development of my highly popular sessions on project estimation where I demonstrated a method to size even complex fixed scope projects and come up with realistic estimates even when there's little information. In this session, we will take a broader look at estimation and the role it plays in Drupal project management. We will look at several cases, discuss how to mitigate and classify risk and introduce several methods for making estimates. We will finish with a short panel where all three of us (me, Shannon and Chris) will be able to answer your questions.

If this sounds interesting, please go here and post a comment saying how much you want this session to get picked: http://portland2013.drupal.org/session/science-guessing-Drupal-estimatio...

UX Under Fire - On Communicating The Value Of UX

For a long time I've worked with questions related to whether the web sites we build for customers actually achieve the results that motivated the project. In naïve IT project management, the belief is that good requirements ensure projects delivering the expected result, or return on investment. But in reality it takes more than that. It takes end users who actually put the web site or system to use. In this session I will explain why UX is critical to projects delivering the expected results. I will show how UX provides many methods we can use to identify results, understand end users and derive requirements that help us produce the expected results. By the end of it, you will have the arguments to why UX matters, perhaps more than anything else.

If this sounds like something that makes your heart beat a little bit faster, please head over and post a comment saying so: http://portland2013.drupal.org/session/ux-under-fire-communicating-value-ux

Upgrade Your Offer! How To Sell Business Value

The web is changing. Constantly. And it's growing up. A few years ago few knew what the web would be used for. But everyone had to have a website. Today, the web is the place to go for almost everything. And the competition is stiff. As a result, business don't just need a website, they need to see tangible effects of their spending on their web presence and be smart about it. But few competent Drupal shops (and I'm not talking about ad agencies who think they know Drupal) are up to this challenge. Most just build sites to spec and take on technical projects, assuming the responsibility to deliver the code and hosting according to a massive spreadsheet. But they don't want to or feel an interest to take part in the customer's strategic thinking or long-term goals of their site. Sometimes the customer hasn't even thought so far. In this session I will show how you can change your team structure to work strategically with your customer and deliver what they expect: business value. Whether its conversions or brand recognition.

If you want to take your organization to the next level and grow your customer relations, head over and post a comment: http://portland2013.drupal.org/session/upgrade-your-offer-how-sell-busin...

/* Talking About Code */

Companies grow. Drupal shops included. And as we grow we transform from a small group of individuals who can constantly share what we learn and know to a group that interfaces less frequently. Clusters form which become teams. And knowledge and experiences do not flow so freely. In this session I will introduce a number of ways a growing Drupal company can improve its knowledge management practices and ensure critical knowledge isn't stuck in one team or in one person's head.

If this sounds interesting, please post a comment and say so here: http://portland2013.drupal.org/session/talking-about-code

Thanks for your help!

This article was updated on 2020-03-01

Jakob Persson

Your host. A founder and entrepreneur since 20 years. Having worked as a freelancer, consultant and co-founder of a successful digital agency has shaped his skills in and insights into business. Jakob blogs at blog.bondsai.io, speaks at events and consults with agencies and freelancers in growing and developing their companies. He holds degrees in media technology and cognitive science.