Project Dragon Fruit – Part 1: An introduction to Project Management

Hi Guys, Jacob here, lab volunteer.

Today we are going to be starting the journey on a new project of mine called Dragon Fruit. I am going to be creating a series of web based tools for playing D&D [editors note: Dungeons & Dragons, a popular table top role playing game]. I wont be showing all the coding that goes into it, but we will be looking at the processes involved in a project like this – and you are free to follow along; either with the steps replicating what I am doing, or using these blog posts to guide your own projects.

As this is a going to be a full project, the first thing we need to look at is project management. Project management is organising work tasks and communications between a team in order to hit targets and meet success criteria, basically making sure the project gets done. To do this we are going to be creating “tickets” for each stage of the project and checking them off as they are completed. This will enable us to keep track of where the project is, where it is heading and how close to completion it is.

It is an important skill to start developing, as it is beneficial in any group project that you work on, and most jobs are going to utilise some form of ticket logging to manage: who is working on what; and where in the development cycle a certain piece of work is.

For this project I am going to be using Trello to track our progress. Trello is a free online collaboration tool, all you need to do is set up an account so that you can save your progress. Once you log in, you will be greeted with a screen similar to this:

From here you can see what teams you belong to and go to your boards etc.

The first thing we are going to do is add ourselves to a new team. This will let us add people to our board so that they can edit and assist with the project.

Click on the add button next to TEAMS to create a new team. You will need to enter a team name, I’m going to use the Project name for now. Enter the team type from the drop down: we are engineers/IT and finally you can add a brief description of the team if you want.

Click ‘Continue’ and you have the option to add people to your team. If you are wanting to work on your project with a few other people, now is the time to add them. That way you can all discuss the best setup/layout for your tickets.

I’m selecting “I’ll do this later” as I am not adding anyone to the project just yet. Next is the board building screen. We can select from a template or we can build our board from scratch, exactly as we like it.

Clicking on create new board will give us a screen to select the name and theme of the board, so I’ll enter the name as Dragon Fruit, and for the back ground image I am going to search the images for a Dragon Fruit then click create board:

Now that we have created the board, we will be greeted with the following screen where we can build the lists which will contain our tickets:

The first thing that I am going to do is click on the Power-Ups button on the right-hand menu and search for “Epic” this power-up adds another level of organisation to your tickets. I find that this helps to breakdown your tasks a little more and makes them easier to manage. 

From here we want to add the Epic Cards by Screenful.

Once we have that added we can finally start adding our lists. The first lists we need will house our epics and our completed tasks, we’ll call these “Epics” and “Done”:

Then we’ll want to let the system know which of our lists are ‘Epics,’ so go to the “Epic Cards” option on the right hand side and give the screen that opens up a read. Then you can set the lists as I have below:

With the basics for the epics set up, we can set up the rest of the lists that we are going to need: I like to put tickets that I’ve just thought of in a list called backlog; a refined list for tickets that we have added details to, so everyone knows exactly what to do with them when they pick them up; we want an in progress list for the tickets currently being worked on; a blocked list for tickets that cannot be progressed, but are not yet finished and finally a ready for review list for tickets that have been completed, but you want someone to look over your work before it goes into your live production environment. (Like a live website.)

That’s it! You now have your lists all set up.

Next time, we will look at using that epics list and go into how it breaks things down a little bit more.

2 thoughts on “Project Dragon Fruit – Part 1: An introduction to Project Management”

  1. Pingback: Project Dragon Fruit – Part 3: Creating a repository – innovation lab

  2. Pingback: Project Dragon Fruit – Part 4: Cloning. – innovation lab

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