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From idea to implementation. Susan Mernit Media Entrepreneurs Boot Camp Mau 17, 2011. You’ve got a great idea and some $$--now what?. From idea to execution. What this session will cover Project cycles—where are you? Who is your audience? Who is on your team? Kicking off the project

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from idea to implementation

From idea to implementation

Susan Mernit

Media Entrepreneurs Boot Camp

Mau 17, 2011

from idea to execution
From idea to execution
  • What this session will cover
    • Project cycles—where are you?
    • Who is your audience?
    • Who is on your team?
    • Kicking off the project
    • If you can’t measure it, you have not thought it through
    • Goals, targets, metrics
    • Product requirements & product development
    • Setting milestones & keeping a schedule
    • Community outreach & engagement
    • Heading for sustainability--$$
what stage is your product at
What stage is your product at?
  • Pre-launch: Planning, strategy, building
  • Launch: Outreach & operations
  • Live: Engagement, metrics, sustainability, audience
  • Mature: Revenue optimization, metrics reviews, product extensions
first who is your audience
First--Who is your audience?
  • Decide who your audience is for the project
  • What is their reading level?
  • Are they on a computer or a mobile platform?
  • What languages do they speak?
  • How often will they visit?
  • What will they DO on your site?
  • 2. Create a brief or persona board about your audience—and refer to it, share w/ the team, board, etc.

Validate ideas by asking community members for input right up front—and be prepared to take it

who is on your team
Who is on your team?
  • Basic questions:
  • What are the roles we need to make this happen?
  • What are the skills we need?
  • Who is the project lead?
  • Who do we have already?
  • Whom do we need to hire?
  • What are the roles and responsibilities?
  • Harder questions:
  • What skills are we lacking? How do we get them?
  • Do we know what we don’t know?
  • How will doing this project change our current workflow?
kicking off the project
Kicking off the project
  • Know before you start
  • Who is the lead?
  • Does every person have a defined role—and know what it is?
  • What project management tools are you using?
  • Google docs, Basecamp, Open Atrium
  • How will the team know what to work on-- and in what order?
  • How are people accountable for results?
  • What kind of communication do you want—and how often?

Don’t have analysis paralysis—do have schedules

if you can t measure it you haven t thought it through
If you can’t measure it, you haven’t thought it through
  • Setting metrics for success is the best focusing exercise you can do—and the best way to set expectations
  • Things you can measure:
  • Impact—number of users, change in real world, engaged partners
  • Engagement- Unique visitors, time spent on site, comments posted, number of partners & posters
  • Web impact: Page views, unique visitors, downloads
  • Revenue: Is it making money? Profitable?
  • Real world impact—What changed?
product requirements product development
Product requirements & product development
  • What you want the product to do?
  • for partners
  • for the audience
  • Be able to state requirements
  • Get assurances TECH parts will work together
  • Be involved with the planning
  • Do rapid paper prototyping user testing
  • Tweak the wireframes & designs
  • Make sure YOU can explain it--accurately
  • Would you let someone else manage your whole budget?
  • No? Then why hand over your web/mobile project?
process milestones schedules
Process, Milestones & Schedules
  • Suggestions for keeping things on track:
  • Post plans, schedules, task lists where team can access
  • Weekly Team meetings
  • Weekly and monthly status updates from everyone
  • Empower project manager role
  • Flag YELLOW for issues; RED for delays—before they happen
  • Use clear, external plans and goals keep everyone focused
reach out to community
Reach out to community!
  • Oakland Local case study: Local site launched 2009 with $25 New Voices Grant--now 5,300+ Facebook fans, 3,00+ Twitter followers, 70K uniques per month visit site
  • How did we make that happen?
  • Persona-building
  • Key partnerships & distribution
  • Aggressive social marketing
  • Added real value
measure your work learn from the data
Measure your work— learn from the data
  • Core tools:
  • Google analytics
  • Facebook insite
  • Google search
  • Tweetreach
  • Check stats daily, weekly, monthly
  • Compile & discuss
  • Use to fine tune
don t forget the sustainability
Don’t forget the $$=sustainability
  • What are your revenue strategies—you need a portfolio
  • Who are your clients? What value do you offer?
  • Why should they spend money with you?
  • House of Local: White papers & presos by Mernit, Booth, Gahran
  • KDMC/USC Archive—3 years of info & ideas
  • Block by Block conference 2010 archive
  • Further reading:
  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
  • The One-Page Project Manager: Communicate and Manage Any Project With a Single Sheet of Paper by Clark A. Campbell
  • The Definitive Guide to Project Management: The fast track to getting the job done on time and on budget (2nd Edition) by Sebastian Nokes
questions discussions
Questions & Discussions

What’s the biggest risk?What do you know you don’t know?

susan mernit
Susan Mernit

House of Local,

Twitter: susanmernit

Questions welcomed, we focus on community engagement & the future of news