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27 de octubre de 2013

Tools for Volunteering a Project

On September the 30th it was the project kickoff for a volunteering project aimed to translate into Spanish the bookA Pocket Companion to PMI's PMBOK Guide, authors Paul Snijders, Thomas Wuttke, Anton Zandhuis, edited at Van Haren Publishing. On this project, sponsored by PMI Netherlands, there is a volunteer team with members from several PMI chapters (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Buenos Aires). We are 8 volunteers working as a virtual team. I'm honored to manage this project.

The main challenge is to get a high quality translation before the due date in January, so it is neccessary to keep stuck to a realistic plan. Being this a volunteering project, it is equally important to optimize the effort needed from volunteers, since everybody have many important things to do, apart from this project.

After 3 work weeks and 2 follow up meetings, we already have the feeling of a high performing team, and I believe this could have not been possible without the proper tools. In this project we are using 4 toolsGoogle Drive for document management, GoToMeeting for virtual meetings, Asana for task management and collaboration and TALAIA OpenPPM for project management. Following there is a short description on how we are using them, with a short video (in Spanish).

Google Drive for document management (free license): We have prepared a folder structure to organize files. Source files for translation are in Microsoft Word and Powerpoint. We have splitted translation work in small chunks assignable to each volunteer. We have separate folders for translation, reviewing and publishing. We are using the word count number as a metric to balance workload and measure progress. In the reviewing phase we are going to use the Microsoft Word change control utility to measure our velocity as the sum of changes accepted by week. Some of us have the desktop version installed. Others have to acces via web to download/upload. For several reasons, we have decided not to use Google documents. We also have decided keep backup copies every week.

GoToMeeting for virtual meetings (PMI-Madrid chapter's licence): Every Monday we schedule a virtual folowup meeting. We connect to GoToMeeting to share our screens and audio over IP or by telephone. For those missing the meeting we can record the meeting in a high quality .wmv file.

Asana for task management and collaboration (free license): He have decomposed the whole traduction work as a backlog with 76 tasks, each one assigned to one volunteer. This backlog is distributed within a 5 weeks timeframe. We can see one Asana project per translation week. Each task has a due date so that any of us is able to know what to translate and when. If we doubt about some term, instead of broadcasting by email to the whole team, we use the task comment section and follow a discussion thread easily shown in the mailbox. When a task is done, the person responsible marks it as complete. Asana has also a WebApp for iPhone and Android, so that anybody can colaborate and keep noticed anywhere. Asana sends notifications via email when due dates are coming and warn us about tasks to do. These email messages can be disactivated easily if we don't want to be disturbed. We have a separate project named “Process” with tasks which are more properly methodology notes, to register ground rules, decisions taken, etc.

TALAIA OpenPPM for project management (PMI-Madrid chapter's licence): In this project, Project Manager has to update the information about initiating, scope, schedule, risks, control and closure. The team members can see this information as stakeholders. One of the authors can access to TALAIA as sponsor.

In this video there is a short tour through the 4 tools (in Spanish).

Click here to read the Spanish version for this article
Click the label English to read other English written articles