The list below should give you a general overview of my expertise. It also provides details concerning each of the areas and where my skills could be useful. Expand the tabs to read more. The information on this subpage is supplemented by the next one, listing company and project types I have worked for.
Like most Project Managers active in the IT, I've worked my way through many mutations of both waterfall and agile approaches. This differed from company to company and project to project and none of them was a handbook application of specific guidelines.
I understand both advantages and shortcomings of the two approaches. While I've spent the last couple of years working mainly on development projects with sprint iterations, I can and have looked at it from the sponsor's point of view. I can understand that a deadline and a limited budget are very welcome. For small and somewhat repetitive projects that don't involve completely new features, I tend to set a hard deadline with dependencies on approvals and decisions on the sponsor's end. For development projects with an unclear scope, the agile approach and a time&materials billing are the best solution.
I understand that no approach guarantees project success and the responsibility is divided between all the actors. I hold basic certificates by
IPMA and for AgilePM by Axelos.
Employers / Stakeholders / Projects
I have worked for large networks as well as small agencies with various focus points (tech only or multiple teams cooperating on offline and online aspects of a campaign).
I have been a project sponsor myself, worked with agencies on the client's end, sometimes with multiple companies at the same time.
I'm used to leading an ongoing communication with sponsors/steering committees, status and escalation meetings, both internal and external. Handling multiple projects simultaneously is not a problem for me.
Risk / Change / Contract
As none of my projects has had a budget larger than €100K, there have been no elaborate strategies for risk mitigation or insurance partners. For larger projects I was just a part of, these were handled on a higher, company level.
Changes in scope have been discussed and approved on status or sprint planning/preparation meetings, mostly without contractual changes as additional work orders (waterfall) or simply hours burnt out (agile).
On many occasions, I have prepared contracts or work orders based on templates or developed new ones in cooperation with company lawyers.
I am capable of drafting contracts based on templates, negotiating special clauses, keeping track of document versions. I can relate contract clauses to specific regulations as long as I know them. I have managed a limited company in Poland and have a pretty good overview of legal and institutional landscape in this EU country.
Development vs. Maintenance
Most of my projects have been handed over to maintenance at the same company once the scope delivered and the website/app launched. I have prepared documentation or handled maintenance requests myself.
I understand that almost every project in IT needs to be supported and developed further as feedback from the end users is gathered and new iteration cycle starts. This also creates money flows that might be of considerable importance to a development company.
My maintenance projects have had define SLAs, both in terms of app uptime and reaction times. I have worked with hosting partners and admins/dev ops people. I am aware that DBs not only need to be periodically backed up and stored but developers also need to excercise reverting to them.
I hold a basic
certification in ITIL from Axelos.
Local vs. Distributed Teams
I have worked on projects with local teams with all the members in one office as well as scattered around different cities or countries and communicating online only. Obviously, the latter is especially true for 2020 and 2021.
I strongly prefer teams meeting in one physical space, especially for agile development projects for which team cohesion and open communication are the crucial factors. However, I know from experience how to ensure development work with no physical space moves forward.
I have a wide experience with apps/systems facilitating and supporting project communication like: Slack, JIRA, Confluence, Asana, Trello, BaseCamp, GitHub etc.
I know how to switch communication style from a more laid-back internal meetings to more formal with external stakeholders.
UX-PM Level 2, UXalliance, 2019, UX-PM2-1651-PL19-0382.
Agile PM Foundation, APMG, 2014, 02961766-01-FYDH.
ITIL Foundation, AXELOS, 2014, 5092132.20292419.
Certified Project Management Associate, IPMA, 2009, 242/2009. Technology
I am proficient in writing HTML and CSS, of which this website is an example. I have developed multiple WordPress templates and understand concepts crucial for website styles like inheritance, browser compliance and responsiveness.
I am well accustomed to using developer tools included in modern browsers like Elements, Console, Network or Lighthouse. I know how to use them to simulate experiences on various devices and have used online tools like BrowserStack for testing.
Development project lifecycle
Thanks to my wide experience with web projects of various sizes and time horizons, I understand the development lifecyle well, with its feedback and improvement loops. These look much different for "one-off" projects developed by agencies for a client and massive web applications being a sole product of a company.
The differences above require optimisition of approaches and resources devoted to design, development, testing and maintenance. I understand what mistakes can be made and how to avoid them.
I know how to find a common ground with the typical project and organisation roles like CTO, Head of Product, UX designers and developers in order to optimise the process and make it deliver hight quality in a frugal and flexible way.
WordPress, other CMS & shop systems
I have set up WordPress instances myself from scratch and have a good overview of the WP ecosystem.
Apart from WordPress, I have worked with numerous CMS to manage website content, ranging from complex corporate solutions like Adobe EM to straightforward ones like Drupal. I have provided trainings and support for these and written documents/recorded videos showing how to use them.
I have even worked on a CMS myself, as a part of
Styla team developing their own tool. I learned to evaluate users' feature requests against the most important use cases to decide whether they make sense to most other people using the tool. I could do this for any CMS.
Apart from pure content systems, I have experience with shop systems like Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify, SalesForce, Hybris, and understand how inventory and orders are managed and bound into workflows. I have worked on writing plugins for such systems too.
I have spent a big chunk of my career working for companies and with people designing websites. This included a very wide spectrum of projects, from campaign minisites to corporate websites as well as different brands, types of designers and company/project structures.
Therefore, I know well the path leading from initial UX and competition research, establishing project and team structures through wireframing and testing, until designs signed off.
What is equally important, I know how designs are converted into website front-end templates, can evaluate complexity and effort needed to implement and then change them. I can find a common ground with UX specialists, creatives and front-/back-end developers.
I have worked on multiple projects creating information architecture, website wireframes and clickable prototypes. These tools not only let share a common vision of a project quickly but also support a PM's role by defining scope of a website project.
While doing this, I have used multiple tools for creating such documents:
AxureRP, UXPin and Sketch. I can learn a new tool pretty fast and combine my role as a Project Manager with wireframing/prototyping.
Thanks to my experience in this field, I can efficiently present such project documentation in meetings, brainstorm, brief teams. I'm aware as well that for some projects and some people wireframes are simply useless because what counts is designer's creativity.
Documentation & Specification
I have written dozens of guides and instuctions, many of them covering specific implementations of website CMS. Then I progressed to plugin readmes and API documentations and integration guidelines.
What I learned is to focus on user's goals and think as they would, in order to guide them through whatever they need to do as fast and efficient as possible. Be frugal with words, provide lots of examples and testing scenarios. List common issues and provide solutions. A developer won't read a block of text if she/he can read a code snippet and see a working example online.
This is by no means an easy task but a crucial one in terms of adoption of a specific solution. And as for CMS guides, there is no better thing than a five-minute video presenting what you could describe with ten pages of text and a hundred screen shots.
Website content strategy
People come to some websites for their content that meets their needs. They read, watch, listen and interact with website content in a specific context to learn new things, keep track of trends or entertain themselves.
I can ensure these needs will be met, either when building a website for scratch or migrating an existing content to a new tech stack with a nicer, more engaging front-end. I know how to prepare a content inventory and make sure no URL nor search query is dropped when migrating to a new CMS and search engines keep pumping traffic to the site.
In this respect, I can cooperate with SEO specialists, content creators, front-end and back-end developers and make sure they work together as a team and always have the good search engine performance in mind.
I am the author of the books you can read more about in the "Books" section. For both of them, I planned the structure with the publisher, done research, interviews, written the content according to the plan and finally pushed it through revisions.
This gives me a nice perspective on writing and publishing process, not only from a reader's but also from a writer's and publisher's point of view. It is not sales figures but reviews and direct feedback from users that can be both very painful and rewarding. They can both discourage and motivate in a lot of ways.
One more valuable experience is that while you can write and sell a non-fiction book about almost anything, the choice of a topic is extremely important as you're going to spend hundreds of hours on it once you've signed the contract.