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Podcast Roundup

Tabletop Gaming News - 10 October 2017 - 11:00am
The work week might just be beginning for me (having had yesterday off), but that doesn’t mean I’m not already looking forward to next weekend. Going to a friend’s get-together that should be pretty damn awesome. But we’ve still got 3.5 days of work to get through. So let’s speed things along with some gaming […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

jquery.timepicker polyfill

New Drupal Modules - 10 October 2017 - 10:59am

Provides a light wrapper for jquery.timepicker

Uses modernizr to detect browser support for html5 `time` inputs and applies the polyfill if not.

Categories: Drupal

Factious Waste Skirmish Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 10 October 2017 - 10:30am
Well, it seems as though the world’s come to an end, again. Damnit, Todd! I told you to clean up after yourself! Now there’s been a collapse of the natural world, and with it, went industry and nations and everything else. Looks like we’ll have to form small bands in this wasteland world and try […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Games Announces Masks of Nyarlathotep Expansion for Eldritch Horror

Tabletop Gaming News - 10 October 2017 - 10:00am
Another classic is being brought to your tabletops with Masks of Nyarlathotep for Eldritch Horror. But more than that, there’s also going to be a new edition of the Call of Cthulhu adventure, updating it to the current 7th edition rules. So it’s sort of a two-for-one update here. Cults all over are worshiping a […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Elevated Third: 5 Ways Web Development Project Management Will Make Your Project More Successful

Planet Drupal - 10 October 2017 - 9:45am
5 Ways Web Development Project Management Will Make Your Project More Successful 5 Ways Web Development Project Management Will Make Your Project More Successful Lily Berman Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:45

As account managers at Elevated Third, we manage many projects across our accounts. Web development project management is intangible though not unimportant. We do not create wireframes or write code, so our direct impact on the Drupal websites Elevated Third produces may be less clear to our clients.

During the sales process, some clients see their communication budget as an unnecessary expense. Similar to limiting overhead spending when choosing recipients for charitable organizations, limiting the communication budget means more time goes to execution, right?

Maybe not. In the same way that a successful benefit event can dramatically increase the funds available for a nonprofit’s mission, strong account management directly contributes to our clients achieving their business goals across projects.

So, how does an account manager foster a successful Drupal project at Elevated Third?

  1) Account managers are the single consistent knowledge holder throughout the life of a project

Our team’s level of involvement will vary throughout a project. While UX has a large impact in the beginning, developers complete the majority of the tasks at the end. The account manager is the only member of the team who is in every meeting from kickoff to launch. It can be frustrating (and often expensive) for clients when the team veers from their vision. As a consistent project knowledge holder, an account manager can guide the team to ensure that they are considering the big picture, even when the client is not in the room.

For Instance: A designer knows he needs to create visual design for the project. He reviews what he believes is the necessary documentation, but did not see the client’s email update describing her new brand direction. He spends hours designing with the original brand guidelines in mind, then presents it to the client. The client is then frustrated that her feedback was not implemented and additional hours will be needed to modify the design. As our contracts are time and materials, every additional hour spent on a project has a corresponding cost to our clients.

When an account manager is involved in a project, she is part of every conversation and reviews every client email. This means no feedback will get lost in translation and costly adjustments will be avoided. Account managers are not responsible for creating any element of the website, so we can focus on ensuring that our clients and end users are kept in mind in every meeting and throughout the whole project.

  2) Account managers keep budget and timeline top of mind

A core part of the account manager’s role is managing the client’s budget and timeline. No other member of the team has that responsibility. We balance designers and developers who, if given a chance, would often prefer to build the most beautiful, perfect user-friendly functionality. Their desire to build the best thing ever is valuable, but it has to be balanced with the client’s budget and timeline needs. The account manager sets deadlines and monitors burndown throughout the project. From early discussions of which features will be prioritized to consistent check-ins and tweaks throughout execution, account managers ensure that the project aligns with the established constraints.

For instance: A UX strategist, excited about how valuable the tool we are building will be for its users, starts planning her user testing. She creates a first round of prototypes and tests with five users. Their feedback is so beneficial, she creates another iteration of prototypes to test with another five users, and then tests a third. Although she has gained valuable insight, she has now used half of the project hours that were allocated for visual design, as the budget did not accommodate extensive user testing. When an account manager takes on the role of web development project management, she knows the scope and the hours that are allocated for each task. She completes a variety of checks and balances to ensure the execution aligns with the project constraints.

  3) Account managers communicate with clients and with the team

Custom web development can often be a mysterious and complex process. Luckily, an account manager has learned to translate jargon for our clients. As a result of working in this industry, we understand the terminology used along with the impact of the choices we are asking our clients to make. Not only do we coordinate meetings and send status updates to keep clients in the loop, but we are also uniquely equipped to ensure they understand the process. This means that our team can stay focused on their tasks and more efficiently complete work with minimal interruptions.

For Instance: A developer has spent an hour working on a very complex task. Knowing that he needs to maximize concentration and minimize interruptions, he silences all of his notifications. This practice, called going “heads down,” is common when tackling problem-solving tasks. During this time, a client reaches out with an extremely urgent issue. Since he is the only person available to answer her request, it lingers for hours before she receives a response. For some development-related issues, especially on a live site, this delay can dramatically impact the client’s bottom line. When an account manager is involved in the project, she can immediately alert the developer of the request and let the client know her concern is being addressed right away.

  4) Account managers are organization wizards

For all projects, but especially for complex projects, there can be a lot of documentation. Luckily, account managers choose this field because we love organizing chaos. This skill helps our team work faster throughout the course of a project. Although a client rarely sees our organization and management of tasks and documentation, they will see the benefits of more accurate work and increased efficiency across teams.

For Instance: A developer knows that she needs to reference a particular piece of documentation for the element of the site she is building today, but she can’t find it. She spends 15 minutes digging through folders to find what she needs, which seems to happen every time she completes a task. When an account manager is involved in a project, she knows what documentation the developer will need, so she has already attached it to the current task, saving the developer time.

 

5) Account managers are flexible and adapt their skills to maximize their value

Every other role on a project is clear. A UX strategist helps to define which features will best achieve the business goals and how to maximize a user’s experience of interacting with them. A designer crafts how they will appear. A developer builds them. An account manager’s role in web development project management is less clear. When people ask me what I do on a typical day, my answer often comes after a long pause, and it’s rarely the same. Many others in my field find it difficult to describe their role succinctly, as our work can vary dramatically from day to day and from project to project.

For instance: Some days, my role is quite technical, and I am preparing or reviewing project documentation or checking the quality of completed development tasks. Other days, my role is more interpersonal, and I am supporting my team in delivering their best work or in back-to-back meetings with my clients. With each project comes a new business to learn, often along with new technologies and additional nuance to my role. To be successful, I am always switching between the various priorities outlined here, along with many more.

 

At Elevated Third, we value our clients’ investment in our work and are always evolving to maximize the value of that investment. We build communication time into our projects because we know how invaluable strong account managers are to ensuring our Drupal websites generate the outcomes our clients value most.

Categories: Drupal

Ironwatch Magazine Issue 61 Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 10 October 2017 - 9:30am
To help entirely fill up your day with gaming, there’s gaming magazines. After you’ve listened to the podcasts, caught up on the news, and checked out the video reviews, you can grab one of these and get some great tactical articles, or modelling articles, or some new scenarios. All sorts of stuff. And that’s just […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Normans Available To Order For Hail Caesar

Tabletop Gaming News - 10 October 2017 - 9:00am
I’m not sure how easy it would be to control an entire army where everyone is named Norman. I mean, you’d get into, “Hey! Norman! … No… the other Norman! … No, the other-other Norman!” … It’d soon turn into a Monty Python skit. Thankfully, the Normans weren’t actually all named Norman. I just wanted […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fall Issue of Casual Game Insider Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 10 October 2017 - 8:30am
So, I just had a 3-day weekend. So the regular Monday posts weren’t around, like I’m sure you were going to be looking for. Face it, I can’t always be posting news (as much as I’d like to sometimes). So, how do you fill up the hours in-between my posts? I suggest a gaming magazine. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Drupal Security Warning for Composer

New Drupal Modules - 10 October 2017 - 8:05am

This Composer plugin will display a warning when users install or update Drupal packages (via Composer) that are not supported by the Drupal Security team, as per the Security Advisory Policy.

Example

Installing or updating a "non-covered" Drupal package via composer install will display:

Categories: Drupal

New 40k Kits Available To Order From Games Workshop

Tabletop Gaming News - 10 October 2017 - 8:00am
Cold and Flu season is coming, and by that, I mean that the forces of Nurgle are amassing and will soon be spreading their virulent pestilence all across the galaxy. … Best stock up on orange juice, Kleenex, and Baneblades. Yes, along with some new Nurgle releases, Games Workshop is taking pre-orders for Baneblades and […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Zivtech: Drupal is Not Just for Your Marketing Site

Planet Drupal - 10 October 2017 - 7:51am

As a Drupal expert, many of the projects I’ve done over the years have been marketing websites. Drupal is widely understood as a content management system that’s used to power sites like ours, but this is actually only the tip of the iceberg of what Drupal can do for an organization. Our team has used Drupal to build a variety of complex custom web applications that help companies work more efficiently.

Do you need an intranet?

We’ve used Drupal to build intranets that securely keep internal content and documents for staff eyes only. Drupal has an abundance of community features that make it easy to have wikis, commenting, user profiles, and messaging. Many organizations we’ve worked with integrate their intranet with their LDAP or other Single Sign On system. 

Radial's intranet allows team members to quickly locate information about co-workers

We’ve also used Drupal for our own intranet for the past eight years. Our intranet helps keep our internal knowledge base easy to access and organizes information like our servers, sites, clients, and projects.

Read more
Categories: Drupal

Steamforged Posts Hemlocke Alternate Sculpt Previews

Tabletop Gaming News - 10 October 2017 - 7:30am
The Union in Chains event will see several members of the Union get new versions of their characters being recruited into different Guilds. These figures aren’t just going to get a new stat card and you use the old mini. Oh no. They’re all getting new sculpts. The first we get to look at is […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

[AI Design]: Why characters in Ebony Spire: Heresy behave the way they do - by Constantin Bacioiu

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 10 October 2017 - 7:07am
How I designed the AI in my dungeon crawler. The article looks at a way to implement two different approaches: a need driven system and a ratio based decision making system!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dissecting Design -- A Valley Without Wind - by Josh Bycer

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 10 October 2017 - 7:07am
Each week, Josh Bycer of Game-Wisdom takes a deep dive into one video game for his Dissecting Design series. This week, it's all about the replayability of A Valley Without Wind.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Day 23 of 100 Days of VR: Creating a Spawning System for Enemies in Unity - by Josh Chang

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 10 October 2017 - 7:07am
Today on day 23 we’re going to learn how to spawn enemy waves. Currently, the game isn’t challenging, we only have one enemy! We’re going to fix this by spawning waves of enemies to defeat.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Open-World RPGs and the Hinterlands Problem - by Damon Reece

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 10 October 2017 - 7:06am
An analysis of common pitfalls in contemporary open-world RPGs that lead to narrative inconsistency and player dissatisfaction.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Games Announces Legacies Expansion For Star Wars: Destiny

Tabletop Gaming News - 10 October 2017 - 7:00am
Fantasy Flight Games has announced a new set for Star Wars: Destiny, their card and dice game of sci-fi combat. This set adds in new mechanics such as a new die symbol and card type. There’s also going to be two new starter sets for the game, focusing on Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett, two […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Defined table field

New Drupal Modules - 10 October 2017 - 6:56am

This module provides a new "Defined table" field type, that allows administrators and content builders to add tables to content.

Table header row and column (data labels) can be either predefined in field settings (the same for a field instance) or set to dynamic and definable per entity.

Possible label sources:

  • Taxonomy vocabulary
  • Custom input

Other table field modules:

Categories: Drupal

Wyrd Posts New Medical Automaton Artwork

Tabletop Gaming News - 10 October 2017 - 6:30am
It’s Monday! Ok, so it’s not. It’s actually Tuesday. I can tell because of the shirt I’m wearing. Many of us had Monday off here in the states, including me. So it’s a bit of catch-up this morning. One item is Wyrd’s regular Monday post. In this case, it’s some alternate art for the Medical […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Taxonomy Move

New Drupal Modules - 10 October 2017 - 6:29am

Move terms between vocabularies.

Categories: Drupal

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