Monday, February 9, 2015

Project Management Updates: Lines, Damn Lines, and Statistics

Reports from the Project Manager

Renee's 2015 plan of working multiple smaller projects to completion is causing some additional work over here in Project Management Land, but it's all good. In order to track and lay out this year's work plan, I needed to come up with new dashboards which visually articulate all the different phases of a project.

  • Plotting
  • Writing
  • First Revisions
  • Second Revisions
  • Querying
The Inner Editor was particularly excited about my quantification of her work. From my point of view, if the work we are doing doesn't have measureable goals and a way to track to those measurements, we're really just wasting time.

Have you met Renee? She never wastes time.

So a whole new set of charts, tables, and graphs has emerged to help us keep track of the different phases of the project--we've even color coded each phase. This one is Renee's favorite:

With this one, we have an overall view of project status for each phase. In terms of time remaining versus required time remaining based on trended pace. I've also built in a forecasting tool so we can look forward when appropriate as well. The slopes are pretty sharp on this one since "Fishwife" is a short story; that will change when we apply the model to her next full-length novel. Overall, this one is going pretty well so far. I would never hear the end of it if I didn't post our current high level dashboard with all that green!

Until next time. . .

Monday, February 2, 2015

Abstract Thoughts: Sooner and Later

Brilliance from the Idea Salesman

So, who knew the Inner Editor was such a snob, right? That was some post last week. I mean, I knew, of course. She's always butting into my blog posts, after all. But she's usually better at hiding it from the rest of the world. The Project Manager almost worked up enough of a huff to comment.

Almost. We can't actually have commenters here on this blog. It would make Renee think some of those daily hits are coming from actual people instead of bots.

But enough about them. Let's talk about me.

Renee was supposed to move on to a third short story when she finished up "Blood" and she spent a full week trying to plot the darn thing out. She's had an inkling of the idea for a few weeks now, and the magic system seems pretty cool. But there was no main character to drive the thing. She just couldn't find one that worked in the story properly.

In the old days, Renee would probably still be sitting at her computer, staring off into space and beating her head up against the plotting wall. Or she'd be typing away madly, wasting a lot of time trying to write her way into a solution. Happily, those days are gone. The Project Manager doesn't put up with that kind of nonsense.

I am so glad I talked Renee into hiring him.

So instead, we've put short stories three and four on the back burner and moved on to revisions of "Fishwife" and "Blood". Hopefully by the time those stories are done, the Muse will have had time to work some background magic on the other two.

Which is all great news for me. Instead of spending six months waiting around while Renee writes and revises and edits and whatever else the girls do all day long on all four stories, now I just have to cool my heels for a few more weeks while she wraps up two of them. I could be back out there in the world with two stories up my sleeve in next month!