Archive for March 23, 2010

8 Essential Project Management Steps A Project Manager Must Follow

“In every great endeavor we wish to achieve, twice as much hard work is needed for us to give”. I believe in this statement and every project manager would definitely agree. A project manager sees to it that everything goes well as planned and if problems may arise as they usually do, a resolution is immediately implemented. To be able to create a successful project, one must go through the project management steps carefully completing each and every project management phases. Here is a guide of the project management phases:

1. Team Assembly

No man is on an island. Same is true in undergoing a project. It is a collaboration of different minds working together to come up with a cohesive idea and plan out the strategies needed to execute the project successfully. In creating your team make sure that you have different people from a variety of fields to have the most brilliant ideas on hand.

2. Project Initiation

Identification of the project definition, objectives and approach are discussed in this phase. It is important to have your goal in mind before starting to brainstorm into the scope and specifications of your project to serve as your guide throughout the duration of the project.Project Management

3. Project Planning

Among the project management steps, I would say this is very important since the foundation and backbone of the project will depend on the planning stage. If a complete and thorough planning is done the probability of setbacks and problems along the course of the project will be highly prevented. As a project manager you would need to use management-level planning to map out an overview of resources, acquisitions, subcontracts and costs. It is expected of you to estimate, plan and oversee all phases of the project management phase. As a project manager you need to include your team or set up a committee to execute project planning. 

4. Project Execution

In this project management step the project manager needs to know the importance of delegation. Each task needs to be delegated to everyone to achieve efficiency in delivering results. It is also helpful since easy tracking can be done through small teams or groups working together as one to achieve a single goal identified on the Initiation phase. Use a project management software to give a constant overview of how the project is going in terms of scheduling, cost control, budget management, resource allocation, collaboration software, communication, quality management and documentation or administration systems especially in large scale projects. Then collaborate with your team to hold meetings and conferences to provide feedback solve challenges and aid in decision making. Communication is essential in making your project a success to determine degree of dependency among team members and to foster camaraderie.

5. Project Leadership

What sets apart a manager and a leader? Some might not even know the slightest difference. A leader leads by example by that it means he embodies in himself the values of providing quality service to others. He is passionate in helping his team members be productive and resourceful without demanding for results right away. A leader knows and understands his team members weaknesses and strengths which he works around to motivate them to do their best and work collaboratively to produce excellent results.

6. Project Monitoring and Controlling

In any project you need to be able to allocate your resources effectively. Project software is available to oversee your costs, resources and financial capability throughout the project. Highest quality is achieved by constant monitoring and project tracking. Standard Quality is the goal being obtained in this phase to be able to present a high quality result.

7. Project Presentation

This phase is close to completion of the project wherein majority of what was planned has already taken place. The client will have a preview of the project outcome before it is officially launched to be able to change, update or do some minor revisions. The project manager will have the responsibility in presenting to the clients since he is the head of the organizing team. Effective communication skills are needed to undergo this phase impressively.

8. Project Conclusion

At any project close there should be a complete documentation, audit and feedback. Regardless of the success of the project, proper transition of work processes and deliverables should be done. Proper documentation of processes should have been established with sufficient data for the operation of the system and to also provide basis for future projects and maintenance.

Being a project manager has a lot of work. You have to be passionate in helping your team to be able to yield good results. It is not all theories and principles. Though there are a lot of resources on how to use project management steps wisely and effectively to help you along the way.

A Guest Post by Jason Westland.

Jason Westland has 15 years experience in the project management industry. From his experience he has created software to help speed up the management process. If you would like to find out more information about Jason’s online project management software visit www.ProjectManager.com.

TrackMania – The Best Free Racing Game Ever, Truly For Racing Game Fanatics!

TrackMania Nations Forever is a series of arcade racing games for Windows, Nintendo DS and Wii. This is a fast paced, highly enjoyable racing games where you can not only seimagelect different tracks but also build your own tracks! It has a strong user community with over 6 million registered users. 

Features :

  • A completely free game.
  • A captivating solo mode with 65 brand new tracks.
  • Solo and team based multiplayer modes. Join millions of players online on the TrackMania servers.
  • One complete TrackMania environment: Stadium ‘’Forever’’.
  • An in-game editor to create your own tracks, video studio to realize your own movies and a paint shop to customize your vehicles.
  • Official ladders for solo and multiplayer.

Download Full Game here. (900MB)

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Free Web Meeting, Sharing Document, Watch YouTube Together And More With ShowDocument

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ShowDocumet is Free, No Registration required, instantaneous Web Meeting, Document Sharing web based service. Absolutely, light weight, lightning fast service that offers a lot of features;

  • Online document sharing
  • Interactive Whiteboard, Drawing tools, Text editor, chat
  • Watch YouTube, Google Map together
  • Sharing Google Doc files
  • Easy Skype integration to talk during sessions…

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Interactive Whiteboard is very useful during meeting.

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Interactive YouTube Video Watch is also interesting. You can watch YouTube videos with friends together!

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Collaboratively watch Google Maps!

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Very interesting and nice web service that will enhance your online collaboration!

Cartoon Yourself – 20 Awesome Online Services to Create Your Avatar and Cartoon

Many of us are not comfortable using real photos to represent ourselves in any online profiles and look for right avatar to represent us.  Though there are so many free avatars and cartoons available, its always fun to create your own. Today, there are many online services that help you create your cartoon or avatar.

Avatar

Recommended Reading:

Here we have 20 such services where you can create cartoons and avatars. While most of them are free, some of them charge a fee to have an artist create a cartoon for you.

1. AnyMaking

AnyMaking lets you to apply a lot of nice and funny photo effects to joke with your friends. AnyMaking online photo fun effects converts your everyday’s pictures into beautiful artworks! Select special fun photo effects like retro comic effect, Cartoon effect, funny photo effect, puzzle effect etc and upload your picture.

AnyMaking_Cartoon

More info here.

2. Cartoon Me by Cartoonstylist.com

with this service you can upload your photo and have it cartooned by one of our talented artists.
This unique shiny cartoon can be used for many purposes such as a profile picture or an avatar with MSN, Yahoo messenger, e-Buddy, MySpace, ICQ, Skype, Facebook or a wallpaper for your mobile phone. You can also give it as a gift for your loved ones or print it out and frame it.

cartoonStylist

More info here.

3. Face Your Manga

Face Your Manga allows you to create an Avatar for your self or your friends in an absolutely free, easy and quick way.
You will be able to use it with the most common Instant Messaging Programmes, such as Live Messenger®, Skype®, AIM®, Yahoo!® Messenger, ICQ®, MySpaceIM® and many more. With Face your Manga you can create on-line your virtual alter-ego without needing an artistic knowledge and to download any kind of software on your computer.

FaceYourManga

More info here.

4. Moonjee

You can upload your photo and choose form different effects available like funny, ethnic, attractive etc. and share with your friends.

moonjee

More info here.

5. CartoonMe

This lets you get your cartoon created by professional artists. You just need to select a good picture and upload it on the CartoonMe homepage. After the payment is done, your picture is sent to the studio where your Cartoon is drawn by hand. Within 72 hours you will receive your Cartoon in your email

CartoonMe

More info here

6. Toonlet

Toonlet lets you create your own cartoon character by selecting different options from arm, eyes, hair etc.

Toonlet

More info here.

7. Meez

With Meez, you can create your own 3D character by changing your look, getting dressed, selecting animation and backgrounds.

Meez

More info here.

8. WeeWorld

In WeeWorld you can create your own cartoon character by selecting between various options given for hair style, emotions, dresses etc.

 weeworld

More info here.

9. Portrait Illustration Maker

Portrait Illustration Maker is a service which provides character icons completely free of charge!
They are available for your blog site or SNS.

Potrait

More info here.

10. Yahoo Avatar

Yahoo Avatar lets you easily pick your own avatar from the available ones. It lets you choose from various new look, appearance, background etc and create your own animated avatar.

Yahoo_Avatar

More info here.

11. Mii

Mii is a flash based services that lets you create your own cartoon and save. It provides various options to choose for shape, color, eyes, eyebrows etc. Its quick and easy.

Mii

More info here.

12. Bfunky

BeFunky arms you with simple but innovative tools to turn ordinary digital photos into incredible artwork and cartoons.

befunky

More info here.

13. CartoonSlinger.com

You can send your head shot and an artist will create your caricature. They also provide services like live cartoon drawing for special occasions.

CartoonSlinger

More info here.

14. Cartoonize Me!

All cartoon portraits were digitally drawn and cartoonized from real photo of actor, actress, singer, etc. They also provide non-celebrity photo cartoonization service for an affordable price.

CartoonizedMe

More info here.

15. imvu

IMVU is a social network and 3D virtual world where millions of people meet, chat and have fun in animated 3D scenes. You can shop and dress up your avatar with your own personalized look, design and decorate your own 3D space, and connect with new people from around the world. It provides loads of options to create your own avatar.

imvu

More info here.

16. Create My Picture

Create My Piture is another quick and easy service where you can create your own cartoon using the editor provided. You can choose from various options given for skin color, chin, eyes etc.

Create_my_pic

More info here.

17. Build Your Wild Self

Build Your Wild Self lets you design human face and select your favorite animal parts and go wild!

build_your_self

More info here.

18. Simpsons Avatar

Lets you create avatar in Simpsons style.

simpsons

More info here.

19. Blockhead Iconizer

Reasonably Clever line of Flash-Widgets to make you look like a little plastic LEGO® figurine. It is used by thousands of folks to make on-line avatars!

Blockhead

More info here.

20. DoppleMe

With DoppelMe you can create a cool graphical likeness of yourself, your friends, family or any group of people for use as an avatar in forums, instant messenger, blogs and almost anywhere else on the web.

doppleme

More info here.

Greatest Game Developers Who Changed The World Of Computer Games

Computer games have come a long way. During 1980’s the text/ASCII based games were popular. In the 1990’s the arcade games slowly transformed in to 3d games and by late 1990, prominent 3d games like Quake/Quake2/Unreal became popular than ever. These changes owe a lot to few greatest game programmers and designers that gaming industry has seen. Here is a partial list of game programmers and a tribute to them! Do help us grow the list. Comments are most appreciated.
Related Reading:
10 Great Browser Games
12 Free and Open Source 3D Games Part 1
12 Free and Open Source 3D Games Part 2
Great Open Source City Building Games

Alexey Pajitnov – A Russian computer engineer who co-authored the very famous Tetris in 1985.

Tetris on iPod image

Michael Abrash – Prolific author of optimized graphic routines, expert on 8086 assembly, Game programming. He has created games like  Space Strike, PC Booter, Cosmic Crusader and up to a certain extent id Software’s Quake. He has authored famous books like Graphics Programming Black Book, Code Optimization: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Software That Pushes PCs to the Limit and many other technical write-ups.

Graphics Programming Cosmic Crusader

Scott Adams – He is the co-founder of Adventure International, an early publisher of games for home computers. He has developed many of early games like Adevntureland, Pirate Adventure etc for CP/M and MS-DOS. He was the first person known to create an adventure-style game for personal computers,way back in 1978.

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Ed Boon – He is famous as the co-creator of the Mortal Kombat franchise

Mortal Kombat

David Braben -co-creator of Elite –Space Trading computer game.

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Danielle Bunten Berry developer of several early groundbreaking games, such as M.U.L.E. and The Seven Cities of Gold

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John Carmack – He is probably the greatest game programmer who introduced us to first person shoot ‘em up 3D games. He is the programmer of many groundbreaking 3D games such as Wolfenstein 3D, the Doom series and the Quake series.

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Will Crowther was the originator of Colossal Cave Adventure – the first ever Computer Adventure Game (1976)

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Richard Garriott (a.k.a. Lord British) – developer of the Ultima series among others
Jordan Mechner – developer of several games with groundbreaking animation, such as Karateka and The Prince of Persia series

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Sid Meier – developer of numerous successful series, such as Civilization, Pirates! and Railroad Tycoon, among others. Brian Reynolds also had been involved in Civilization games.

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Alan Miller – co-founder of the first independent console game publisher and programmer of several early Atari 2600 games

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Robyn and Rand Miller – owners of Cyan Worlds, designers of Myst, Riven and other games

Myst Riven

Jeff Minter founder of Llamasoft

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Peter Molyneux designer and programmer of Fable, Black & White, their sequels and Theme Park

Fable Fable

Chris Sawyer – programmer and designer of Transport Tycoon series and Roller Coaster Tycoon

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Ken Silverman – Creator of the Build Engine used first by Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Blood and later by many other games. Ken created his first 3D engine around the same time Carmack created the Doom engine.

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Tim Sweeney – Creator of the Unreal Engine and ZZT

Unreal Unreal

Anne Westfall – Programmer of all versions of home computer era game Archon. Joe Freeman is her husband, who is also a game programmer.

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Don Woods – was co-author of Colossal Cave Adventure
Will Wright – programmer turned designer of most Sim- games including SimCity (City Building Game), The Sims (Life simulation game) and Spore.

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Shigeru Miyamoto – Japanese Video Game designer and producer. He is famous for several games like Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Animal Crossing, Pikmin and F-Zero.

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Hironobu Sakaguchi – Designer of Final Fantasy

for more, check out Computer Programmer

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