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Making Creative Project Management Easy at IdeaBase

Graduating senior Alex Longwell shared his knowledge on agile-based project management.

Working for IdeaBase serves as a supplement to our student’s coursework. While many of our students are from programs within the College of Communication and Information, IdeaBase also employs students from colleges like Kent State’s College of Business Administration to increase their knowledge in the areas of web development, business and project management.

Graduating senior, Alex Longwell, prefers agile-based project management, which he learned at IdeaBase and through various internships. In this type of project management, a lot of the responsibility falls on the developers, creating self-sufficient workers.

Longwell also uses Scrum, a management framework especially useful for software and web development.

Scrum is centered on three main aspects:

  1. Adaptability
  2. Transparency
  3. Accountability

With these in mind, many project managers chose to use additional technology to aid in the process. At IdeaBase, digital project managers heavily use Trello, a website focused on small deliverables that can be organized and adapted to any project.

This site became extremely important in IdeaBase’s work for websites like DuraEdge, a top-quality soil producer. The project has lasted more than five months, requiring close attention to timelines and deliverables.

Caption: A scrum board from Trello, showing project management deliverables and progress for current IdeaBase project.

“This project has been my main focus for most of my senior year,” Longwell said. “It has been great practice for my next step in life.”

Trello features customizable columns for each element of project management, including upcoming tasks, completed tasks and more. Users can filter the information with specific development labels.

In addition to Trello, the staff uses Basecamp to communicate with the client. This site shares content universally through email notifications and allows individuals to make their own to-do lists within each project.

Through all of the projects, Longwell encourages staff members to use Scrum to ensure smooth project planning.

In a Scrum project, team members have specialized roles.

  • Scrum Master: organizes meetings and adherence to Scrum principles for the project
  • Project Owner: serves as the liaison between the development team and key stakeholders
  • Development Team: self-organizes and determines the most efficient way to meet the clients needs

All team members participate in Scrum meetings, which are 15-minute briefs with the development team for project updates and addressing possible obstacles.

Most of these project management skills are learned through real-world experience. Through his practice with IdeaBase and education at Kent State, Longwell has gained confidence in his leadership skills. Longwell also earned his Professional Scrum Master certification while working at IdeaBase.

“Most of my courses are based on team projects. I feel confident in taking the lead on these projects because of my experience at IdeaBase.”
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