Even under the best conditions, managing web projects can be difficult. Whether it's setting expectations, realistic timelines, or guidelines for keeping yourself educated on progress, there is no doubt that it can quickly become a time-consuming process. The below tips can help any business manage their projects with their web vendors and help you ask the right questions to ensure your project is completed efficiently.
Identify Key Decision Makers
The key decision makers are those who approve each task of the project before moving ahead to the next. These are the people who represent the business and their feedback. The project will run smoother if only 1-3 decision makers are selected. This helps organize feedback and streamline the approval process.
It is important to remember that these key decision makers are responsible for the direction to the developers. These members are an integral part of ensuring that the developers know exactly what is important to you for success.
This is probably what they look like.
Establish Project Requirements
This might be one of the most important tips of managing projects. Requirements are tasks and functionalities of the project that must be fulfilled for the project to be considered successful. These should be established right from the beginning, but are oftentimes discovered as the project progresses. Requirements help develop the scope of the project and set expectations for both the client and the vendor.
Requirements should be documented and approved with both the business and the vendor before the project begins, and should be approved should anything dynamically change as the project progresses. It should also be communicated that any changes or additions to the project can affect the timeline and completion date.
Set Project Timelines
After the project has begun, it is important to set a timeline to review different tasks of the project. Oftentimes there can be various stages to completion such as the design and development stage. You should have a firm grasp on when you will see the results of each stage and should be kept informed of any changes or adjustments to these timelines. As mentioned, if requirements are changed during the middle of a project, it can affect the timeline and completion date.
Plan Project Status Meetings
Teams that have a set schedule of status meetings have better experiences than those who do not. It iss recommended to setup weekly communications with your development company to discuss tasks, timelines, and feedback. Status meetings should be followed up with emails detailing notes and action items from the calls. This provides documentation of all items discussed in the status meeting and gives all parties a clear picture of next steps to keep the development progressing.
Conduct Extensive Site Testing
It is important to thoroughly review and test a web project before launching. Using a checklist and compiling feedback into one document can help organize the testing process. There are several templated checklists online, but you can also create a checklist based on the different aspects specific to your project.
As a company that has been through more than a handful of development projects, our final advice before beginning a project is:
- Give the project timeline the attention it deserves. We have consistently found that projects that finish on schedule provide better outcomes and experiences for everyone on the team.
- Communicate. Teams that schedule meetings up front and establish clear communication in advance have better experiences than those who do not plan ahead.
- Ask Questions. If you have any questions along the way, always ask. It is always easier to answer questions than to have to re-do a portion of the project because something was not clear.