It is an exciting and sometimes somewhat daunting position to be in for all involved at the starting of any project. The process should be a straightforward one, from website brief, to mock ups, to demo, to finished website. However, often the case can be more drawn out than what you had imagined. Part of the deceleration of the project is often that there are too many people involved. The more people that are involved, the more opinions are in the pot and before long, the website design brief is out of the window, with new features, designs and pages added that were not there in the initial brief. This can lead to frustration on both parts. There are a few things that can be done to avoid such situations.
Each project needs to be assigned a project manager, one at the website company and another client-side. These two individuals should be in communication throughout the project. There is often inevitably going to be involvement from other people, especially in larger businesses, such as the website developer and perhaps on the client’s side, a manager or colleague who also needs to be involved in the process. But for the most part communication should try to remain between the 2 key project managers to keep things simple.
We all have opinions. The developer may have some insights for the client, from a technical perspective that should be taken into consideration, and the manager/colleague may have an insight from a business perspective of information that needs to be included. These interjections can work fine, and are sometimes necessary to achieve what is required. However, when there are many people giving their opinions on the design, images and layout of a website, it can start to become a harder thing to manage.
If other people need to be involved in the process, this should happen in a more structured manner, with feedback given at the same time, to ensure that the overall objective of the project is still being adhered to. One person should be elected (project manager) from the client side to rely the feedback in one document, that is easier to understand and action, than receiving a number of emails from 2 or more different people.
Each project will take a different time to complete. This is dependent on a number of factors including the speed and consistency and communication between each party. There may also be more technical areas of the website that should be considered i.e. a membership area that may also impact the time needed to complete the project.
With multiple people involved in the website build process, timescales can easily slip. It may be that the client needs to wait for feedback from one of the members of the team, who is absent. Factor in this feedback to the developer, and there may well be additional work to implement after this is received, meaning the developer is further away from completing the website than s/he first thought.
Create a Process that works
In any project management situation, whether it’s websites or building sites, there should always be a process in place to keep the situation on track to ensure that communication occurs through the correct channels, with the correct people.
It is important to highlight
- Each team member’s responsibilities
- The timeline that the project will be completed
- The goals for the client
- The expectations for the client as well as for the team
- The representatives for each department, as well as for the client
A process like this leaves little room for outsiders to become involved and muddle information, providing a smoother and more straight-forward client project process.