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Project On Time Delivery

How to Plan a Website for On-Time Delivery?

BY White Label IQ
5-minute read that highlights the two main secrets to keeping web-dev schedules on track.

Jumping right to the quick, delivering any complex website project on time requires planning and definition.

Particularly: Asking the right questions so 1) expectations can be set and then 2) communicating effectively as the project proceeds.

Henny Youngman, a master of communicating the unexpected, said, “When I read about the dangers of drinking, I gave up reading.” But seriously folks, no one likes an unexpected twist with their web-dev project. Keeping expectations and communications in check are essential to on-time delivery.

Here are some must-haves…

1) The right questions set expectations:
Scope document

Scope isn’t set in stone but it guides the project. It outlines what is being done and is accompanied by initial meetings and phone calls. The expectations are documented right at the beginning.

What is the story that is being told?

Project Management
Pricing

Pricing must be realistic and allow for the unknown. Web dev requires engineering, but it is an art—art takes time—and sites can become complex as the project proceeds. No one likes sticker shock, but it’s especially shocking if it’s not revealed up front.

What does it cost and is that realistic?

Timeline

The project needs a timeline and so do the steps within it. A timeline for receiving and processing art and photos and content… and for coding, for design, for launch and post-launch review, for testing, for propagation. And a timeline for regular meetings.

Is there proper time allotted to each step?

Identification of resources

A brief or design questionnaire is essential and accompanies either the actual assets to be included or examples or descriptions of them—content, images, type treatments, APIs and hosting identification are examples.

Whatever the form of input, it’s about identifying all the parts and pieces—what is needed to do the work so there is no scrambling for assets and information. Otherwise, it’s like thinking one is prepared for a home fix-up project but has to make four trips to the hardware store. Link to this design questionnaire for a sample document. But, of course, it can be altered to fit any agency’s needs.

What are the resources and guidelines for using them?

2) Communication:
Regular meetings

Weekly or even daily meetings keep milestones, technical re-directs and budgets in check. And they should also align with the transition from one timeline to the next. For example, when design is handed off to development, a conversation smooths that transition. When all parties are engaged, expectations can be agreeably re-set as the project evolves.

Are we avoiding surprises?

Imaginative Visual Of Business
Structured review and approval periods

Collective receipt and review of feedback is essential. If instead, feedback drips in, what is being asked may no longer be relevant. Collective feedback saves time for all parties as it holds each accountable to the timelines.

No one knows what “I don’t like this!” really means or what to do with “Can this be different?”. To get clear feedback, a feedback form uses words like “Describe… Give an example... Summarize items you prefer”… and so on

Is the feedback unambiguous and complete for this stage?

Non-verbal feedback tools

Random screenshots and emails with comments become unwieldy. Software feedback tools such as BugHerd and MPOWR Envision enable collective, unambiguous feedback and the organization of it. As part of the scheduling consideration, allow training for all parties for the efficient delivery of feedback through whichever tools or techniques are being used.

Are we all on board with how to deliver feedback?

Delivery

Many items get delivered throughout the web-dev process, including the final site. Establish dates for specific deliverables and feedback related to them as part of the timeline. In daily meetings discuss the status of those deliverables—reports, digital files, launch processes, executing an event, etc. Instead of a deliverable just sitting out in the ether, all parties should know the reactions to it and the performance of it. It should be clear when the SOW is complete.

Is anyone one wondering where we are in the process?

The unexpected makes for good comedy shtick, but it’s no joke with web dev. But proper planning and solid definition will keep everyone happy along the way.

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