Website Project Management – Keys to Collaboration

By | March 2, 2016

Your website should be designed to make your company money.

Responsible executives are accountable to shareholders, employees and other constituents, so they apply due diligence in choosing the right website partner, at a price that’s fair and for which they can expect a reasonable ROI.

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Building a website that makes money needs to be within your budget reach. The question becomes, how can you accurately communicate everything your site needs to function and perform at a level that serves your visitors and drives revenues – within the cost range that you can strategically allocate? Answering that question requires that you answer a number of other important questions in the right order.

Your agency/web designer/developer will never understand the complexities of your business like you do, and conversely, you probably don’t understand some if the intricacies of UI and UX design or technical back-end development as well as your experienced web design partner.

Rarely does a single party direct strategy, create content and implement production alone and get everything right. High performance web designs require team cooperation and accurate, timely communications. Now when both teams get on the same page with a common goal and start working together, a little magic happens. Client and agency/developer are on the same project team. Mutually assured success becomes the only option for every member on both the client side and agency/developer side. Great work comes out of this arrangement, so how can you best assure that everyone on your web project team cooperates and performs at this high level and stays within the budget? Apply the “4 C’s.”

The 4 C’s of Project Management: Contacts. Clarity. Completeness. Continuity.

As we go through our punch list below of the Top 10 Web Project Team Attributes, you’ll recognize that the “4 C’s of Project Management” are present in every item on the list. Notice how we’re dealing with Contacts (people), Clarity (accuracy of information), Completeness (thoroughness of details) and Continuity (current functionality > future growth > scalability). Communication is the big C word that is really the key to project success.

How well do the involved parties communicate? High performance websites (or any other successful vendor-enabled projects) are the result of great collaborations between partnering organizations.

Here’s the “Top 10” list of Web Project Team Attributes you need to get right from the start:

  1. Project leadership is established and respected by all team members.
  2. Project goals are clearly defined.
  3. Team member roles remain clear throughout project duration.
  4. All strategic & production related communications are recorded and indexed.
  5. All project assets & files are inventoried and labeled clearly.
  6. Primary & secondary target audiences are known and understood.
  7. Design concepts include branding, content strategy, promotions and calls to action.
  8. Technical specifications align with site usability requirements.
  9. The design and user interface are adaptable to growing user needs.
  10. The work scope and budget are determined and agreed upon.

project-management-teamThis list covers what most website owners need in order to build an effective site and compete online today. So at what point should you start planning this information-gathering and workflow process for your website’s development? The short answer is yesterday!

A consultant or manager with strong project management skills adds significant value to the end website product. How? He or she can fully envision the broad scope of the project and coordinate strategy, creative concepts, content and technical development downstream to all the right team members according to skill sets, managed expectations and clear directives. People working on the same page deliver better ROI results for the specified budget.

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