Managing a website redesign project, large or small, can quickly escalate into a second full time job. Making sure the project launches on time is always one of the most important factors in any project. Clients often ask us – “How can we get this all done and still keep this project moving on time?”
While the answers may vary depending on the project, there are 3 elements in every website redesign that, if managed properly, can help keep things moving on time and on budget.
Everyone is on board with this new project that’s going to make your company better – Great! Chances are every one of those people has an idea in their head on how this end product should look, function, etc. and you want every one of those voices to be heard. As cliche as it sounds, communication IS key!
Most of the time your development team will be able to outline or guide you through what information is needed to define the project scope. But if you want to be ahead of the game it may be smart to meet with all your stakeholders first and talk through your high level goals and ideas as a company. Be prepared to meet with the development agency and have a clear idea and focus for the following:
- Overall goals for the project- What do you hope to accomplish?
- Who is this site for – Internal vs. Consumers?
- Look and feel – What should set this web design apart?
- Functionality – How do you want users to engage with the end product?
- Budget – It might help to determine what you’d LIKE to spend vs. what you CAN spend. This way the website development agency can provide you with various options to choose from.
While I did say that communication is key, organization is a priority as well.? With any sizable project, there will be ?a host of assets (images, text, videos) that will need to be prepared and delivered to the website development team as well as comments from a variety of team members and approval chains. While a simple email may sound like a fine solution, often times this delivery mechanism just will not cut it.
Think about the amount of emails you get in just a single day, multiply that at least 4x if you plan to use your inbox as the sole tool for organization and delivery.? It is inevitable that assets will be lost in the sea of daily communication and in no time at all you may begin to see your project timeline fading.
Thankfully there are a number of great organization and communication tools out there to help keep projects on track. Most of them offer free trials or even free accounts for a single project so you can test drive without making an initial expense. Some of my favorites to use are:
- Basecamp – Great internal communication feature, folder structure for keeping files and assets organized, calendar that can be populated with tasks and deliverables based on your timeline
- Gather Content – Organize the content for your web project based on a custom sitemap structure; upload images, videos & documents to keep everything in one place, great edit and approval workflow feature
- InVision – Upload your creative comps to this online app that provides internal and external collaboration through the comments feature
Congratulations, you are coming up to the final stride of the project and it is time for final review before project launch. Those same stakeholders that provided direction at the beginning of the project will need to chime in again. At this stage of the game it’s important to manage all the feedback as well as expectations in order to launch this project on time.
- A shared document (Google Docs) can be created and sent out for everyone to provide their feedback. Make sure to give a due date with plenty of time for one or two people to review and consolidate similar comments or make a decision on ones that contradict each other.
- Set up a single meeting for everyone to attend and give their feedback in person. Everything can be reviewed and documented together and contradictions in feedback for edits can be identified and handled in one shot.
Make sure to give your development team plenty of time to make the necessary edits/changes before committing to a launch date.
Have any other communication, organization or consolidation tools that have helped your projects run on-time? Please share them with us. We’d love to hear your feedback!