How do you keep your website project on track?
We all know somebody who has had problems with a website project. Maybe the website ran severely over budget or maybe the project didn't even get completed.
As surprising as that may sound, it used to happen a lot. More recently with the advances in software, new programming tools and an expanding army of experienced, talented and well trained web developers, it does still happen unfortunately, but standards have improved significantly and serious web development companies take the project management and delivery of successful projects on time and on budget very seriously indeed.
There are some fairly simple measures you can take to ensure that this doesn't happen to you.
Here are the key areas to consider:
- Reach an agreement with your web developer about your exact requirements and have them typed up into a Requirements Document that you both agree and sign
- Before engaging a web developer, speak to recent customers or clients who have had a similar project undertaken and ask them whether they can fully recommend the service and the resulting website
- Agree with the developers that you won't change the requirements once they have been agreed, or if you do that you recognise that the project timings and costings may have to be reviewed - website projects can be complex and require a broad range of expert resources to build them
- Allow the developers to complete the main website before requesting new functions that have come up as ideas along the way. The new ideas should be looked at as a phase 2 in most cases. Making a list of ideas and notes as phase 1 plays out, gives a great platform on which to develop the website further in the future.
- Ensure that you provide your side of effort required - by giving the developer the information they need to build your site. It is a 2-way project and success requires both parties to be fully committed
- Choose a developer that you can see yourself being able to work with over a period of time. Successful website projects are the result of a creative and collaborative process - and will be improved when the best team is in place and everyone understands the aims of the project.
Helix have run website projects for a long time now and are qualified Project Managers (PRINCE2). With the rare exception, we enjoy our projects and the diversity of businesses that we are lucky enough to work with.
The key is to make a plan, agree it works for all parties, all parties commit to it, and then execute it with energy!
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