How to Make the Website Design Project Meet Deadlines
For every $1 billion invested in the United States, $122 million is wasted due to lacking project performance. – Project Management Institute
Assume you were to develop an e-commerce website for your client, a motor spare-parts company. How would you be doing it?
You will start by asking the client for a "Project Definition" which would be a complete description of the e-commerce website along with high-level requirements. The next step is to define the "Project Scope" with full details on the requirements and the tasks that must be performed to deliver the requirements. Next, create wire-frames and site architecture.
Wire-frames provide a prototype of the site showing just the page layouts but with no other details. Site architecture defines the data-flow and work-flow between different pages of the website as well as the other internal and external components. At this stage, you need to get the client's approval without which it would be risky to go ahead. Once obtained, you can start with the visual web design, site development, and site testing. After all the tests are completed, and bug fixes are implemented, you need to prepare for a launch and plan for the maintenance support.
This is the basic process outline to develop a website, and it is recommended to follow this process when you manage design projects like logo design. To complete the project successfully meeting the deadline, each of the phases discussed above must have its own turn around time, which is tighter than the client deadline. Now, how to manage deadlines? The best way to achieve this is to deploy a project management tool.
Defining milestones and working to meet them is an integral part of meeting project deadlines. The best way to handle this is to have a vision board that displays milestones. Some companies literally write milestones on sticky notes and stick them onto the walls of the room where they work. This creates a sense of urgency and improves the performance of the whole team. But, in today's world, virtual boards created using project management software keeps everything on track in a much efficient manner. Another advantage of virtual boards is that they allow keeping all projects in one place, thereby giving a view at the portfolio level. So, while choosing a project management software:
Mini-Deadlines are the internal deadlines that you give for activities or internal milestones. Without mini-deadlines, people tend to procrastinate the work until they reach the client's deadline. How to manage deadlines using mini-deadlines?
Collaboration and communication are critical to the success of any project. Especially to manage design projects that revolve around ideas and inputs, a PM tool is necessary. Most project management software facilitates collaboration features like:
It is clear that project management software is essential for the success of any website design project. Below are a few essential items you must insist on:
Features of the project management software
You should invest in software that can manage projects end-to-end— starting from initiation to the closing of the project.
Many make the mistake of choosing cheap project management software, which proves to be of less use to the company. It is advised to try out the trial versions of multiple softwares available in the market and get feedback from your team. Always invest in a robust project management software.
On-premise or cloud solution
Most modern solutions are deployed on the cloud, and it is highly recommended. Gone are the days when people used to reply on on-premises solutions like Team Foundation Server, MS Project, SharePoint, etc. But if the organization or the client is stringent on being on-prem, then you may not have a choice.
Uptime guarantee and data backup
It mainly applies to cloud solutions. Most of the solutions offer a 99.99% uptime, and anything above 99% is typically excellent. Data back and data security are essential features to ask.
Most of the tools have a live chat or a ticketing system for support. If you are handling critical projects, it is advisable to invest in premium support.
Meeting deadlines is a painful part of delivering website design projects. Project management software helps companies to set timelines and work through the timelines to meet the deadline. Project management software helps to define project deliverables and visualize project milestones. It helps to set mini-deadlines for deliverables and due dates for the associated tasks. Deploying sound project management software in a company always brings steady and promising outcomes. This article gives you a clear picture of the importance of PM software and how to choose one.
David is a Project Management expert. He has been published in Jeffbullas.com, HR.com, and eLearningIndustry. As a project planning and execution expert at ProProfs, he has offered a unique outlook on improving workflows and team efficiency.