Were you just tasked with managing a web development project? This may be your first time handling a big opportunity all on your own. Or you may have been doing this for years but still, need a fresh reminder. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this list of key points and steps to keep you in check! After all, managing a web development project is a very large responsibility, whether it’s your first or hundredth time.
When working on a project, you want to accomplish a goal that both satisfies the client and their customers. But you need some way to get there. Define clear and necessary objectives for every step of the process to help you reach that goal. Carefully decide and document your objectives. Decide the success factors - a detail that tells you the web development project has been successful by the end of the project - and make sure they are attainable.
Make sure to form a connection with your stakeholders. Analyze them, and classify them on how motivated they are in helping, and how influential they are. Highly influential and supportive people are your allies. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, and reduce misunderstanding of information early on and during the working process.
Research the industry
Understanding the industry that this website serves will immensely help in building a base for your web development project. Without a good knowledge foundation in the industry can lead to unrealistic expectations being set and make them nearly impossible to achieve.
To help add to your knowledge of the industry, define deliverables with your client. That means anything tangible, from the font, theme, colors, mood board, and so on. What content is on this page? What is the page layout going to look like? Write down everything they want, and review with your client to guarantee that these deliverables accurately reflect what they want to receive from this project.
The next big step is planning the actual project. You’ve done the research, and you’ve spoken to your stakeholders, clients, and everyone else. Now you need to plan your project, basically to plan how you will accomplish the objectives. This involves how many people will be needed to develop the website, what are your resources, and how to distribute your budget effectively. If this is done in-house, decide what activity is done by which department and take note. If you’re outsourcing certain activities, specify what and when they will deliver their part. Don’t forget to write down a list of features in priority divided into the following segments: must-have, okay to have, and nice to have. Having this list, as with this list, will keep you in check throughout the development process. Estimate the time and budget of this project and make sure your key stakeholders agree with your plan.
Align your team
After you have your plan, talk to your team! They are the ones who will be working hands-on with developing the project, and you are to oversee the result! Ensure everyone knows the timeline and what is expected of them. Get them to all look in the same direction and focus on the same goal. Be transparent with them to boost trust and connection.
Get your team on the same page on the start and end dates, frequency of reporting and meetings, and so on. If there is a team management platform, have your team learn to use it fluently and update their process through that.
Choose the methodology
There are many types of project management methodologies to choose from when taking over a big one like web development. At Dirox, our team of professionals finds it most effective to use the AGILE methodology but every other management approach has its benefits too! As a project manager, choosing an approach and sticking to it is essential to complete the project effectively. Let’s go over a few methodologies and figure out what fits you and your team best!
Agile emphasizes flexibility. As with most projects, the process is unpredictable and is likely to change before a total completion. If the stakeholder and client don’t have a clear, exact sense of what the result looks like, this is the method to go with! We go in-depth about AGILE methodology in this article with its history, comparisons, and examples.
This methodology relies heavily on sprints and cycles to plan. There has to be a leader called the Scrum Master who manages a project, hosts daily Scrum meetings, and more. Choosing scrum as your management methodology is best when your team needs set periods to focus on a task and better deadline management for quick wins, or the project is too complex and needs segmented tasks.
This is one of the first methods that plot the project in a linear path, just as the name suggests, like a waterfall. Each stage must be completed before the next one begins. This method is the best to use if you have a clear end goal for your project, and there is a consistent vision from the stakeholders and clients. Everything should be set in stone when choosing this management approach.
The word “Kanban” means billboard in Japanese, named after the method application where the team would visually post their process on a board. It could be on an actual whiteboard in your office or digitally through a platform. Use Kanban if you want a visual representation of your project’s progress or prefer an at-a-glance update.
There are many more methodologies out there, but these are the most popular ones. Choosing the suitable methodology that works with the team requires a long and thoughtful process, but will bring you the best outcome possible.
The next step needs to be done throughout the web development process to make sure you achieve the desired outcome. Monitoring the actual and planned cost, schedule and scope is a big part of the process. One of the goals of monitoring is to make sure your team performs well. You will need to control and monitor communications as well as engage with clients and stakeholders.
If you have a clear plan, it is likely that something unexpected will swerve you out of the premeditated track and will require additional time and material to fill in the gap. Maybe a power outage or a technical problem delays the project, how do you face it as a project manager?
There is no certainty to everything, so you need a plan to overcome failure if it ever occurs. List out all of the plausible risks and ponder what course of action you will take when it happens. The risks with a high probability of coming up with high impact are severest. Not only will this give you a higher chance of overcoming failures that have been identified before but also improve the project development.
When every department and every developer in your team says they’ve completed the project, your work is still not done. There are a few final steps to take before fully ending and closing the book on this web development project.
What a smooth project closure looks like
By the end of it all, you will deliver all the deliverables to your client and go over to see if anything is missing and if the project is complete according to the terms in the contract. Help resolve any questions that the client may have about the project, charges, and ongoing services. Whether it’s an angry or patient client, make sure every deliverable is complete and all of the promises in the contract are fulfilled to not face liability issues.
Lead a meeting with your team
Meet with your team and have a retrospective meeting, which is the perfect place to go over any mistakes or problems that have occurred during the development process. You should discuss: what went well and what needs improvement, whether the project was within budget and how accurate the timeline was, and whether the client is satisfied. Identifying your mistakes and holding people accountable is how your team will grow in the future.
Offboard your client
This is just an extra step, but offboarding your client is a nice gesture that your team can make if it is within your ability. You can prepare a digital package that thanks them for choosing your service and guides their next steps. It is a small surprise that will end the process on a good note. If you don’t know what your digital package should look like, consider adding the following: a project checklist, step-by-step instructions, design files, and so on.
Write a report
The last step to end it all is to write a report. Similar to that meeting you had with your team, you will circle back through the entire process and report on milestones, dates, deliverables, financial statistics, and KPIs. And voila, you’ve made it!
With this list of key points on how to manage a web development project, we hope that you thrive and succeed in your job! Our project managers at Dirox work with these key points in their heads, each with their management style. Every good manager is different, but all of them fulfill the goals of their clients and deliver the project with flying colors!
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