Archive for February, 2011

Efficiently manage a web development project: Think ahead!

Friday, February 25th, 2011

project management 150x150 Website development Web analytics SharePoint SEO – Search engine optimization SEM – Search engine marketing PM   Project management Pdf. Microsoft Word marketing html How to manage a project how to efficiently manage a website development project CSP CMS In general, some of the biggest challenges faced by account managers/producers/ PMs are those around balancing costs, time, and quality. These are no different for a web development project.

Most of the time as agency reps, we interact with marketing executives/ business groups: basically busy people who don’t have the bandwidth to think through a project and all its idiosyncrasies. That’s our job!

In order to add value and optimize for maximum efficiency and productivity, proactive thinking and planning are key.

A web development project is a complex process, given the number of moving parts. It is therefore, critical to understand, especially upfront:

- The goal of the site. What does a company/client expect to achieve through the Web site? Awareness? Engagement? Sales? All? Are future goals different from current goals?

- Site audience. Who’s the target audience? What stage of the purchasing cycle are they in?

- Inventory of existing content. Get a complete inventory of the existing site content, including messaging/positioning details, past Web analytics (if any), and assets such as videos, images, and others. Also understand what content is considered ‘core’ and will remain and what content will retire.

- Technical discussion. What are your client’s expectations around asset development? Do any videos need to be developed? If so, that’s good to know in advance. Build it into your specs and plan for additional resources! Should the site be built in HTML, CSP, or CMS?

- Expectations around deadlines.Most of the time, a launch date is usually fixed. While it is critical to know that date, it is also important to get a sense for whether there are any dependencies that could potentially impact it? For e.g. is there any content – videos/demos that are in production that could take longer than expected?

- Process overview. Set a process for how you and the client would exchange content – Word? Pdf? SharePoint? Set expectations for the number of design rounds. ‘One design mock up, followed by 2 revisions’ type process.

Prior knowledge of simple items, such as those listed above, can make the process a lot more manageable. As an agency, it helps set expectations, plan timelines (including a testing buffer), resources, and budgets. The client gets a sense for the process and all the dependencies. It affords an opportunity to have both sides on the same page, which is most important!

- By Nidhi Kirpal Jayadevan & Laura LoPresti