Web Talk

This month I am going to talk about the importance of project management when it comes to website development, the critical service that can often be overlooked.

Project management is an academic skill that is now well established through universities and vocational courses and is an essential component of any significant project across most sectors. Website design is no different.

Planning a complex website build is important in not only ensuring that all features have been considered, but it also ensures that the client is involved in the planning.

It can be difficult sometimes to imagine how a finished website will function from a usability perspective, and working through the planning process helps clients to understand what the finished project will do.

It also helps manage client expectations in terms of the milestones they need to achieve in preparing content.

One of the hardest things to balance in the development of websites is the content that must be provided, working to a fixed project plan that is regularly reviewed helps a client to understand what needs to be done and when.

Meeting deadlines

Meeting deadlines is vital in today’s online world, often a lot can be hanging on the successful delivery of a new website.

Often, especially with e-commerce, there are seasonal needs for having the website ready.

It should be fully tested across all operating systems, browser and device combinations – this process is managed as part of the project plan, with testing being done throughout the build to ensure there are no surprises at the end.

It is also vital for the agency to deliver the project when agreed, failing to meet deadlines may also mean that other projects suffer, working capital may be affected (invoicing milestones may not be reached, yet developers will have been paid) and of course there is a reputational impact of not delivering a project on time.

Project management is vital in ensuring deadlines are managed and met, things do change with large projects but it will be the project management function that manages the change and everyone is informed all along the way.

The cost of good project management should be covered by the savings that are made in efficiency, the cost of no project management can be very significant to all parties.

• To read more on this and other subjects, please visit the blog at www.ascensor.co.uk/blog.

For more information contact andrew@ascensor.co.uk

Twitter: @andrewjfirth

Connect on LinkedIn: andrewjfirth

Ascensor are a Digital Agency providing website design, ecommerce and search engine optimisation.

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