There are any number of reasons you might be considering the development and launch of a new website. Perhaps you’re a startup, and you currently have no site. Maybe you’re an existing business that wants to revamp your site, or you might be someone who wants to start a website or blog for personal reasons, or to make money from the site itself.
Whatever the reasons, the process of planning, creating and launching a new site can be one that’s stressful and often full of challenges and unexpected obstacles. What can you do to make it all go more smoothly?
Identify Everyone Who Will Be Involved
Key to any web development project is well-facilitated communication, and to do this, it’s essential to know exactly who will be involved every step of the way. Before deciding on any deliverables or even an overall strategy, know who’s going to be involved, and at least in a general sense what their role will be.
Designate a Project Manager
Creating a new site or revamping one that already exists can be a complex undertaking, with many moving parts going on at any one time. It’s valuable to identify a point person that everyone can turn to with questions or if an unforeseen situation arises. It can even be a good idea to look at hiring a contracted project manager, or even someone with a scrum master certification who understands how to complete large-scale projects in a streamlined, agile way.
Create a Plan for Communication
Just as you’ll need to create a plan for the actual design and launch of your site, you’ll also need to hone in on a communication plan during the development process. Everyone involved should know how to share details of their progress, how to ask questions or receive clarification, and how to handle communications if something goes wrong or veers off schedule. In your communication plan, ensure that you’re discussing not just the mode of communication that will be used, but also details such as how regularly team members should check in and what weekly status reports will look like.
Before you can define deliverables you do need to map out your site, and understand where work will need to be done, but defining deliverables is something that should be done as early on as possible. When defining deliverables, make sure you’re doing so in a way that not just highlights the task, but also who will do it, how it should be done, and when it should be done by. The more details you can outline from the start of a project, the more smoothly it will go.
While in many ways you want your web design and development project to be regimented, you can’t plan for every situation. It’s important to have a strategy and project management tactics in place, but you should also include room for flexibility if necessary. Just put in place guidelines to manage flexibility in a way that creates value, rather than chaos.