Web development projects can be an exciting part of a development team’s work. But at the end of the day, it will not pay off if there is no specific direction where the project is headed. As with any project there needs be a clear objective and a timeline to help focus on development and get results. It all starts with a schedule, which can be made using expensive software. Or you could save your revenue and get organized.
Here are some pointers to help with planning the project.
1. Take a Top-Down Approach to Deliverables
If you do not know what a client exactly wants from you, then no matter how sincere of an effort you put into the project, it will yield unsatisfactory results. Establish a top down layout of the deliverables you need starting from the final deliverable (be it a website or a mobile app). In our case, it is a website, so the smaller deliverables can be:
- Mobile and web design
- A prototype for the website; including the layout, color scheme and imagery etc.
- The content to be displayed in the website
- Wire frames
This is similar to making daily goals in order to reach a desired long term goal.
2. Establish a Clear Process Flow
With each of the deliverables that you came up with, add the process flows for each. For example, define how you would develop the wireframes for the prototype of the website. A typical wireframe process flow would include the layout of the headers, footers, navigation pane, branding elements, elements to group, labeling, content and images etc. The simple and HD prototype follow in succession.
3. The Right Resources and Distribution
How will the work be divided amongst team members? How much time will each part of the project require? What languages and softwares will be used for development? What other resources will you need (from the client or otherwise)? All these questions and more should be answered next.
4. Anticipate Problems
While assigning resources to your project, look for any problem areas that may slow progress down. These may be from your clients, such as a merger or acquisition of the company, a logo change or a rebranding of their business etc. or it could be from your internal resources, like a team member working on another project or scheduled leaves or days out.
5. The Timeframes
Decide how much time should be allotted to the sequential activities in the project and not exceed them. Depending on the scale and scope of the project, have weekly or daily deadlines for each deliverable from pointer 1. Keep some room for client and design team feedback.
Make a Gantt chart to have a scheduled timeline for project completion. You will have enough information once you planned out the timelines, deliverables and all the activities in between to create work schedules for the team members. Schedules will help team members work with focus on the immediate task at hand without losing focus.
7. Monitor progress and update your timeline as necessary
Use the Gantt chart to keep track of the time it takes to complete activities in the project. Assess and forecast the estimated completion time and date for the project and remove any distracting elements that make you and your team digress from the project. Constant monitoring allows you to have focus and allow you to complete the project within the stipulated time.
Using these pointers you will be able to get your designing project completed quickly and efficiently without the fear of losing focus.