Launching and maintaining a project in a web design agency
No matter if the project is large or small, there are tasks you should keep in mind to ensure that it’s running smoothly. You’ll learn the steps to effective project planning. Project planning is the core to the success of any project. A project that’s without a plan is likely to fail.
This guide will help you the next time you’re working on a project at a UX design agency. You should even print out this guide to keep you and your team in check. This guide will become an ongoing reference for those new to project management. It’s also a good refresher for experienced managers who work for a UX design agency.
Define the Scope of Your Project
The first thing you need to do is define the scope of the project. This is the most important step because it addresses what needs to be accomplished. This cope can help you articulate and define the scope of the project, what it should accomplish, why it’s so important, and what needs to be completed. You should also establish the scope of the project at the beginning, so you’re not distracted by meaningless tasks.
Identify Your Project Supporters
Next, you need to identify the sponsors, stakeholders, or other supporters that are a part of this project. Who are they? Are they funding the project or are they helping with process when things get tough? You want to establish this relationship early and communicate with them on an ongoing basis.
This can help you get through the good, bad, and ugly stages of your project. Your increased motivation will allow you to get more done with less frustration.
Determine the Available Resources
Based on the scope of the project as outlined in step one, you should have an idea of which resources to use to complete the project. Do you have technical resources? Do you need to learn a certain skill? Are these resources available online or on-site? This can give you a better idea of what you need to complete and where to fill in gaps when it comes to planning.
Check the Deadline
The most important aspect of any project is the deadline. The resources and scope should give you an idea of how long the project will take. But this isn’t always the case. Some clients pressure how fast a project should be completed in order to meet with the demands of the industry.
There are also some clients who have no idea how long a project will take. Understand what you’re dealing with so you can determine if the timeline is realistic or additional planning is necessary.
List the Big Tasks
This an easier way of using the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). No matter how you break down your tasks, you should think about the activities and deliverables that are discrete enough to meet every level of the hierarchy. You should break down your tasks into deliverables, hybrids, services, or other things. This can help you determine if you have the big picture of what needs to be completed.
Break Down the Smaller Tasks
Once you’re aware of the large tasks, you should be able to break them into smaller bites. Most of these tasks can be assigned to different members on your team. This will make it easier to focus on your work. The smaller tasks may consist of deliverables such as release notes, technical manual, and training manual. It can be broken down even further with design manual, print manual, and write manual. This process makes sure that each deliverable is completed to the fullest.
Create a Draft Plan
You’re familiar with the project, the deadline, the available resources, and what tasks needs to be done. This is where you’ll have to create a draft plan. During this process, you’ll combine the dates, deliverables, and resources. You’ll also identify which dependencies to include into your draft plan.
You’re already working on a draft plan at this point. It’s important to have this plan seen by each member of your digital agency team. They can help you determine and identify which things could go wrong. This is what the next step will bring you.
Write a Baseline Project Plan
Now that you have come up with a draft plan, you should encourage feedback from your digital agency team. Review the project as you’re working on it. Tell them your thought process when mapping out this project. Allow them to think about it and provide feedback.
They may notice areas that you would’ve otherwise missed, are challenging, or could conflict with something else. Embrace this feedback and weigh each piece of advice. Then it’s finally time to work on the project plan.
Refine Your Plan Based on Results
Now that your project is moving along, it’s time to refine and reflect on what’s happening at the present moment. Are things going well? Or could they improve? Make adjustments and plan accordingly. You may need to make adjustments according how the plan is being carried out.
For example, you may need more resources to complete it by the deadline. Or, you may need to adjust the deliverables and reduce the scope to an extended guideline. Maybe you need to consider how you place headers, bulleted lists, numbered lists on your website.
You should keep each of these steps in mind when you’re working on your project with a digital agency. The right resources will help you plan accordingly. Whether it comes to complex project planning or easy task management, you’ll be able to manage, prepare, and share the projects that will help you succeed and stay on top of your goals.