You know the feeling well. You plan your website design or re-design project and think you have accounted for all possible delays. You determine the time involved and how much the project will cost, and before you know it, you are either behind schedule, over budget, or both. How can you better plan your projects to eliminate this once and for all? Here are some tips that, while they can’t guarvantee you complete success, can help you keep your website redesign timeline on track and make life during this process much easier!
Create a Plan
Gather everyone involved in the project, from designers to coders to content creators and have a meeting in which all the details are ironed out. If you are using an agency, identify all of your internal stakeholders and make sure they are present at every meeting, or at least the critical ones. One of the first and most important steps is to identify your buyer personas. This will help you create a site that is more likely to appeal to your ideal buyer and target audience. Set up a website redesign timeline with all the parts of the puzzle included and then set mini-goals as check-in points to make sure the project is flowing as it should. Marketing and creative agencies can help with this as they’re typically the party that will manage the timeline, goals, and help keep everyone on schedule.
Determine Scope in Advance
One of the biggest issues with both time and cost is changing project details midstream. Before you even start the project, make sure everyone has agreed on exactly what is to be included in the final product. It’s a good idea to agree that once the project begins, any suggested changes will have to be evaluated to determine if they enhance the current website design and plan. Changes can throw a schedule, and budget, off so it is important to determine whether the changes benefit the overall project enough to warrant a shift in project schedule.
This is an absolute necessity. Too often the different people involved in a project don’t communicate. The graphics person may be on schedule, but the programming team be behind, or the person providing content falls ill and can’t complete the copy in time. Keep in mind that every part of the team impacts every other part and it is necessary to have regular update meetings to make sure everything is proceeding as planned. If you are working with an agency, keep in regular contact. Most agencies will be keeping you in the loop consistently, but don’t be afraid to push a little if you need to.
Account For Every Possible Cost
When you are setting up your initial plan, it is important to include absolutely everything that may come up that will cost money. It is much better to come in under budget because you over-estimated. If you can’t get the photos you were planning on using, maybe the ones you can get will cost you more for usage rights. The best possible thing you can do when working with an agency is provide as much detail as possible from the beginning and provide quick feedback when asked. The more info an agency has to work with, the better they can provide an estimate project cost, and the better the end result.
The more you plan up front and the clearer the communication is with you creative team or agency, the easier it is to be able to account for events and expenses that might throw things off-kilter. After each project, do a review of the process and make notes about where improvements can be made in scheduling or where things went perfectly. Hold a debriefing session with the agency and allow for both sides to discuss what worked and what didn’t. Everyone will benefit from this process!
Topics: Website Design and Redesign