Managing UX and Development projects effectively is key to any successful project. You need to ensure that you provide your client with exactly what they want and need, and you need to do this in an efficient way.
Through experience, I’ve found that if everyone is on the same page from the offset, it makes the project a lot easier and more fun to work on.
To ensure this, we prioritise the scoping and planning phase of all our projects and make sure we spend the time capturing all the information we need upfront so we can deliver the project the client has come to us for.
Internally we’ve found that working closely together to define how we want to work and what is best for our clients has made a huge difference. We’re more organised as a team and our clients know where our projects are up to throughout the whole timeline.
Here are some processes we follow during the project scoping and planning phase to ensure we have a successful project:
During the scoping phase of the project, you want to ask all the right questions to understand exactly what the client is looking for. This also includes asking the client about their business; this helps the team understand the project goals and the reason why the client wants a new website, for example. We have a briefing template that we use to capture all the top-level information about the platform, features and timescales before we take on the project.
Design Brief Workshop
This workshop takes place at the beginning of the project and gives the design team full access to the client so they can fully understand what they’re looking for. We run through the sitemap, homepage requirements, specific features that need to be included and the overall goals of the project.
Once we have captured all the information from the Design Brief Workshop, we begin putting together your project tracker. This includes:
- Project Timeline – Having the timeline visible throughout the project so that both sides have a reference point is important. It shows whether you are on track compared to the original estimates and everyone can plan for when the project is due to be completed.
- Communication Schedule – This section includes all the dates when the client will receive their weekly email updates, when we have calls booked in and face-to-face meetings. It’s always good to reference and to ensure that the communication is consistent throughout the whole project.
- Task Tracker – During a project, there are always a lot of ad-hoc tasks that need to be completed and sometimes, they can be missed or forgotten. Within our process, all of these actions are logged within the task tracker and have deadlines set for both the internal team and the client. This helps to keep the project on track and can be reviewed on a weekly basis.
- Creative Feedback – Any creative feedback that is captured during a project meeting or during presentation calls is all captured within the same place. This way, the client knows what has been logged and when it has been updated.
- Development Feedback – This is where we capture any bugs we find during the testing phase of the project. Both the internal team and the clients track everything in the same place so the team can work from one list of feedback.
The technical specification documents all the key functionalities of the project and how they are going to be achieved. Sometimes, this document is worked on throughout the project as we fine-tune the approach during the development phase. This document supports the client in knowing exactly what is included within the project and helps if they have an internal IT/Technical team.
It’s important that you think about this up-front. Everyone has a standard launch plan that you follow to ensure the launch of a new website goes smoothly. However, discussing this launch plan with the client from the off will help iron out any unforeseen problems that might occur down the line.
Does your client have a specific policy on hosting? Do they have access to their DNS records? Is there an internal IT team that needs to be involved in the process?
Running through your launch plan and asking these questions up front will ensure that when you get to the final phase of the project you have everything you need for a successful launch.
We are always expanding on and improving our project processes as we learn from every project, also as new people join the team and bring their own ideas and experience. We know this stage of the project is the most important, so we prioritise fine-tuning the processes and gather as much feedback as we can.
If you have a project you would like to work on with Embryo, get in touch!