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How to manage your web design projects effectively

by on July 12, 2019 in Latest News, Lead Article, News you can use, Nuggets, Small Business, Startups, Websites

How to manage your web design projects effectively

It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned designer, or are just getting started; managing your web design projects can be very challenging, especially when you’re not informed on the right strategies to manage your client projects.

As you go higher, and with more experience in the field you will realize that there are more things to consider in order to be successful in your projects. You will no longer be concerned with the aesthetic of the design alone, but also the scheduling, project planning, version control, and so much more.

You don’t need to be a graduate in project management just to know how to manage your web design projects, what you really need is the basic fundamentals. This is what differentiates successful projects from the unsuccessful ones.

For instance; in Portsmouth, Hampshire, web design projects are booming right now, businesses are working on creating their online presence, this has opened up a lot of web design projects for both companies and freelancers.

Now, it doesn’t matter if you’re just a freelance designer or an experienced company such as; Web Design Hampshire which has been in designing game for years, having the basic project management fundamentals is enough to get you started. You won’t be able to enjoy serving all these available clients if you lack the basic project management skills. Your success won’t be measured by how many clients you’re serving, but by how many projects are successful.

In this guide, we shall be focusing on the basic fundamentals of project management, which will enable you to start experiencing ease and success in serving your clients.

1. Don’t use emails to track your projects;

It is a bad idea to use emails to track the progress of your projects unless you’re planning to fail in the near future. You understand how the threads pile on top of one another; this will make it difficult to clearly follow up the project related communication.

What will happen is that you will be losing parts of important communications upon going back and forth. Another issue is that it will be very difficult for every member of the team to be totally looped in with important instructions.

For instance; if you need to loop an external person in the team, it will be difficult for them to be on the same page with the team since they are missing out on all the previous threads. There are lots of project management tools that are well designed to ensure the success of any project and could work better than emails.

Tools like; Trello, Asana, and Basecamp, are some of the project management tools that were designed to help you track your project, set milestones, as well as meet deadlines.

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2. Use proper sub-tasks in your project management;

When using well-designed project management tools such as; Asana, Trello, and Basecamp, you will get a 1000 foot view of your project. You will also be able to zoom and take a closer look or even learn more things. Another great thing about using these kinds of tools is that you allow clients to have more control over their projects, and you will also be able to get more collaboration.

Clients are always happy when they get easy access to the status of their projects. Understand this, paying for a project management tool and downloading it, is not enough to make you successful. You have to learn how to use these tools to break big tasks into smaller and easily manageable ones.

Another important thing to do is listing your subtasks along with their specific instructions, for easy accomplishment. In order to be successful in project management, especially with your web designing clients you have to learn to be specific.

In managing any kind of project we normally prefer to use the rule of eight’. This means whenever the conversation has taken more than 8 messages for a particular task, then further evaluation for that task would be required. The process of breaking bigger tasks into smaller and easily manageable tasks is usually referred to as the baby step approach.

It is one of the best approaches that ensure successful completion of projects. When you divide bigger tasks into smaller chunks of subtasks, you make it easier for the tasks to be distributed among different people for fast completion.

For instance; in a writing project, one person can research the topic while another can put the thoughts into writing, then finally the copy editor can proofread and finalize the process. You can do this with various kinds of projects, create subtasks then distribute them to people on the dashboard, then let everyone do their part.

3. Assign an end date for each task;

Never create tasks and assign them to individuals without setting up a deadline for the task. Make it very specific and ensure that everyone with a task is aware of the ending date for a particular task. It will enable you as a manager to understand what part of the project is lagging behind if the project is not completed on time.

If everyone in the project is able to be individually monitored, not only will people systematic but also responsible in case of any delays. For instance; in the previous example we had about the writing project, every part was dependent on the completion of another. The copy editor can’t edit what is not written, so applies to the writer and the researcher. Once one part is done then the other parties can also be assigned as well.

4. Create a logical sequence in aligning your tasks;

When setting up your tasks, make sure that you follow a logical sequence based on the priorities of each task. You should start assigning the most important and urgent ones, down to the less important ones. It is important to have close communication with your client in order to understand their priorities better.

This will enable you to be aligned with your client and create a consistent flow for your project. In addition to that, make sure you map every task requirement along with the deadlines, this is very important. This process will not only help you to put first things first, but will also give clarity to every team member to what is expected from them, and how much time they have.

5. Set up clear milestones;

The next step to take after having set your tasks in priority order is to create clear milestones for your project. Each milestone will denote the completion of specific tasks, on the road to completing the entire project.

This process will enable every team member to be motivated in completing their tasks and stay on course. Use tools like calendars to set up your project milestones, so that everyone will be informed on what is falling behind, and what is next. It will also enable you as a project manager not to miss out deadlines of your projects.

6. Every open conversation should be closed;

One of the most important rules in project management is making sure that everyone who opens up conversation closes it. It’s like assigning a task to a member of your team, and once they are done they assign it back to you.

If this method is not effectively applied, most of the things will be left hanging which is not healthy for a project. So when you assign a task to a member and they do it then send it back, you have to give feedback on the received task if satisfied and close the conversation. If this system is kept in play and everyone adheres to it, then tasks will be completed both effectively and timely.

7. Store all the required resources in one place;

All the required resources should be readily accessible to everyone in the team; this is to ensure that nothing delays the completion of tasks. The project manager will have to choose a known location that will be used in storing resource files, whether in PSD, PDFs, Images, Word Docs, etc.

Another advantage of this system is time-saving since the resources will be easily accessed by any team player, it will prevent delays and excuses. The main objective of using this system is to make sure that everything needed for the project is found in one platform. So if you choose another location for the files, it won’t be much of a benefit.

8. All project related communications should be done in one place;

Communication through emails can still be used among the team players, but when it comes to any project related communication, they should all be done in one chosen platform. Even when clients send emails concerning their projects, these emails should be sent to the same location, the chosen project management system. This will ensure that everyone becomes aware of what is going on with the projects, even when they’re not around.

All of the project management tools in the market today such as; Asana, Trello, and others, have easy integration with emails making it easy to link them together. Taking advantage of this will enable the smooth running and completion of projects in time.

9. Be active always or appoint an active project manager;

Some designers or developers are usually busy creating websites and other systems, thus making it vital to hire or appoint a project manager. If you can’t handle the works and manage the overall project at the same time, then it is wise to do that. But if you think that you’re good at both designing and managing the overall project then you have to be always active.

I do recommend having a person who is always fully dedicated to this part of work. It shouldn’t be the guy who cross-sells or up-sell your offers to customers, he should be diligent in getting things done. He should be able to keep track of every issue that arises during the project and ensure that the solutions are provided on time. He should also make sure that the team is intact and working diligently towards the completion of the project.

Another important issue that should be well handled by the project manager is the client up to date. The project manager should make sure that the client is always updated with every step accomplished in the project.

This also includes taking feedback from them just to ensure that every step is going the way they wanted. Before we conclude, lets quickly go through some of the important attributes that a project manager should have, in order to be successful.

  • The project manager should have effective communication and organization skills.

  • The project manager should also have strong leadership skills to lead the team effectively.

  • The project manager should have good decision-making skills, to ensure that they always make the right decisions for the team.

  • The project manager should have technical skills, which will enable them to know when things are done right, or wrong.

  • The project manager should be a visionary person, the one who can personalize the vision of the company.

  • The project manager should also have team building skills, this is essential in order to make sure that the team is always intact, and motivated to reach the target.

  • The project manager should always learn how to be calm, even under great pressure from the clients as well as the team members.

  • The project manager has to possess good negotiation skills

  • The project manager should be competent and empathetic.

Managing your web design projects requires having the basic fundamentals of project management as we have seen. This won’t be an easy thing to just jump in and suddenly everything is doing great, there will be a learning curve. You have to set aside time to learn these fundamentals and how to start deploying them in your web design projects.

One of the most important things to consider is starting to use project management tools. These tools will simplify your work and make it easy for you to plan for everything to be accomplished in the project, and also enable you to follow up step by step.

I hope this guide will be very helpful in opening a new chapter of the successful management of your web design projects. It’s time now for you to sit down and start documenting all the important steps of your project before you begin the implementation.

Remember to always include the timeline in every step of the project. Along with this, make sure that every team player is fully aware of the system used, and they can also use it effectively.

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