Website Strategy: Timeline and Deadline
Whenever we take on a project for a customer whom will be our friend after, one of the basic things teams and clients don’t pay attention to is the timeline. Half the time teams pitching for a project concentrate too much on the quotation and ideas that can be offered but not the timeline. This is a basic but important factor involve in taking on projects especially if it’s part of marketing campaign.
It’s important to be able to get a rough deadline from the client. At least that way, you can prepare a better proposal inclusive with all the ideas that you have. It’ll also help you eliminate second priority ideas you have for the customer’s website.
The timeline is a basic tool that many overlook because half the time it’s hard to be punctual and many have made the mistake of dragging it too long as well. So let’s strategize better here.
It’s difficult to be punctual not because members of your team are burdened by other projects but because the design stage takes longer than expected. By stalling and changing the design over and over again, the client and us are actually procratstinating. Sometimes we need to be firm and tell the client politely that the design or template should be like this then come to a resolve between each other to incorporate the things they want.
After that’s been done and agreed on, both parties should sign on the final design. If you want this to be even more formal, (a little tedious as well) both parties should sign on an agreement stating the design has been finalized and there are no more changes until the project is launched.
From a client’s perspective, I understand that if the team is too quiet I’ll start to worry of what’s happening with the progress of my website. This is a reason that sometimes we have to take the initiative to communicate slightly more with the client. Even a simple email saying that, “We’ve just integrated the design and now are going to start on the backend of your website.” tells a client something is still going on.
There are many online services now offering you to manage projects more efficiently and one of the more reknown one is; Basecamp by 37signals. However, the best of course is still if the client had a prototype to check on the progress later.
Other than producing simple reports to the client, the team will have to always give themselves a little buffer in the timeline. This is incase any unforeseen circumstances does happen. The one known to me most of the time is the client going Absent Without Leave (AWOL) or the website requires further troubleshooting due to the sudden change of behaviour involving the techbology used. A great example later will be when Internet Explorer 7 is released or updated on everyone’s computer.
The final thing I’d like to say about time is that for teams to meet deadlines, keep the client happy and lastly, open a bottle of wine to celebrate.
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