People don’t make websites every day so it’s easy to think it’s a walk in the park and shouldn’t take long. But there are many different considerations and parties needed to be involved in creating a successful website, what can be a complex web of considerations – excuse the pun. And most of the time it’s the simplest of things, or the more subjective elements that cause the blockers.
A lot of clients want a ‘big bang’ but a successful website should be considered in beta all the time and not an awkward inconvenience that is done once, completed and therefore forgotten about. It’s a living, breathing element of any business and is therefore a significant cog that evolves and drives businesses forward.
Therefore, it should be of no surprise to hear that a phased delivery of a new website is extremely important – both to be able to bite off deliverables in shorter time frames, keep the teams in and around the project focused as well to maintain a realistic, regular output. Furthermore, it also means that outputs can be realised in a matter of weeks rather than waiting a year for a ‘big bang’ – the site will be out of date by the time you get to it.
We incorporate the Agile principles in to all of our web builds. That’s not to say we are 100%, but it does mean that we apply the appropriate methods, considering the client and type of project we face. Here are some things that we as a group consider when setting off to work with new clients:
1. Tailor your process to fit the teams needs
It’s very important to make proactive choices and decisions on how the project will be delivered. You need to think about the project’s scale, complexity, team capacity and risks. These are the key areas that need to be planned and reviewed before you start work. This will help make your successful website!
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2. Create a clear workflow
Once you’ve tailored your process to the clients needs you should begin to create clear rules for working on the project and deadlines, before the development team starts working. Be sure to create a clear workflow plan for your team which will cover things such as; general rules of status updates, weekly meeting time, what you hope to achieve and try to present your client with further action steps of the project. Which will all help to create a successful website.
3. Communication – defined roles and responsibilities
Each team member should know the scope of their duties and also be aware of what other members do. Daily calls will help you and your team to achieve a good level of communication. This could be as quick as a 15 minute call where each member talks about things that have been working on, plans for the day and potential blockers. This helps the project manager to react quickly and remove any obstacles that may block the team.
4. Collecting feedback to create a successful website
Transparency is the key to creating a successful website. The team should know as soon as possible whether your work is progressing in the right direction, and if it’s not you can make changes quickly and move forwards with the project. Reviewing from early in the project and regularly means you can edit and correct while you have time for it. Presenting the work to stakeholders and highlighting what you’re working on also creates a lot of opportunities to receive feedback.
5. Learn from experience
No two projects are the same. And neither are two successful websites. Which, although it makes it more interesting, can be challenging as your team may not have experience of a project they are currently working on. For that reason, previous or similar projects should be reviewed to see if you can apply what you learnt to the new project. These notes should also be included in relevant reports and reviews so everyone is aware of them. The goal is to seek opportunities to implement improvements during the life of the project.
Thank you so much to Kasia for those wonderful tips!
It was so great getting Kasia’s insight and tips. So next time you’re running an Agile project, and creating a successful website, be sure to bear these points in mind. Let us know if you have any more tips to ensure that your agile project runs smoothly – we would love to hear them!