A web development project can quickly become a confusing mess if the right management technique is not used. Management is important to the success of any project. Still, with so many different aspects of site design coming into play, it’s important to streamline the design process to save time, and eventually money.
Here are five tips for managing web development projects that will do just that.
Communication is key to successful management. If management doesn’t communicate with the team or vice versa, the problems can become exponential. That’s why we’ve put communication at the top of the list.
Communication helps identify problems early on, set expectations and standards, and provide updates on the project. Communication within the team doesn’t only include the team members and management; however, but also should include the clients.
You should keep your client updated as the project progresses with frequent communication via email, phone call, or even in-person meeting. The latter is probably the best way to go about communicating with your client, so you can show them how the project looks at each step of the design process and make edits as you go.
There are literally hundreds of digital communication tools you can utilize to improve team communication, from team management software to conference calling services. Whichever medium you choose, be sure to utilize it each day to improve your team’s collaboration and ensure everyone is on the same page.
2. Utilize Easy Sharing And Collaboration Tools
Sharing has never been easier with the advancement of cloud sharing services. It seems like cloud saving and sharing have become the staple of any digital service, from wireframe tools to team management apps.
Easier sharing eliminates the problem of lost files, hard drives, etc. The days of emailing and downloading files are just about gone, being replaced with the ease and security of cloud sharing. By sharing via the cloud, you’re providing a central place for your team to access important files related to the project, saving time.
Cloud sharing also makes keeping the client updated simpler. You can give clients access to the shared folder, so they can see the files as the project progresses, and even send instructions to the team via the cloud.
Overall, cloud sharing is the best way to share files among team members and streamline all of your sharing and collaboration. Centralizing these efforts into one location makes managing assets and team members much easier.
3. Use A Wireframe
A wireframe is probably the single best tool you can use to assist in managing a development team. This effective tool provides a roadmap for the project that both the team and client can utilize to make edits, suggest new additions, and view the design process.
When you make website wireframes, you’ll want to focus on the functionality and UX of the design rather than any visual elements. That comes later in the design process. A wireframe is simply a blueprint for the site, and therefore should be kept simple with greyscale and simple fonts.
Use your wireframing tool to coach the team in the direction of the project, and to keep the client updated. Both the client and your team will be grateful for the organization that a wireframe can add to a project, and edits are much easier when you have a workable interface.
4. Use Team Management Software
Team management software serves several different purposes. You can assign tasks and hold team members accountable for their assignments, share files and projects, and even collaborate in some cases in real-time via video or audio chat.
Team management software provides managers with an easy to use interface to track team efforts and communication. This is especially useful when managing large teams or remote teams that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to meet with in-person.
There are hundreds of different options for team management software, with many of the apps being web-based for easy access. While there are many free services, the best team management apps will come with a fee. If you’re serious about managing your team more effectively, these tools can be an excellent option.
5. Set Expectations From The Beginning
This may seem like a simple thing to do, but often managers will not set clear expectations for what they expect and are then unsure as to why the team isn’t meeting standards as a result. Clear and precise expectations can mean the difference between an efficient team and a clumsy one.
The best thing you can do as a manager is to set expectations in writing at the beginning of each project. Provide the client’s expectations for the final project as well as yours. Include attendance expectations, each team member’s role, and any other pertinent information.
When you set clear expectations, the team becomes much easier to manage. Everyone is aware of what’s expected, so you can pinpoint those team members that aren’t meeting those expectations and make the necessary adjustments where needed.
Team management isn’t rocket science. With good communication, clearly defined communication, and the right management and collaboration tools, you can effectively manage an efficient and productive team. Keep in mind that team members need their managers to be organized and respectful of their work. You need to earn the team’s trust and respect as their superior, and with a little communication and empathy, you’ll be on your way to becoming a great manager.