Beyond Webstruxure’s many years designing and developing websites and writing great web content, we’ve lots of experience in project management specific to the web. We’ve seen how web projects can go off the rails, and we’ve learned how to keep them on track. The key is a collaborative approach.
Project Management Approach
Building relationships comes first
For us project management centers on our relationship with each individual client, which means we’ve not a cookie-cutter in sight. Communication is key to successful relationships, but cookie-cutter processes can block the open conversations and creativity which are often required to generate the best solutions.
We like to get to know you and your business, gain organisational insights, and find out what makes your company tick. When we receive your project brief we carefully analyse what you’ve asked for in the context of what we know about you, and also what we know about our industry and changing technology. Only then will we come up with a solution that meets your needs.
The solution might be exactly what you asked for. Or we might propose a different approach, backed by solid reasoning based upon results from the analysis phase. We always combine our industry knowledge with your organisational knowledge, because no-one knows your business better than you.
We increasingly prefer to work on a time and materials basis with our clients as we believe this benefits both parties. This way the client is as responsible as we are for project scope and has freedom to change it. The client also gets to save on costs that might otherwise be added to a fixed price quote to account for perceived risks.
The ideal world of a project inevitably sits within more constrained promises around overall budget which have already been made to stakeholders. So it remains important for us to assess the budgetary and timeline risks in each situation (particularly for larger programs of work) and share these with clients so they can manage the expectations within which they are required to work.
Of course some clients prefer or are required to work on a fixed-price basis, and we’re happy to accommodate that too.
Webstruxure expects project leads to contribute actively as part of the delivery team. This means we can scale project management effort as and when required. Typically this translates into heavy involvement coordinating budgets and assessing risks up front, a light touch during the bulk of the work, and then detailed oversight of testing/review, issue management and final delivery/installation.
Delivering bespoke service from end to end
We’re a full-service agency so we’re never going to deliver a product or service as though it’s a boxed-up solution.
Unless specifically requested, we don’t undertake a user insights exercise and then deliver a user experience recommendation for another design agency to pick up. We don’t take on a website design project and then provide static visual designs for another development agency to build.
Instead we work with you across all stages of the life cycle of your project. And when a product or service is released we can provide ongoing support and maintenance, and ensure its continuation (or evolution) as your business and technology change over time.
Planning a road map and a timeline
Once you and we agree on a solution we work out a road map of how we’ll get there. Sometimes the map is for a short journey from A to B, where the project is to deliver a product or service from start to finish. And sometimes it’s a long journey where A is the delivery of a strategy and points B through Z are products and services to be incorporated along the way. For each point along the road map we have a project scope, processes within that project, and a timeline for delivery.
The processes and timeline take into account your internal processes as well as our own, so the timeline can be specific and realistic. The roadmap is a living document which is delivered incrementally, and evolves with learnings and the changing needs of client and users.
Why Project Management Matters
The world in general (and Wellington in particular) is littered with spectacular IT project failures. They’re announced in a blaze of glory only to fall over in recriminations and massive cost overruns a few years later.
When big Government web projects crash and burn there are recriminations, firings, and questions in the House. Plenty of small web projects fail too and while they may not hit the headlines, their failure can be just as devastating for those involved.
A key cause of failure in such projects is poor project management: failure to manage expectations, failure to manage costs, failure to keep “scope creep” within acceptable limits, or an unwillingness to tell the project sponsor news they don’t want to hear.
Good project managers need to keep a close eye on the quantitative aspects of the project – time, completing paths and costs – but they also need good instincts and the ability to communicate effectively with both the client and project staff.
Webstruxure’s project managers don’t just know how to rock a project spreadsheet or follow a critical path. They know what makes web projects work, they know people, and they’re capable of making decisions. That works for us and it works for you.