Webstruxure doesn’t just have years of experience designing websites, developing websites, and writing great web content. We have lots of experience in project management, specifically for the web. We’ve seen where web projects can go off the rails – and we’ve seen how to keep them on the straight and narrow. The key is a collaborative approach.
Project Management Approach
Building relationships comes first
We don’t believe in a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach to project management. For us, the relationship with the client is central. For a successful relationship, communication is key, and cookie-cutter processes can prevent open conversations and block the creativity which is often required to provide the right solutions.
We like to get to know you and your business, gain organisational insights, and find out what makes your company tick. When we’re given a project brief, we take the opportunity to analyse what we’re being asked against what we know about you, and also what we know about our industry and changing technology. Then we’ll come up with a solution that meets your needs. It might be what you asked for, but we might also propose a different approach – backed up with solid reasoning from the analysis phase. We combine our industry knowledge with your organisational knowledge, because no-one knows your business better than you.
Increasingly, we prefer to work on a time and materials basis with our clients, as we believe this benefits both parties – the client is as responsible as we are for project scope, has freedom to change the scope, and gets to save the effort that might otherwise be added to a fixed price quote to account for perceived risks.
Inevitably the ideal world of a project sits within more constrained promises around overall budget to stakeholders. This means it is still important we assess the budgetary and timeline risks in each situation (particularly for larger programs of work) and share these with clients in a way which allows them to manage the expectations they are required to work within.
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 that 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: Because we’re a full-service agency, the way we work isn’t 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 provide static visual designs for a development agency to build.
Instead, we work with you across all stages of the life cycle of your project. When a product or service is released, we can provide ongoing support, maintenance and ensure its continuation or evolution as technology and your business change over time.
Planning a road map and a timeline
Once we and you have agreed on the solution, we plan a road map for how we will get there, and beyond. Sometimes this road map is a short journey from A to B – where the project is to deliver a product or service from start to finish. 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 changing needs of the client and their users.
Why Project Management Matters
The world – and Wellington – is littered with examples of failed IT projects: 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 fall over, it leads to recriminations, firings, and questions in the House – but there are plenty of small web projects that fail too. They may not hit the headlines, but 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 works, they know people, and they’re capable of making decisions. That works for us and it works for you.
Find out more about Webstruxure
• What makes Webstruxure different? It’s all about how we work.