Web development can take many paths. Depending on the course that you set and your project management approach, you determine the success or failure of your project. In fact, a Project Management Institute survey found that for every $1 billion invested in the United States, $122 million is wasted due to lacking project performance.
If companies want their web development projects to be successful, they need to take project management seriously. Here at Achievion Solutions, we give project management the highest priority, having successfully managed web development projects for both startups and established companies.
While the specific strategies we’ve used to achieve success may differ, the key principles of successful project management are the same. To help you build a clear pathway to success, here are 6 best practices for web development project management.
The discovery process begins with a review of the project requirements and ends with the delivery of the specifications documents. It sets realistic expectations for the project and demands for accountability. This initial period also defines the timeline and cost of the project.
Unfortunately, many web development firms and clients downplay the importance of the discovery process in order to save time or money. However, without a comprehensive discovery phase, it is unlikely that you will have established accurate estimates for the timeline, cost, and scope of your project.
In addition, by identifying potential adjustments to the project scope early on, you can effectively reduce risks that could derail the project. An intensive discovery process also ensures that your plan fully aligns with the objectives that you want your web development project to achieve.
Successful web development projects require high involvement from both the development team and stakeholders. Learning how to communicate effectively with your development team begins with establishing communication standards for your project.
Effective communication also enables prioritization, which is important for identifying the issues that require immediate fixes, are essential for the product launch or represent long-term strategic goals. Understanding how much effort should be dedicated to each task improves the chances that a project is delivered within the specified delivery timeframe and meets client expectations.
There are several development methodologies that are currently used in the software development industry. One methodology for web development that has resulted in many successful projects is Agile. Agile is an approach to project management that ensures that working software is the primary measure of progress on a project.
According to the 2015 CHAOS report from the Standish Group, Agile has a 42% success rate compared to just 14% for the waterfall, or traditional, approach to web development. In addition, only 9% of Agile projects fail as compared to 29% of waterfall projects.
At Achievion Solutions, we use Agile because it also allows us to deliver software with a high focus on technical excellence and good design. It also gives us more flexibility to fulfill requested scope changes during the project.
With Agile, developers and stakeholders can also maintain a constant work pace, engage in regular face-to-face communication, and adjust the team’s behavior at regular intervals to improve efficiency.
It’s easy to assume that a project will just go smoothly after the planning phase is complete. However, a hands-off approach almost always leads to failure. In order for your project to be successful, you need to maintain continuous organization. To achieve this, you need project management tools.
At Achievion Solutions, we use Atlassian to help manage the requirements and expectations for our projects. Atlassian is the #1 tool for Agile developers and integrates with existing workflow tools, allowing for real-time collaboration, product requirements management, continuous integration, and more.
Instead of having to dig through emails or spreadsheets, we use Atlassian JIRA Software to facilitate planning, tracking, reporting, and release updates. By tracking our work in sprints in JIRA Software, we can keep all stakeholders and contributors involved and in the loop.
When you work with an established Agile organization like Achievion Solutions, the difference is in the fact that such companies have long-term stable teams. This creates conditions that enable high performance with a team that works a sustainable pace.
One of the main issues of the past with the waterfall methodology was scope creep. However, today’s most effective project management approaches encourage innovation throughout the web development lifecycle. As innovative ideas that change the project scope arise, teams must be prepared and ready to incorporate these changes.
However, as a client you should keep in mind that new project requests will affect your project timeline or budget. Never assume that any changes are “minor.” Every change should be discussed in detail with your development team.
Quality assurance and testing are just as important to the success of a web development project as the coding. To ensure working software, performance issues, security concerns, and bugs must be detected and resolved continuously throughout the development process. As a result, testing and Q&A should never be left until the end of the development process, a scenario which using Agile will prevent by design.
At Achievion Solutions, we always take time before the start of any new web development project to carefully consider and apply the most appropriate project management methodology to every client’s project.
To learn more about our Agile process, contact us today. We can provide you with detailed advice and insights as you begin the early stages of planning your web development project.
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