Every project starts out with the best intentions and processes. But even the best processes only work as well as they are followed. Let’s take a look at what aspects of a project play the most valuable role in its success.
In our experience at Imarc, these five key factors contribute the most to the success of a project:
The timeline is arguably the most important aspect of a project. It should be agreed upon during the start of the project, and it is meant to keep everyone on track throughout the engagement. The timeline should clearly lay out the sequence of deliverables and the completion date of the project.
In a perfect project, the timeline would not change. But that’s just not realistic, so we have to consider alternatives and be flexible.
Here are the most common issues that can push back the timelines and how to prevent them:
Events and target dates Be transparent about target dates or events that the project needs to be completed by at the very start of the project.
Stakeholder participation Include all stakeholders in key meetings and reviews so that materials do not have to go through a lengthy chain of approvals.
Review cycles and approvals Adhere to review and approval dates by scheduling enough time from the start. Being open, honest, and realistic about timelines will set everyone up for success.
Deliverable deadlines Set reasonable deadlines to prevent one missed deadline from pushing back the entire project. If dates are not flexible, there should be consideration of what aspects of the project could be moved to a secondary phase.
Stay on top of your content
The term content is all inclusive of project deliverables including copy, imagery, and iconography. When content is a primary focus during the onset of an engagement, there will be a noticeable difference in the quality, structure, thoughtfulness, and overall feel of the final project.
Using nearly final content in the wireframing and design stage of the project gives your team an accurate vision of the end product. You can rest assured knowing all your content will fit into the recommended pages and web modules without making last-minute adjustments. Understanding how your content will be presented also minimizes the hours of content upload.
Transparency is the best policy
Transparency and honesty from the onset of a project will promote better communication and trust between internal and external teams. Collaboration towards a common goal helps build camaraderie and enhances the working relationship, which will improve and benefit the overall project experience.
Being surprised during a project from either the internal or external team due to a lack of communication can turn a project on its head and create turbulence. If red flags arise on either side, made sure the other team is aware so they can pivot or reset expectations. For example, if a new client stakeholder arises midway through the project, let the agency team know so they can prepare for any changes or requests that may come their way.
Remember that honesty, openness, and clarity throughout the project will create a positive environment where everyone can work together in harmony.
Know your budget
Set your budget and understand the effect it has on the project from the beginning. Clearly communicate your budget to the agency or external teams that you are working with to help them set parameters and offer you the best bang for your buck, so to speak. They will know where they can push the boundaries and where to pull back and how to serve your needs within your allocated budget.
Throughout the course of a project situations may arise that require rescoping; such as additional pages and content, new plug-in requirements, extra imagery or iconography; the list can go on and on. All these situations could result in a Change Order for the project or a phase two list.
Line up items for phase two
If you find the project is running up a list of items that are not in scope, consider curating a phase two project list. Phase two items are a perfect way to utilize a retainer with your agency and continue the relationship after a project launch.
The list can include enhancements that were not necessary for launch but will make the overall experience better, such as a blog, resource center, or other content areas of the site. It allows the external and internal teams more time to strategize, pivot objectives, and focus on more singular items after the initial phase of the project.
Make the next move
The Imarc team has the skills and expertise to help your project launch successfully, and the dedication to continually enhancing the project post-launch. We can help you stay on track in these five important areas to help position you, your team, and your project for a big win.
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