Any project requires leadership. Whether it’s the Pyramids of Giza or cooking dinner, any endeavour with worthwhile results needs some form of guidance. Something that keeps things coherent and moving in the right direction.
Web design is not the least of these endeavours. Creating a website requires such a conglomerate of skills and expertise that the only way to have all parties moving along at the same pace is with a dedicated project manager.
If you’re interested in being a project manager, then it may be a good idea to familiarise yourself with the process of web design. After all, we live in a digital age, and your Masters of Project Management is a worthy qualification: why not do a little additional study and get to grips with one of the most predominant business projects out there this century?
Getting The Team Together
After getting the brief for the project, the project manager needs to assemble an appropriate team. Whether this is from the pool of in-house talent or external hires, the project manager needs to work with people they feel have the relevant skills and experience for the project. This will include a myriad of roles, including UX and UI (User Experience / User Interface) designers, software engineers, marketers, analysts, quality assurance, and more.
Assembling your team is like laying the foundations of a house. Sure, you might be able to get by with some not-so-great support for a while, but how long until the house comes tumbling down? The right team will be able to communicate their needs effectively, accept deadlines and communicate what/why certain project deadlines are unrealistic. They’ll be able to work autonomously, report grievances as soon as possible, keep other relevant teams in the loop, and respond to unexpected circumstances.
The right team works with you, and you as a good project manager will work with them. It’s all about finding the blend of expertise, adaptability, and affability.
Being A Strong Leader
That’s right, we’re looking in the mirror for this next one. So many projects fail due to terrible leadership. The most important thing in the world is to not be the kind of boss that makes people want to leave their jobs. There is no place for workplace bullying, but even with moral issues out of the way some people just don’t make effective leaders.
If you find that you would rather ignore problems, than understand that they’re there and need fixing, you probably aren’t a strong leader. If your response to a person under your wing having a hard time is “get over it”, then you’re not just a weak leader you’re a cruel person. If your team is repeatedly coming to you saying that the deadlines you’re setting are too short, then you’re not understanding what your needs demand of your team.
Being a strong leader demands several things from you. It’s more than just organisation, planning, delegation, communication, and all that good stuff – it demands empathy. Empathy is the true difference between someone who motivates a team to do amazing work and someone who demotivates people to show up to work at all. If you aren’t treating your staff the way you would expect to be treated, that’s a sign that maybe project management isn’t for you.
Project Management Platform
So, we’ve got our leadership, and we’ve got a crack team of eager and knowledgeable web developers. Now it’s time to get started on the project. When does the UI/UX team need Marketing’s data? How soon can marketing conduct the necessary research? When are the earliest and latest launch dates for the website? How much time does the development team need to draft and edit their code? How long will it take the graphic design team to create the necessary images? How long will the initial copy and content take to draft? Where is the budget for this coming from and when will you need how much money?
It’s a lot, isn’t it? And this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. s time goes on and the project develops, there will just be more and more demands on your, and your team’s time. Keeping track of these demands mentally is impossible, and on paper would be a veritable tornado of pages and ink.
For this reason, there are multiple project management platforms and apps that assist with the process. A particularly successful model is Asana, which comes with instant messaging, timelines, task lists, deadline reminders, prioritisation systems, and the ability to organise member’s accounts into relevant teams.
Choosing A Methodology
Project management is more than just timelines and reminders. That’s just goals and alerts to things that need to be done. When managing a project, you need to establish how you’re going to run it. What the chain of communication is, which departments have what priority, the stages of the project, and more.
There are many methodologies in project management and when you’re running a web development project, you’re going to need something that allows for a lot of time to obtain data, analyse it, put that data into practical materials, allow time to edit things as necessary, mock it all up, quality test it. With something that demands so much attention, you’re definitely going to need a methodology that minimises time spent chasing people for information and maximises everyone’s ability to work cohesively as a team.
This is by no means exhaustive. After all, the project managers behind the writing of this article have deemed that it’s worthy of only 800-1000 words. However, this guide does provide you with the necessary information that too many project managers not worth their salt seem ignorant of. After this, it’s just running things according to a logical and workable flow. Set out the stages of the project, know what needs to be accomplished within those stages, and support your team as best you can to get things done.