Website Project Management Part 2 : Principles

(If you haven’t already – see Part One – An Introduction to Project Management)

When dealing with project management for website development, there are really on two things to juggle.

  1. Tasks
  2. Resources

Sounds simple, right?

Tasks

Tasks are fairly obvious. They are the things you have to do. I have found it useful to group your tasks into phases – it helps to get a better overview of where you are (instead of looking at a great long list of unrelated tasks) and it’s also easier to set up a template of standard tasks that you then simply customise for each job. We generally use the following phases:

  1. Planning
  2. Content gathering and editing
  3. Design
  4. Programming
  5. Construction/Assembly
  6. Testing
  7. Post Launch

Tasks near the beginning and end of a website project tend to be repeated, so make a template out of these at least. And look for the things that you generally do in the middle phases, and write these down as well. You can easily customise your list if the individual project warrants it.

Once we have our list of tasks together, we now need to make them happen!

Resources

In project management, resources can be anything from people to equipment to buildings or meeting rooms – anything you need to get the tasks done. Relating back to web design, we’re really only talking about people, or manhours more specifically. Time. If you have 80 hours of tasks to be done, and George has 20 available hours this week and Mildred has 15, it ain’t going to get finished this week!

Another point to consider – people aren’t productive 100% of the time. We’re not robots. So if you employ someone for 38 hours per week, you’re wasting your time allocating them 38 hours worth of tasks. Never going to happen. I work on allocating 4 hours out of every 5. If they happen to get finished earlier than expects, then good! Get a head start on tomorrow’s work. But you need to allow time to get coffee, visit the loo, chat about the movie you saw on the weekend or whatever.

Okay, that’s enough theory. Next installment we’ll start getting our hands dirty!

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