A Complete Guide to Project Management in Web Development
When businesses realize they need a strong online presence, the first thing they typically look for are web developers. However, an important part of any website development project is managing it effectively. Just like any other project, web development requires careful planning, organizing, coordinating, and controlling of resources to accomplish specific goals and outcomes.
For successful project management, certain key roles must be filled. The most important is the role of the project manager. A project manager has all the necessary skills to manage not only the project itself but also a team of people working on different aspects of the project at the same time. They must be competent in managing the six aspects of a project, which includes its scope, schedule, finances, risk, quality and resources. As a result, the project manager needs to be highly organized and have the knowledge and experience of using various tools available to effectively manage a project.
Just like hiring the right people for project management, it is also crucial for businesses to choose a project management methodology before the project starts. A project management methodology involves a set of principles and practices that guide a project manager in organizing a project to ensure optimum performance. In other words, it’s a framework that helps to manage a project in the best way possible. A project methodology must be aligned with the team type, project, organization, and goals. Choosing a methodology before putting a team together can help in finding the most suitable team and manager for the job.
The Key Factors of Project Management in Web Development
Completing web and commercial software development projects successfully and within the set timeframe and budget can be very challenging at times. Workers can easily lose track of goals, become demotivated and miss deadlines. This is often due to a lack of implementing effective project management along with a range of specific factors.
For successful project management, there are four key factors to consider. These include:
Establishing a strong team
A project's success is largely determined by the team working on it. It's important to put together a team that has the right skills, knowledge and experience to make a specific project a success. A development team may consist of individual programming UI/UX designers, front-end and back-end developers, and QA engineers. These IT professionals should be able to work well as a team.
It is often recommended to establish a project's expected outcomes first before finding suitable candidates. This ensures candidates' skills, knowledge and experience are aligned with the desired goals. IT professionals can be hired through an outsourced partner or as part of an in-house team.
Appointing strong leadership
As mentioned earlier, a project manager plays a crucial role in the success of an individual software development project. They control the process, coordinate the team's actions, and ensure timely project delivery.
A good project manager requires great skills in leadership, business management, communication, planning and problem-solving. also needs to be a tech-savvy person who understands the ins and outs of the web application or custom software development project. They also need to be a tech-savvy person who understands the ins and outs of web development. Some of the tasks of a project manager include:
- Offering smooth communication between team members
- Prioritizing tasks
- Assigning resources
- Establishing a budget and timeframe
- Motivating team members
- Managing risks
- Reporting back on progress
- Assisting with testing
- Troubleshooting problems
- Managing documentation
Identifying a project management platform
In website project management, a suitable project management platform or system must be identified as it helps every part of the project run more smoothly. These systems come with all the necessary features required to efficiently plan projects, manage resources, react to problems, and keep all the project stakeholders updated and involved. Without the right system in place, businesses often struggle to meet the three most important constraints: Budget, scope and quality.
Choosing a project management methodology
Project management methodologies are not one-size-fits-all. Even in the same business or industry. A specific methodology may work well in one situation, but not even in a similar project. The same methodology is unlikely to work in the same business on all its projects. The best approach is to implement a streamlined assessment process to determine the most suited methodology for each project.
The benefits of establishing a project management methodology include:
- Team members being aligned with the guidelines for their tasks and workflow
- Delivering consistent results throughout the project
- Being prepared to address issues and troubleshoot potential problems
- Being able to explain the project approach to stakeholders
Understanding the factors for successful project management is crucial. Together with implementing an effective management process, a project can be completed within time and budget and meet all desired goals established at the start.
For this, many businesses turn to project management consulting services. Here is how to find a suitable service:
A Step-by-step Process of Project Management in Web Development
Project management is best completed by breaking down the project into smaller tasks or steps and ensuring the successful completion of each task on time. Let's now explore a step-by-step process for project management that can be followed by project managers and development teams.
1. Planning: Identifying goals and desired outcomes
The first and most important part of any project is the planning stage. During this stage, it is crucial to obtain precise and clear information from clients or end-users to establish needs. This allows the project manager, individual programmers and the rest of the team to identify the project's desired goals and outcomes. During this initial planning stage, it is also important to set a specific timeframe, determine the budget and communicate the project methodology for the project.
Another key part of the planning stage is determining potential risks. The sooner risks are identified, the sooner teams can start to find individual software solutions. This helps to avoid turnarounds at later stages of the project which can lead to missed deadlines and increased costs.
All these aspects must be communicated to the entire team to ensure everyone is aligned at the start of the project. The information must also be documented for quick and easy reference throughout the project.
Once the team is familiar with the project's scope, they will enter the building phase. The team will now start work on the layout, design and functionalities of the product. This stage is crucial for the project manager who must oversee the project and ensure progress is tracked and communicated to the team. The team needs to be alert to how fast they progress and whether they are on schedule.
Therefore, meetings between management and all stakeholders are of vital importance during this stage. These meetings need to occur regularly to ensure everyone on the team is on the same page.
The building stage includes the following key factors:
Keeping track of progress, tasks, deadlines and budgets
Throughout the building stage, the project manager must carefully monitor how and when tasks are completed. This ensures that the project runs smoothly as proposed in the planning stage. Progress must constantly be communicated to everyone. A central task management tool such as Trello, Nifty, Todoist or Flow can be useful to keep everyone on track. It is also essential to carefully monitor budgets during the building stage. If there are any changes in resources that may affect the budget, it needs to be addressed immediately to avoid overspending.
Keeping the team motivated
Some projects can be complicated and require plenty of trial-and-error development. During these times, it is common for team members to lose motivation. Losing motivation can lead to low performance, poor quality and missed deadlines. Therefore, project managers and team leaders need to keep teams motivated throughout the lifecycle of the project. This may include regular check-in meetings, offering opportunities for self-development and keeping the work environment positive.
Moving away from micromanaging
There are few things as demotivating as micromanaging. Micromanaging during web development has the risk of alienating employees, diminishing trust in the project manager and making them dependent on micromanagement. Team members must be trusted to complete tasks on their own and with their own initiative. Project managers should only offer leadership in the form of guidance and offer assistance when required.
Once the building stage is completed, it is time for the product to be optimized. This is the process of using tools, advanced strategies and experiments to enhance the performance of the web application product. In simple terms, the process involves rounding off the product.
This final stage can be quite complex and consists of a couple of tasks. After building and optimization, it is finally time to run the website in-house. Here are all the steps involved in finalizing the project:
5. First testing
This initial testing phase is usually performed by the development team itself. It involves trying out the development product in the exact way it was intended. A checklist must be created to ensure diligence while testing. Different operations of the website or software are tested and tasks are created for each testing activity. When issues are uncovered, team members highlight the problems and typically assign them to the project manager. The project manager then reviews the issues and delegates the task to the right team members or department. The team members will then work to find solutions to the problems.
6. Continuous testing and experimentation
Continuous testing allows cost-effective and quick releases by detecting issues early in the development cycle. This helps to optimize development and reduce overall costs. With continuous testing, web development delivery becomes more agile with enhanced quality and more efficient product releases. With continuous testing, users outside the development team can start to test and experiment with the product. This allows the development team to find new problems and loopholes. Moreover, team members can constantly learn about their product and find out what can be done to increase quality and reliability.
One of the most important parts of developing a new web application is to ensure that everyone involved knows exactly how to use it. This stage includes training sales, product management and customer support teams. It is important to train them before going live with the new application to ensure they can assist end-users if and when needed.
8. Going live
After all the initial testing stages have been completed, it is time to roll out or launch the new product. This step involves ensuring correct timing and proper marketing of the new product. It is also crucial for team members to be on standby to fix any bugs that may creep in during the launch.
9. Reporting and evaluating
After the launch of a product, it needs to be evaluated to determine if the project was a success. This stage involves everyone that was a part of the planning, building, testing and launching stages. Evaluating the project includes documenting every step and the feedback gathered during the project. This information is compared to the goals, timeframes and budgets determined right at the start of the project. The final data is then communicated back to all stakeholders.
It is important to know that project management may not look the same for all businesses or types of projects, but there are some basic guidelines to follow to ensure projects run according to set quality standards, on time and within budget.
It can be useful to do some research or to review different case studies to identify which type of project management approach is the best one for a specific project.
The Final Word
No project can succeed without carefully monitoring every stage. No matter what type of project it is, it requires thorough planning, coordinating, and controlling of resources to achieve its desired goals.
During web development, project management can be one of the most challenging tasks. But if the management of the project is done with absolute professionalism, then a business can be assured that the delivery and quality expectations of the project will be met. This is why it is so important to understand exactly what is required for effective project management throughout the lifecycle of a development project.