The internet is difficult to understand for many business owners. While the concept in the potential clients head may sound simple- a basic ecommerce website that allows users to rate products, buy them, and make a wishlist that can be published to numerous social media outlets- the actual work involved to reach that goal is generally underestimated on their part. Having a PDF sent across that has a few line items on it does not explain why certain features were picked or what that means for their website. It is our role as the experts in the industry to effectively plan a project and scope it out to not only meet the clients needs, but to give an appropriate quote to the client and explain the reasoning behind it.
“This project is getting way out of hand,” “beyond our original estimates,” ….. These type of phrases are all too common now-a-days in the web industry. We get a lot of our clients from companies that are frustrated with their current web company because they failed to scope out the project appropriately. The project may have been signed off on by the client but it doesn’t look or feel how they want it to. The client pushes back and is told that what they are asking for is “out of scope” and it will require more money to do.
Out of Scope?! It is not the clients role to scope out their project, it comes down to having an effective project manager. For any website project, you have to know the pain points the client has with their current site and what they want the new website to do. Appropriately guiding the conversation of the discovery is vital to scoping.
Help guide the client to the solution they are looking for. They likely have a good idea of what that will be, but may not be on the same page as you. Take a step back and see the project from 50,000 feet.
- What is the client trying to do with their site?
- What are their current problems/concerns?
Next step? Communicate, communicate, communicate. Communicate with your team to make sure they can hit the goals within the budget. Communicate with the client to make sure what is being built out meets their needs. Communicate with yourself- keep yourself on task, build out those tickets/stories and make sure they are effectively written to get the client the website they want in the budget.
Our role is to advocate for our clients and provide our knowledge to find the right solution for our them.
Project management can be tough, and what a client describes as what they want may not be exactly what they need. We can’t see in a clients head and see their vision for their project, it is up to you, the project manager, to ask the right questions and help guide them.
It doesn’t matter if the client needs a very basic website developed or a complex mobile app developed, effective project managment is the key. Through your guidance, a project can be scoped and executed on time and on budget.