10 ways to make sure your development project stays on track to meet your deadline.
Deadlines. Launch date. D-day. Scheduled delivery. All different words, phrases, yet all carry the same meaning. Let's face it very few people like to be held to a specific timeline. Deadlines make some people nervous. Deadlines make some other thrive. Some do not like to commit to deadlines if it is dependent upon others doing their part. In the business world, there can be varying reasons for deadlines. In some cases, deadlines line up with product launches, business trips, court dates, expos or conventions. In other cases, deadlines are a date the client sets for what they see as an ideal time frame. No matter what the reason for a specific deadline or launch date, there is one key item to meeting deadlines. Communication. Yep, one word, communication. Funny how one word can carry so much weight, isn't it? If one party drops the ball on one simple word it could derail the timeline of an entire project. Bad communication can send entire departments into a tailspin. Bad communication can cost firms thousands of dollars. In the world of web development, app development or programming there are always deadlines. Many times, these deadlines are simply unattainable (like say the government health care website). Many times these deadlines are unrealistic because they were predetermined by a non-technical person who has no idea the amount of programming time required. But, that's a topic for a different post. Today, let's focus on key ways to met realistic deadlines. You see, in many instances, multiple people or departments are involved in meeting deadlines or keeping a project on track. In a perfect world, below is a list of ways to work efficiently with your developer and keep your project running smoothly.
1. When looking for a developer set clear project guidelines and discuss with the developer realistic goals.
2. Define clear and precise project specifications.
3. Determine who will be the go-to person responsible for providing any information the developer may need.
4. Provide any and all documentation, content, images etc to the developer in a timely fashion.
5. Determine whom in your firm will be responsible for reviewing any and all facets of the project.
6. Do not only set deadlines for the developer. Make sure your firms go to person is meeting project deadlines as well. Make sure they are signing off on phases in a timely fashion.
7. When you receive phases of development do not delay in testing and providing feedback.
8. Do your best to stick to agreed upon specifications. Deviating from spec can increase development time and delay launch as well as increase the budget.
9. Do not expect the developers to drop everything when you want changes if you are dragging your feet on testing or reviewing phases.
10. Communicate immediately any potential delays in phases or if there will be delays in providing key information.
If you follow these simple steps and understand that the developer is not the only one responsible for meeting deadlines it will make your entire experience run smoother. If you set realistic expectations, are clear on specifications and goals you will end up with a better end result.