Savvy Project Management and SMART Tasking
One of the overriding requirements of a successful webdev project is the need to think about the totality of project needs, and development of a way to look over the shoulders of the dev team to make sure all those needs are met.
This should go without saying, because it seems so obvious; but the biggest obstacle of any project—especially one with a deadline—is a common lack of clear communication. In other words, people involved in the project need to talk to each other. Active listening skills with clarifying questions will most quickly achieve the desired understanding.
The project must be planned, and part of that plan must include the scheduling and resourcing needs of all team members. Once the plan is in place, the success of the implementation rests largely with the management of the process. Generally, this will begin with an individual acting as Project Manager, who knows a great deal about what the client wants and why. This person “rides herd” on the rest of the team, making sure they’re all heading in the same direction.
There are now many commercial project management platforms/software/apps that can be used by groups large and small, local and remote. These tools can give an edge to savvy users because they are designed to anticipate problems and help clear them up when they do happen. There's an excellent roundup of potential packages, including both SAAS and downloadable platforms, here.
Once project management has been established, it’s now time to determine the shape that function will take inside your webdev project. Chances are you already have an established process you follow, but if not, consider adopting “SMART” Tasking. This consists of the following attributes:
- Specific – Target a particular area for improvement.
- Measurable – Quantify, or at least suggest, an indicator of progress.
- Assignable – Specify who will perform each task.
- Realistic – State which results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
- Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved. You need to be able to check it off, say I'm done with this. It can't be a never-ending task.
Learn more about SMART Tasking here.