Rules of engagement - how to ensure a website project runs smoothly

Rules of engagement - how to ensure a website project runs smoothly

31st March 2016 in Web Design and Development

When a client engages us to work on a project it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement; new challenge, maybe for a new client, and often new subject matter to get our teeth into. However, it’s important for us to temper this excitement with some discipline….

One of the things we have learnt from experience is that the key to making sure that a project runs smoothly is to put in place some simple ‘Rules of Engagement’ - guidelines for both us as an agency, and for the client - setting the expectations, from how we need to receive information, to how our billing structure works.

We always strive to deliver the best product at the highest possible service level. We try our absolute hardest, but getting a project from concept to completion is a two way street, and achieving the goal is dependent on co-operation, communication and, yes, a few ‘rules’.

7 Key Rules

  • Kick off meeting: Where possible we find it really useful to have a kick-off meeting with our team and the client. This gives the project team - designer, developer, content and project manager - to go through the job spec, ask any questions and engage with the client face-to-face. This has proved to be beneficial to both parties.
  • Assets: Receiving a bunch of pictures in a disorganised jumble, can lead to confusion and duplication at our end, so we would ideally want:
    • images as jpgs or pngs, in structured folders to suit the content, with logical naming convention
    • downloads as pdfs, in structured folders to suit the content, with logical naming convention
    • text as separate, logically named files, per page, in .txt or .docx format.
  • Timescales: We will outline a proposed timescale for the project including key stage deadlines - for both parties - and anticipated ‘go live’.
  • Communication: We will keep the client apprised of progress on the project on a regular basis either via email or telephone.
  • Billing stages: Billing for any website project is done in stages - engagement, design sign-off and launch. This ensures the client is happy at each stage of the project.
  • Amends: Changes to requirements, or agreed specifications, after one of the above stages is signed off can have implications for the timeliness and cost of the project. Therefore, we ask that all requests for significant or structural changes are presented to us in writing for clarity, and, dependent on the scale of the change requested, we may need to look into charging for the change.
  • Payment: Of course, it has to be on the list. Only once the project has been signed off and is ‘live’ do we issue our final invoice, and we would really like to be paid - within 30 days please. It just makes us feel valued.

Obviously there’s more to delivering a project that these 7 guidelines, but they certainly go a long way to helping that project to run as smoothly as possible, and ensuring that we have a happy client at the end of it.

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