Web development is a unique process. When visuals, communication, and functionality intertwine under fast-changing technologies, it requires a lot of talented people to build something. Your team could consist of a diverse group of professionals that can include a graphic designer, frontend developer, backend developer, copywriter, SEO specialist, video editor, and many more. And sometimes, projects are small and all you’ll need is a frontend developer and a project manager. So when it comes to web development, good project management assesses the scale and keeps your deliverables on time and on budget.
To help you on your next project, I want to share what I’ve learned so far as a project manager at Simple Solutions. Here are some tips on having a (nearly) stress-free project management experience.
Plan every interaction all the way through
The most crucial component of any project management job is planning. So my biggest tip is to meticulously plan the entire project before you write your first line of code or design your first webpage. Making that time-investment will save you hours and give you an accurate scope of what needs to be done and the time it will take. When you plan, don’t just outline the parts you see and use, but the behind-the-scenes items too. Items like decision-tree-inspired automations that drive a good customer experience, or a database architecture that can improve the speed of interactions and transactions. It’s the small things – when not considered – that end up being a source of serious problems as you reach the end of a project. You can avoid that by planning.
Project Management with the all-seeing eye of Asana
At Simple Solutions, we manage all our projects with Asana. We’ve tried a few other platforms and found that when it comes to web development, Asana is the most flexible way to organize our work. Whether we’re setting up sprints to move projects purposefully through to completion or building Kanban boards to improve flows, Asana makes it easy to manage workloads for our team.
As a project manager, I like how Asana allows us to oversee timelines and how it gives me a birds eye view of all our projects – a great way to track the status of everything we’re working on. Another plus is Asana’s intuitive interface, which makes it easy for the team to use. It has such a tiny learning curve that they can master the tools they need to communicate their progress in minutes.
Clockify your time tracking
While Asana keeps our team focused on what they need to do, Clockify tracks the time they spend doing them. Ease of use is the most important thing when considering a time tracking tool – if your team feels it’s too cumbersome, they may not track their time as accurately as needed. Clockify is effortless – just type in what you’re working on and press “start.” At the end of the week, you can create reports to see where your team spent their time, the amount of hours each team member worked, and confirm that projects are staying within budget. What we learn here helps us improve our project estimates and keeps an eye out for scope creep.
Slack keeps us from slacking
With so many dependencies that affect the project timeline, communication is key. We use Slack to keep eachother in the loop. With Slack we can organize our conversations around projects by creating a channel for each of them, and anything we discuss is searchable and easy to access. This creates a good digital “paper trail” of the project’s story.
Client management lives on Google Workspace
A huge part of project management is managing client expectations and updating the client on progress. Using tools clients are comfortable with can strengthen that relationship. We schedule and hold all our meetings on Google Workspace. On Google Calendar you can create invites complete with a Google Meet link for your video call. Additionally, Google Drive is a secure place to store project assets like documents, images, and videos cost effectively.
Get a chair with wheels
That’s right. One of my best tools is my gamer-worthy chair with wheels. One quick scoot and I am face-to-face with the help I need. We’re not a remote team and one of the benefits of having everyone around you is deep collaboration on scoping, planning, and developing our projects.
I don’t have to document the small stuff, I can show our developers exactly where issues arise as I find them. When big issues do arise, I can count on my team to narrow down the scope and hone in on the best solution in real time. One quick spin on my chair, and I’m showing our front end developer a usability glitch. A foot-push to the left and I glide towards our backend developer to streamline a step in a shopping process. I don’t know what I would do without it. I recommend getting one.
- Project management is time-intensive, detail-oriented, and people-driven.
- Give yourself enough time to manage these components.
- Remember to have a clear picture of the project, from start to finish, in your head.
- Make good use of the incredible tools that are out there. Simple Solutions uses the following to manage our projects: Asana for project management, Clockify for time tracking, Slack for internal communication, and Google Workspace for client communication and asset management.