Questions

Who can best help my programmer and I come up with an actual completion date for our website?

The problem is that a few "deadlines" have come and gone and changes keep being made as well, so we need an expert with a relevant programming background who can review where we are currently at in the project and help us understand what it's going to take in order to stick to a realistic deadline this time.

4answers

Planning software projects — especially estimating timelines — is a consistent challenge for developers.

When I ran an agency, I constantly struggled with my team's ability to hit deadlines until I figured out how to plan more effectively.

I've written up my approach here:
http://lengstorf.com/effective-project-planning/

The short version is:

1. Make every task a yes/no question. If there's room for interpretation, it's not clear enough.

2. Keep the goals visible and track progress in a central location (somewhere you can both see).

3. Break tasks into single-day efforts whenever possible. So instead of "build home page", it's "A) style navigation; B) create opt-in; C) add testimonials section; etc." — the goal is to create momentum with a daily deadline that can absolutely be completed.

It takes a little more effort up front, but it pays dividends in the long run. I used this strategy with my team to decrease our average turnaround times by nearly half, and my consulting clients have used this strategy to similar effect.

I'd be happy to help you create a concrete plan using these techniques. Schedule a call or send me a message and we'll get started.

Good luck!


Answered 4 years ago

This is not an a typical issue and rather common within the industry. I may be able to help but here are a few things to consider.

1. Changes to scope and scope creep will certainly add time to a project, so hammer down the scope of work moving forward and allow for no further change requests. Ad the on as a phase2 after the first items ade acoplished.

2. An itemized list is good, but need to start with the objective then break it down into stories, or tasks acompanied by time estimates. Each should bd no bigger than 4 hours and if it is break it down further.

3. Figure out dependancies, what needs to happen before the next can start, a before b kinda thing.

4. Then sit down together and really figure out what you can get done on a weekly basis. Some call these iterations sprints but regardless the name jt will help hou figure acurate timelines.

5. Lastly Allow for error! So there are all sorts of numeric formulas to calculate estimating overages, I lkke to do it one of two ways. First if the developers tend to be overly optimistic or have underestimated before, i DOUBLE the time, yes DOUBLE IT, otherwise I go with 30 - 50% increase. So 10 weeks becomes 13 - 15.

Just my thoughts,
Branden


Answered 4 years ago

Great question. This is a common problem with development projects. The scope of the project may not be as clearly set from the beginning as they should have been and project creep inches up.

In the future, I would suggest that you request that your developer create a comprehensive project plan outlining the project in extreme detail with dependencies. Project planning software's help greatly with this. I typically use Smartsheets as it is cloud based and it allows for you the client to see all the intricacies of the project and what the current status of the project is at all times.

I can definitely help you get this project moving in the right direction. Here is what I would want to do:

Have a call with you to understand what has happened up to this point. Identify the deliverables you are looking for. Understanding deliverables is critical. I will then have you introduce me to your developer. Your developer and I will have a call so I can understand where he/she is at and what roadblocks or challenges are being encountered.

I will then take all the information I gather from you and your developer and create project specs (a written explanation of the functionality, and details required for a development team to fulfill your needs) for each feature of the project. I will send these specs to you for your review. You will sign off on these specs if it fully encompasses what you are looking for.

After that, with the developers help I will build out the project plan Gantt Chart which will be used as a map to execute the project. The developer will define optimistic, probable, and pessimistic time estimates for each task. This allows us to get a more realistic time estimates and project variance.

If we find during this process that the developer can't get all this work done with the deadline/budget you are seeking, we will then evaluate and consider options. These could include eliminating certain non-critical features or hiring additional developers to assist.

While the project is underway I can help manage the project if you would like by having status check-ins with your developer ensuring that the project is progressing according to plan and making alternations as necessary.

I love managing projects and would love to help you. Here is my Clarity VIP link for a free call where we can chat further. https://clarity.fm/lipmanb/vip/t


Answered 4 years ago

You need an itemized list of the changes that need to happen. Time & Cost (moreso time it sounds like) to knock them out. To answer your question, look for a consulting company that specializes in the language/technology your platform is in.


Answered 4 years ago

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