Our small digital agency is currently running into project management problems, as we're following the waterfall methodology which we continuously have hold-ups in the design phase. Our clients are initially very active with feedback in the beginning but then it becomes 2-5 days sometimes before we get feedback on a design, which is affecting our pipeline as well as milestone payment cash flow. Can anyone recommend a web design pm course that will help us fix our problems? We may need to learn a new methodology i.e. agile, scrum etc in-order to fix the problem. We build websites on Magento, Shopify and WordPress. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I ran a web design agency for 6 years, despite of studying PMBOK for advanced project management (for Engineering projects). I used "Web Redesign, Strategies for Success by Kelly Goto" Courser Link: http://www.lynda.com/Web-Design-tutorials/webredesignstrategiesforsuccess/316-6.html as a basis for building our project management model.
1) Breakdown the project into milestones for your team and for your client example (Finish Wireframes, Confirm on Design Palette and colors, Confirm on Content, Functionality Testing)
2) Include all expected tasks/hours from the beginning, should be increasing with your experience, especially you are focusing on specific platforms, let customer see the different dates in which they are required to provide feedback, even schedule calls with clients on these days
2) Use a robust Project Management tool like BaseCamp, where you can give client direct access to the platform preferably with a Skype/Telephony functionality to schedule calls.
If you need any more help designing and deploying your PM system, I would be glad to help.
Basically these days there is lots of concentration done over designing phase. Your company following waterfall approach, which is only to be used when you don't expect any change over a period of time for the S/W or application you are developing. But so far as you have understood for the acceptance of change, it would surely help you in the long run. As you said your customers do give immediate feedback, so you should undoubtedly go for agile approach. So far as learning for such models are concerned I would like you to suggest to read once Software Engineering by Pearson.
If you still have any confusions, get in touch with me. I would like to help you out and support your firm at my best.
Hello there. Sorry to hear about you challenge which is common and very frustrating. I've worked with numerous organisations large and small (including several web/marketing agencies) over the last decade to help make their projects more successful.
I would expect that there may be some tweaks you might like to make to help your project workflows, e.g. building some agility into the execution phase of the project. These may provide more flexibility and effectiveness, but I suspect that your challenge will be more readily fixed by building the reality of projects into your client engagement. Do you discuss upfront the risks to meeting their deadlines and scope from from delay on their part? Could you adjust the payment milestones to protect you from "the inevitable" or incentivise the client to respond promptly?
I've not seen any specific web design pm training courses, but there are lots of very good 1 day introductory courses out there.
Alternatively if time and budget are an issue I can offer a personal 90 minute interactive online PM Foundations session which provides basic definitions, terminologies and best practice sprinkled with lots of common sense ideas? Feel free to get in touch if you'd like to explore any of the above some more.
Although project management training is great and I would recommend Agile or Scrum methodologies to assist you with your challenges, it sounds like the issues you are having may be related to needing some definition around roles and responsibilities, setting expectations and communication of the impacts of a slow response time. Using different methodologies can definitely help with that but in the near term maybe you just need some coaching in the softer skills to get through your immediate challenges.
I am a project management coach and would be more than happy to give you some pointers to help you out.