A project manager is responsible for helping the team cross the finish line.
To ensure the finish line doesn’t turn into a moving target, it’s critical to stay organized and on track. Managing a website well requires a focus on a core component of the project – communication.
Use the strategy and planning phase to set the stage for project communication. It may be a challenge to peel away from information overload considering this is when you’re learning all you can about your client’s business, their audience and identifying business objectives for the new website; nevertheless, you don’t want to miss essential details at the onset of the project.
Here are some techniques and tools I’ve found to be instrumental for streamlining communication from initial strategy, through every subsequent phase of the website building process.
Nothing beats a face-to-face discussion to get the most out of a meeting; but realistically, face time is not always possible. Don’t let this slow the project down. The ability to have several people join in the conference call and all view the same screen during a meeting makes it possible to collaborate from behind any desk, conference room or local coffee shop. We love GoToMeeting.
Evernote or Snagit. Nothing says it better than a screenshot. When you’re relaying information back to the development team you don’t want to leave room for misinterpretation. This tool lets you take a screenshot, highlight a specific area on the screen and insert notes.
Love it or hate it, email is a must! It’s an essential way of communicating, documenting and archiving conversations with everyone and anyone that has been part of the project.
Good ol' fashioned phone calls
Sometimes it just makes sense to avoid the long string of emails and have a conversation over the phone. It also lets your client get a peek at that winning personality that they miss out on in an email.
Project Management Software
Your project management tool is your risk management tool. There are a number of project management tools available. Find one that you and your team will use consistently and refer to often. You want to find out as soon possible if there is a risk of not meeting your next milestone (not that you would ever miss a deadline).
We’re advocates of Teamwork because of its ease of use, customizability, milestone tracker, how it handles documents, and multiple options for permissions.
Dropbox, Google Docs, Box – Who wants to hunt through their emails for an attachment or have an email bounce back because the file is too large? Use the cloud. These tools keep all the necessary files (documents, images, videos, etc.) organized for everyone on the team and they’re accessible from any device.
The company website is probably the most complex marketing tool of any organization. When a company makes the decision to rebuild their website, it’s an opportunity to examine their current position and explore fresh, creative ideas for connecting with their audience. Take precautions to ensure great ideas are not forgotten and details are not overlooked. Don’t stress, stay organized and use a few helpful tools along the way.