06 Nov 2019

10 Tips for Website Project Management

Are you looking for the tips to consider for website project management? If you are looking for these factors, then you are definitely reading the right post. As in this post, we aim to provide you with various aspects of website project management. These traits are important ones to nail a successful web-based project.

There are several other terms being used interchangeably for website project management. These terms are termed as web project management or digital project management. Even one of the offshoots of website project management is User Experience Project Management. So when talking about website project managers, we talk about web project managers and digital project managers.

Website Project Management and Web

The nature of the projects has gone through different stages. The trends of web usage have increased remarkably over the past decades. The business focuses on various needs which are based on factors like virtualization, multi-located global market footage.

This change in focus of the business need has entered into the era of web-based applications. Companies fulfill the must-have requirement of digital existence to prove their presence. In other words, digital existence is one of the essential marketing aspects as well as a branding tool for any company.

Companies focus on expanding their business horizons not only by marking their presence on the internet. This digital existence helps them to expand their outreach within the global market. For this sake, companies build their websites, web-portals, and web applications.

Web projects and Effective Website Project Management Traits

Website projects are not plain static websites anymore. They have transformed into large and complex projects. Such projects include multi-platform applications. So that they can run on different platforms. These platforms include gadgets like PDAs and mobile devices. In addition to this, the applications also connect with a variety of data sources and extract the relevant information for processing.

Additionally, the nature of web applications can vary a lot. Some of these applications are:

  • E-commerce websites
  • Business intelligence
  • Data warehousing
  • Dashboards
  • Scorecards
  • Cloud computing services

In order to effectively handle dynamic and complex projects, you need to focus on several project management aspects. We have mentioned below the main areas that you can use as a guideline to manage your web projects.

1. Good Understanding of Methodologies

The technology trends are growing due to more innovation. These trends make web projects more challenging. There are different project management methodologies available.

Project managers should have a good understanding of these methodologies. They need to choose the best methodology with respect to their project. Additionally, they should customize them according to their need. They can even use hybrid methodologies.

Scrum is one of the most commonly used frameworks which enables project managers to deliver the most value to the customer at earliest and helps to maintain the fast pace of delivery.

2. Clear Goals

Studies reveal that the lack of clarity in the project objectives results in project failure. If the project manager does not define clear goals of the project, eventually the monitoring and controlling processes will fail. since project managers will not be able to measure the progress against the unclear objectives.

The challenge increases with the induction of agility, where the clients do not have all the requirements upfront or the requirements are being changed frequently. In some cases the technology is complex. These challenges result in uncertainty within the project.

As a project manager, you will need to address these uncertainties. You need to align the objectives. In addition to this, you will subsequently prioritize the requirements. Once you set the requirements right, you can communicate and assign the tasks to the team.

3. Clear and Transparent Communication

Effective communication is one of the main traits of successful project managers. The project managers need to frequently communicate with the stakeholders. Furthermore, the project teams may not be co-located all the times. Therefore the project manager has to focus more on communication.

Project managers have to provide the project status to the stakeholders. They also need to communicate the project risks and changes to the project team. Lack of effective communication creates gaps among the stakeholders. Hence it causes a delay in decision making that impedes the project.

Project managers have to perceive the clients’ initial concept, then they need to communicate this to the team. Furthermore, the project manager oversees the team to create the required product or service. So the project manager has to communicate in all directions throughout the project as project managers need to address the risks and challenges within the project.

4. Managing Teams

Most of the projects are being implemented by the teams which are multi-located, cross-cultural. Therefore they have a difference of perspectives and norms but they are hired to work as one team. Project managers play a critical role to manage the team during all the stages. These stages include forming, storming, norming and performing.

Project managers act as a focal point for the project team.  Project managers define norms and ground rules to set the baseline for the team so that the project team can perform effectively. Furthermore, project managers collaborate with the team to set up their tasks. Once project managers define and assign the tasks, they monitor the progress of the team against these tasks.

The project manager roles have transformed into a servant leader, so they are more towards the role of facilitator, hence they are supposed to be more effective in team collaboration and development. Project managers ensure that all the teams are updated with the latest happening across the board.

5. Good Exposure to Website Project Management Software

As project management requires project managers’ exposure to project management tools so is the case with website project management. Web Project managers must have good exposure to project management tools. As the usage of these tools makes project manger’s life easier. These tools help the project managers to effectively perform project management activities. There are a variety of tools project managers should be able to use. These tools can cover project management areas like:

  • Project Planning
  • Project Scheduling
  • Task Management
  • Risk and Issue Management
  • Configuration Management
  • Progress reporting

Many open source tools are also available in the market to cater to these areas. The project manager can choose the tools based on the project methodology. For example, for Scrum, the project manager can use software like Version One or Jira and for waterfall methodology, they can use tools like Primavera or MS. Project.

6. Understanding of Web Technologies

Web project managers must have a good understanding of web technologies. Project managers are not supposed to develop the application, however, this will help them better understand the scope and challenges of the project.

Different vendors have introduced a variety of latest technologies for their product offerings. There are many vendors with large market share. Some of these vendors are Amazon, IBM, Oracle, and DELL  These vendors have come up with different products and services.

Project managers may decide to buy off-the-shelf products or services from different vendors. Which brings the challenge of integration to the project. The understanding of these aspects will empower project managers in better and effective decision making.

7. Proficiency in Risk Management

Risk management is one of the most important aspects of website project management. Project managers are on top of overall risk management. They ensure the risk is covered for the projects as soon as possible. The project team works to identify the risks. Then they perform analysis and plan risk response which is followed by risk response implementation.

Security risks are the most critical of these risks. As a project manager, you need to address several areas to cover these risks. Input validation is one of the main areas. Furthermore, identity and access management are also on top of the list. Project managers must ensure that processes are in place for application and infrastructure configuration. The performance of the application is another critical area as with the passage of time the data, as well as traffic, will grow.

8. User Experience

User experience is one of the critical bullets of website project management. Project manager emphasizes a lot on the user experience which directly impacts the business. These include Adoption, Growth, Margins, Retention, and Revenue.

The project manager focus to enhance user experience within the application. They require a lot of user interaction to get their feedback and subsequently, incorporate their feedback.

The project manager harnesses the skills of graphic and web designers, they manage the creative teams and interact with marketing departments to launch digital projects. The main goal of user experience is to increase the interactivity and enjoyment of a website or web application. For example, launching a new website for an established company that engages consumers so they buy more products or services.

As a user experience PM, you should be familiar with a variety of graphics tools. These tools include graphic design programs, spreadsheets and customer research tools, as staying on top of the latest software and industry trends are important.

9. Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are an essential requirement of website project management. There are a variety of traits that the web project managers carry within their personalities to be effective. Majorly these traits include the following:

Coaching and Mentoring

Project managers working in the capacity of servant leaders have a lot to do in terms of coaching and mentoring. They understand the value of self-organizing teams. Therefore their main focus is to develop the teams in such a fashion that these teams can organize themselves, hence these teams can deliver while helping each other and working as one unit.

Motivating and inspiring

Effective project managers always remain focused on project goals. Once they set the objectives and project vision in collaboration with stakeholders, they keep on branding this vision in the team. They focus on keeping the people motivated because they understand that this will make the project successful.

Project managers appreciate their teams. In addition to this, they encourage them to add more value to the project as they know the power of a motivated team which can go beyond the limits and exceeds the expectations.

Negotiating and communicating

Project managers play a vital role in engaging the teams along with other stakeholders to work effectively. Since these individuals are from different backgrounds, perspectives, experience, and responsibilities, therefore they may have a difference of opinion from others. The project manager needs to work effectively with the stakeholders and team so that all the parties come to one team decision.

Setting up the project environment

Project managers understand the importance of the environment as it is the environment that makes the team work in an efficient and effective manner. Therefore, they create an environment where team members can freely communicate with each other. Moreover, they need to create an environment of trust, honesty, and recognition. So the team is empowered and motivated. Subsequently, the team takes ownership. Which results in efficient delivery of the project.

Listening and influencing

Project managers are active listeners. They try to understand the team’s perspective before making team decisions. They also focus on enhancing project team collaboration. Along with this collaboration they target to collaborate and manage the stakeholders. They are the ones who need to create a positive impact on the team. At many stages, they need to influence their decisions while being supportive of the team.

10. Change Management

Web technologies keep on improving with the passage of time and so is the case with the business requirements and trends.  Organizations are continuously implementing change. In order to implement the change, they make strategies. These changes are implemented as portfolios, programs or projects.

Change management is an important aspect of website project management. Web project managers play a vital role in implementing these changes. This change is not about the project change management, this is about bringing the organizational change. The project managers need to ensure that the business user starts using the new technology for their business practices, for this sake project managers adopt different ways. They may focus on training and coaching such users. Earlier engagement of such users can make them brand ambassadors of the projects. This takes a lot of effort especially when the difference of the change is significant.