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by Belinda Naylor-Stables

Developing a new content-managed website is an exciting project management challenge. Your site developer will have a project manager and it's a good idea as a client to have your in-house project manager too. Here's the first of 3 blogs to help keep your eye on the ball with these tips from an experienced project manager.

Kick off with a great web specification

If your bids or tenders provide a loose specification they will result in a vast range of cost responses – and it will be difficult to judge which web developer meets your needs best. Ideally, involve potential users from the start. Ensure their views are canvassed on what is required even BEFORE you draw up a project brief or tender. This helps you draft a detailed set of requirements and avoid changes further down the line. Changes are worth avoiding because they inevitably add to your costs and possibly reduce what you could achieve within your budget.

No U-turns

Get the design signed off early on and don't allow others to come back on this later. Changes to visual elements may be difficult and costly to implement - adding disproportionately to the cost.

Anticipate problems and use an Issue Log

Once you've decided on your web developer, agree a communication plan before the project begins. Share phone numbers, emails, Skype addresses and holiday dates. Know the different levels of communication that need to go on and who to contact about what. For example, strategic and resource management, project issues and planning, plus user testing and feedback all involve different people at different levels. Collaborative sharing of key project documents works really well for contact list, plan, detailed specification, Risk Register (aspects of the project that could cause difficulties or delays) and Issue Log (the record of issues that arise with a record of how they have been resolved).

Issue log spreadsheet - You do not have permission to view this object.
ISSUE LOG TEMPLATE - You do not have permission to view this object.
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