How to be a great website project manager - Part 3 - Achieving your goals
by Belinda Naylor-Stables
Here is the third of 3 blog posts on how to successfully develop a content-managed website.
Web development timescale
Many people think the web developer runs your project. But in many ways the timeliness depends on you, the client – because at every stage of development the developer depends on information and feedback from you. Remember, as a client you may not be able to concentrate on this project 100% of the time. Even if you are a dedicated team, you have administrative tasks, training and the usual daily work that will get in the way. So when you look at the plan, it's not just about what the developer will do - be realistic about the timescales you set yourself.
Don’t be squeezed on testing – a good and experienced developer will allow the requisite amount of time for clients to test functions. Don’t be tempted to try to shorten these times in the project plan – or you are in danger of overrun which your Project Board might find hard to understand. Testing includes the time your testing team need to test and give feedback to the developer, any revisions the developer needs to make, then another user check at your end and hopefully resulting in sign off.
Make sure there is budget and time for training in your new website. If you are taking on a new CMS ensure you have time put aside for personnel training. Ask to see an example chapter of a training manual from potential developers if you want to have a feeling for a CMS. Assess the competence level within your user team and remember that user-friendly content management systems (such as eZ Publish) can be picked up by non-technical staff, but inadequate training will result in poor usage - and possibly spoilt web pages or data - using up your troubleshooting resources unnecessarily.
Belinda Naylor-Stables is a qualified PRINCE2 Practitioner and project manager working on eZ Publish web-based solutions for EAB clients.
For an example of a recent project, read our case study on our online CPD solution for Yorkshire and Humberside Grid for Learning.