Have you ever encountered failed deadlines on your web project? Some of them may be particularly crucial for you. Sounds familiar? Don’t be sad! This article will be very helpful to you. Due to a number of reasons, they happen even with good development teams that strive to deliver the project on time and budget. There are plenty of techniques and tips for preventing failed deadlines, but most of them are for professional project managers. What about you as a customer? Our Drupal support company would like to share with you a few tips that will help you prevent failed deadlines.
Ways to prevent failed deadlines on your web project
Be clear with your project requirements
Successfully met deadlines directly depend on the correct project estimate. For the estimate to be correct, you need to convey your wishes, ideas, or expectations clearly.
You can do this in any way you can — detailed specifications are perfect, screenshots are awesome, but even drawings on a sheet of paper or verbal explanations will do, if you make yourself clear.
Even if you came up with just an idea, the team can help you shape it into a project. But the main thing is to make sure that you finally agreed to everything and share the same vision.
Feel free to ask questions to managers
Remember you do not have to understand the ins and outs of web development, or its theories and terms. The technical level of customers varies a lot — above all, they are specialists in their own industry.
The mission of a customer service manager or project manager is to help you find answers to all questions, from the simplest to the most complicated ones.
So if you need to ask for clarifications but are afraid to sound “silly” — go for it. The more information get clarified, the more accurate the deadlines are.
Tell the important details about the website
Especially in website support, there are plenty of tasks to fix bugs or create new features on an old website that has its own “skeletons in a cupboard.”
The solution to a particular task may be very simple, but finding this answer takes up tons of time. This makes estimates very rough, hence potentially failed deadlines.
So always try to tell everything you know about how a particular bug appeared, when you first saw it, what happened with your website before, and things like that in order to shed more light on the situation.
Be available on communication channels
Work on tasks is sometimes postponed due to trivial reasons like the absence of the customer’s approval. In some cases, the customer does not respond to messengers, email, CRM, and all other communication channels.
So be sure you are available, especially when you know that your approval is going be needed.
Ask for important deadlines with a “cushion of time”
Project managers often estimate potential risks and include them into the estimate for your approval.
However, sometimes a task is especially crucial for you — for example, you planned to present your newly created website on an important conference.
For cases like this, you should have a double “insurance.” Just agree to deadlines that are a little bit before you really need it. In this case, your newly created web product will also get more time for testing.
Be realistic as to the deadlines
The previous tip sounds like deadlines should be more strict in order not to be failed. However, this should be agreed to in advance. Things like last-minute ASAP requests for large amounts of work lead to the risks of failed deadlines.
So if you have unplanned urgent tasks, discuss the situation with your project manager. There is always a realistic solution — for example, engaging extra developers on the team.
Settle the payment issues
Payments are included into the project workflows, so sometimes it is impossible to proceed with the tasks before they are made. Even if your project manager really loves you ;) So make sure you never forget about timely payments to avoid failed deadlines.
If it is out of the budget, discuss the project priorities
It is easy to say “make timely payments,” but we all understand that, in reality, different financial situations may occur.
So if you cannot pay in time, just discuss with your PM ways to reorganize the tasks according to priorities.
This will help your project meet the final deadlines with the key features included. The rest of the features can be finished when it is possible for you. Basically, this is the philosophy of of MVP (minimum viable product).
Cooperate with a PM or team lead
Some customers want to manage their project on their own. However, cooperating with a PM or team lead is much more fruitful.
Project managers and team leads know their development team much better than you do from just reading their CVs with lists of skills. They know which developer will be better at particular task. When the situation goes “hot” regarding the deadlines, the right staff decisions can save everything.
And, of course, they have learned the Agile methodology with its principles of iterative development, know the power of Kanban boards, the art of motivation, and so on. All this helps to avoid failed deadlines.
Let your web projects always be ready in time! Good dev companies do their best to prevent failed deadlines, but you can improve your input to perfection ;)
To choose a good company, you do not have to go far — contact our Drupal web agency!