Is your company looking to hire a web development team or maybe you are unhappy with the direction your current web design project is going? Then this article is for you! We at Aydus have worked seamlessly with clients on hundreds of projects and want to use our insights from the experiences to help give you important tools to communicate, develop processes, and test the outcomes of your web project in a seamless and effective way. Our goal is to help you and your team leave satisfied with the results and headache free.
Who are you working with
When working with a development team always make sure that you know who your point of contact is. Knowing if you will be working mostly with the developer, project manager, or consultant will allow you to prepare yourself and staff for what’s ahead.
When working directly with a project manager you can be confident that you will be working with someone that is articulate and organized. They generally lead the project team but don’t do the actual design and coding.
When the developer is your main point of contact for the project you are almost always working with the person that is doing the work. It is also important to note that although developers can get the job done, they may not be as organized or articulate as well as a project manager.
If you hire a consultant for your project you are now working with the best of both worlds (development and project management). The consultant, like a project manager, is responsible for the successful delivery of the project through careful organization and good communication. And because your consultant is also more than likely a developer, they understand the hands on work and what’s involved to solve the problem. As thinkers and problem solvers they are tasked with helping the client understand and use the infrastructure.
Communication is key
Now a few key points on how to properly and effectively communicate with your tech leads. Always remember, good communication is the corner stone of any successful project.
How to communicate
When communicating with your development team it is important to get regular updates and be made aware of any milestones. If you are not being properly informed, create ways to ensure you are in the loop via regularly scheduled meetings, phone calls, or video chats.
In some cases, even though you are kept abreast on the project and get all of your questions answered, you still may be scratching your head as you try to make sense of the “web speak” that your web professional insists on using. If you find yourself confused by all of the tech talk, make sure that your development team is aware. Chances are your tech-y is so accustomed to speaking in tech terms that they may forget the lay person more than likely hasn’t a clue about a responsive web design or native app. Let your web developer know that it’s easier for you to understand when they speak about technical concepts in a way that makes you feel like they are “speaking your language.”
What to communicate
It is important to always be clear about what you, as a client, want out of the web project. Never assume that the developer will take care of everything on your project objectives list. This is when it is imperative to create and follow a web development process.
Your outlined web process should document steps and create a schedule building a structure for you and your developer to follow from start to finish. In addition, make sure your development team is keenly aware of your business goals. Are you facilitating this project to increase revenue, expand your brand, or build brand awareness? Once goals are communicated, clarify on how to achieve those goals. Will the efforts in this project go towards optimizing your checkout process or should you be looking at ways to make your site faster? The key is to know what you want to achieve and what you will build together to meet that need.
Testing 1… 2… 3
Because developers are people just like us, they are undoubtedly going to make some mistakes throughout the project. That is why after completion, your developer will run the project through a process to identify and fix bugs. But once they hand over the project to you, it is important that you also test the site using your own acceptance testing review system. You’ll typically have business specific insights that the development team won’t have.
Acceptance testing is something that you should always do in order to go-live with confidence. This is when you bring in your stakeholders, team members, and even customers to test your software against it’s purpose. Before testing make sure that you define and prioritize your test objectives and apply real world use cases when executing.
It is important to note that quite a few businesses have unfortunately suffered big losses due to post-release issues. Don’t underestimate how critical it is to run acceptance tests. The cost of fixing defects after release is much greater than fixing them before.
Now that we’ve given you a few tips on ways to effectively work with your development team, you should be pretty confident going into a project as the client. We know you are invested and, more than likely, have a lot on the line. We hope this article helps to make the overall experience not only rewarding but also stress free. Good luck!