Great project management can mitigate risk, deliver lower costs, increase efficiency and help you gain a competitive advantage. Successful digital projects involve close collaboration and communication between a client and their chosen agency. Here’s a run-down of some of the factors we think help achieve great results.
- Clear KPIs and goal-setting
How do you know if a project has been successful? Agree from the outset on exactly what everyone is looking for. A good digital project should have a clear specification and list of deliverables. That way, everyone knows what they are aiming for and what good looks like.
- Be realistic with expectations
There are often many competing factors in a project. Most people would happily choose the most amazing highly-specced solution they could. However, a more successful outcome might be a more basic spec that could confidently be delivered in time for an all important trade-show.
- Practice tough love and say no
An enthusiastic can-do approach is a great approach for an agency. However, this has to be grounded in the reality of what can be delivered. It’s the right thing to do for a client to say no at the outset and give them a chance to look at alternatives, rather than painfully confess a project’s not going to get there a couple of days before an all-important launch.
- Believe in the process
Sometimes aspects of project management like regular communications can feel like an unnecessary overhead. However, there’s usually a really good reason that these processes have come about over the delivery of many projects, such as documented sign-offs. Both client and agency should avoid the temptation to casually gloss-over parts of the process if they want to create a great project outcome.
- Schedule WIP meetings
Part of a mature approach to running a project is the acceptance that you can’t hope to predict absolutely everything from the start. That’s why it’s vital to regularly monitor progress against milestones, make sure everyone is informed and take action to address any issues early on. A seemingly huge issue can often be quickly worked around (or may not even matter), as long as everyone is up to speed early on. Putting an issue in the too difficult pile for too long will almost certainly cause the problem to escalate.
Opportunities to generate further return on investment present themselves as projects progress. Clear project management allows these possibilities to be identified early and discussed between agency and client.
It’s a given that clients hate it when projects are late or go over-budget (or both)! In reality, agencies hate it just as much. It’s hugely disappointing to see all the effort that has gone in to creating a great solution be marred by bad-feeling over budgets or delivery times. For busy agencies, It also has a knock-on effect on scheduling for all following projects. Finally… once you’re done… celebrate the successes & learn from the mistakes!