Tracking Design Deliverables with Task Tracking Software

| February 8th, 2013 | , , , ,

Tracking Design Deliverables with Task Tracking SoftwareCreative agencies providing graphic design and web design services traditionally work  through a series of deliverables during a design project. Some of these deliverables are for internal review only, and some are presented to the client.

Keeping track of all these deliverables can be tricky. Who’s working on what sketches? When is the final comp being presented to the client? Where do I put my notes from the last crit? It helps to have the project-related notes and documents in one place, which is why we recommend tracking each of these deliverables with online task tracking software. Because staying organized is an essential component to good project management.

Tracking internal deliverables as tasks

Before the initial design comps can be presented to the client they must go through a series of internal reviews. This process requires research, meetings, thumbnails, wireframes, and rough comps. To better keep track of these pieces, assign them as tasks.

Creating a task for each deliverable enables the creative team to track all of the details and visuals. Sketches of thumbnail scan be uploaded to the task. Notes on design research can be posted to the task. And a history of these events unfolds as the task progresses.

Tracking client deliverables as tasks

The deliverables we present to the client are the visual result of our collaborative creative efforts on the project, using the internal deliverables as signposts along the way. Creating a task for each client deliverable enables the creative team to log client feedback and post iterations of the design.

Tracking these client deliverables is done much the same way we track the internal. But these tasks are managed knowing they will be partially transparent to the client. These are the tasks we turn to when the client has questions, or when we need to reference recent progress.

Tracking multiple tasks at once using milestones

Now that we have all of these tasks floating around, we need a way to organize them. We need a way to group them together in a way that mirrors our workflow. Milestones are a perfect candidate for grouping tasks together and tracking them as a group.

A milestone is simply a meaningful point in our design process. Milestones can be synonymous with project phases, final deliverables, or time periods. For example, we could group several tasks into a milestone for the initial phase of a web site redesign. The tasks would represent the stages of this initial phase, such as UX research and wireframes.

These suggestions are just a starting point for tracking design deliverables. How they fit into the larger context of  a design project is up to you. But you will find that once you start organizing your deliverables into tasks, the rest will come naturally.

Photo credit: Andrea_44

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John Reeve

John is a co-founder, web designer and developer at Pelago. His blog posts are inspired by everyday encounters with designers, developers, creatives and small businesses in general. John is an avid reader and road cyclist.
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Michael is a co-founder and product architect at Pelago. His contributions stem from experiences managing the development process behind web sites and web-based applications such as Intervals. Michael drives a 1990 Volkswagen Carat with a rebuilt 2.4 liter engine from GoWesty.
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