Project Management a Growing Need for Web Design Agencies

John Reeve | September 3rd, 2009 | ,

Despite economic trends, small businesses are growing, and new web design agencies are appearing in every corner of the world. These are new international companies comprised of few employees, but who still require project managers and project management tools to keep them growing. As with any new company, there will be a learning curve for the web designers, web developers, and project managers, as this article points out:

Learning how to create a successful website will take some time, and as the project manager you will want to be aware of how to do this before you even begin the development stages with your team. You don’t want to begin developing your site and then find yourself doing things that will place your site at the bottom of the ranking pyramid the entire time it is open.

Read the rest of the article for a list of the top ten common errors that many Webmasters and business owners happen to do when they develop a site.

It’s not just the small creative web design and development agencies that need to address project management. Larger companies, such as Paylocity, had to learn this one the hard way. Steve Sarowitz spent $1 million building software that was critically flawed, something he would find out until “day that saw the transformation of his company from a mere supplier of payroll services to one that sells its own proprietary software.” Due to miscommunication and a lack of oversight and planning, disaster ensued:

As summer turned into fall, Sarowitz began to face the facts: He had made some bad calls by betting that programmers with limited Web experience could create an advanced Web-based program. He knew, too, that he had been wrong to assume he was skilled enough to oversee a full-scale software development project while running the rest of the business.

Read the rest of Sarowitz’ story at Inc.com

Regardless of whether you are a small web design agency putting your first foot forward or a large development company on the cusp of launching your own proprietary software, project management is crucial. All that project management encompasses &mash; collaboration, communication, accountability and workflow — are necessary components for ensuring the success and longevity of a company.

8 Responses to “Project Management a Growing Need for Web Design Agencies”

  1. AnneC says:

    I’ve managed web developments (as well as non-Web). Lack of project management will kill your project, but it doesn’t need to be expensive. I’ve managed 10 man year projects to successful delivery with only Excel, Basecamp and Bugzilla – just use these tools to focus on assessing actual progress and managing the scope accordingly (first tip, if you are behind target, cut features, don’t cut testing or planning, second tip, spot slippage & cut features as early as possible to get the most benefit). Cutting features, where necessary, relies on understanding your client and persuading them they can live without something or accept an easier alternative, so you also need to develop a good relationship with your client.

    Nowadays I still use Excel and Bugzilla in my own company, which ironically produces time tracking software (Qlockwork). Unsurprisingly, I would also recommend that ;-)

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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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