Businesses are now finding it necessary to either create an ecommerce website or update their current ones and this is creating a great need for web development services. You must be feeling the effects of this spike in demand, thus, the necessity to outsource web design services. However, are you prepared to manage multiple outsourced projects right now? Is your workflow streamlined enough to cycle through multiple clients?
It’s crucial that you learn the process that works best for your agency. That way, you can handle each campaign efficiently and with ease.
What is Project Management in Web Design and Development?
Project management in web design is managing the project for a client from inception, execution, monitoring, and control, to project close. As an agency owner, you will have multiple web design clients and each one will have their dedicated project manager, or if you’re just starting out, then a single project manager (or you, as an owner) can handle multiple campaigns. A project manager will be the one overseeing the web design project. The objective is to make sure that the web developers understand and deliver the results that match the client’s needs.
The Role of a Web Development Project Manager
As stated above, the project manager will make sure that the client gets the website that they want. If you’ve been running an SEO business or a digital marketing agency for a long time, you might have multiple project managers handling multiple clients, however, if you’re planning to start an SEO business or a fresh digital marketing agency, you can go and handle your clients yourself. Not only will you get a more concrete handle of your agency’s web development process, but the early stages of the business is also a great time to build relationships with clients.
Here’s a list of what needs to be managed when outsourcing web design projects:
- The range of a client’s web design project
- Planning the process and activities
- Managing the resources needed for the project
- Creating the timeline and deliverables
- Building the Web Design Proposal
- Managing Risks
- Leading the team
- Updating Clients
In running an SEO agency, there’s a big chance you always need to develop new websites or update and improve old ones. Since web development is a highly specialized skill and SEO is a craft honed from experience, it’s a good idea to form a team that can do both so that your client won’t need to outsource from two different agencies which can create a lot of discrepancies in the process. It’s for this reason that white label agencies exist – to provide white label web design services to SEO agencies or digital marketing agencies if and when they need any assistance in this area. Of course, this is a smart option as well for startups who have not yet formed a concrete web design team.
Outsourcing web design projects will make your workflow and business process much easier. Even though it’s taken some work off your shoulders, outsourcing your project doesn’t mean you should take your hands off the development process. You are still the business owner and it’s your job to make sure that your clients’ web design campaigns are always on point.
Help Your Clients Understand The Website Goals
To properly manage an outsource web design project, both you and the client need to understand each other first. Define the objective of the website and what the client wants to happen. Do they want a Shopify website design to sell products online? Do they want a full ecommerce website complete with blogs and other customized pages? No matter what the goals and objectives of the web development project are, they have to be measurable and critical to the success of the business. This will aid you in knowing if the website was able to achieve the business goals.
The next step is to coordinate with your account manager. This is the part where you begin planning the process and creating the web design pitch deck with the proposal. These are important factors that should also be considered when selling web design. Present it to the client and modify any changes that need to be made.
Plan The Process
This will differ per agency since every business has their own method of executing their projects. To be as efficient as possible, it’s important that you figure out the best way for your agency early on. This will involve the resources, manpower, and funds that the campaign will require. An example would be if you’re partnering with a white label SEO company that will be the one providing all the website projects for your agency, then, who will be in charge of providing them the content and the photos or videos that will be used on your client’s website. Will it be your client, your agency or will you outsource those tasks as well?
Since you’re outsourcing the campaign as well, you have to specify what you expect from the outsourcing agency.
Define Project Deliverables and Timeline
You have to define the deliverables that are required from your outsource team to you, and from you to your client. At this point, you have set the goal of the website with your client. You already have set the design, the layout, the content for each page, and other factors like sitemap structure, breadcrumbs, and the like. Your clients must review and agree on the deliverables as they will determine the outcome of the project.
It’s important to set the timeline. Your client and your outsource team should both be aware of the deadlines. Sending your client a detailed list of deliverables will help manage their expectations and keep them satisfied in the duration of the campaign.
Design Brief: Make Sure Everyone Is On The Same Page
When managing a web design project it’s important to know the process of the web design team. Whether you’re outsourcing web development services or have an in-house team, make sure that you know the step-by-step process of how the website is developed. Not to say that you should know how to code, or use every single web design platform the team uses. Focus more on knowing the different stages of each of the web development services that you offer. When outsourcing web services, it’s easy to just let your account manager handle your clients but note that you should also be privy to what goes on behind the scenes. Just have your account manager explain and give you all the details of the process.
A design brief identifies the scope, scale and details of the web design project. After you’ve presented a web design proposal to your client, the design brief should come along with the contract. It’s a tool to guide the overall workflow of your web design and development project from inception to completion. Make sure everyone has a copy. For your client, it will serve as the overall manual of the web development process, and for your outsource team, it will provide clarity and speed up designing the prototype and accelerate the web development process.
Your goal is to have a solid workflow that’s accurate and effective. A design brief is an important tool that relates to the client’s expectations in a detailed and visual manner.
Meeting and Delegation
Part of managing the web development process is meeting with both the clients and the outsource team. You can have your account manager meet with your client if that’s a more convenient option for you. Virtual meetings are much easier conducted nowadays so it’s easier to understand and keep the entire team on the same page. It’s better to over-communicate and maximize understanding so that everyone can work with clarity, efficiently delivering great results. As the one on top of the project, you have to make sure that everyone knows their purpose and is clear on what the goal is.
Project monitoring occurs in the execution stage. Once the project starts, you have to check if the project is running as planned. You have to track its development and monitor if the web design project is going in the right direction without the risk of overspending. If you run into any issues, make sure to take the right actions and report to the client too.
Communication is important here as changes will occur. The client may have additional requests or the web development team may run into some technical problems that require extension of deadlines, in any case, make sure to meet with your clients often to give them updates about the campaign.
Project reports promote transparency, engagement, and trust to both your outsource team and clients. It’s essential that both parties know the status of the campaign and that your outsource team is still on track with what your client wants.
Closing a project
Closing the project is just as important as conceptualizing and planning it. Throughout the process, you should have taken notes and data on the campaign. The issues that occurred, any adjustments or changes that were done will have to be reported so you have to hold a debriefing with each party — both the client and the outsourcing agency.
Formally conclude the project and do not forget to provide proper feedback to everyone involved.
The key to successfully manage a web design and development project is over-communication. Of course, you have to partner with the right outsource team to get the job done. Teaming up with an experienced web development agency to handle your web services will ensure that no matter what issues you encounter, they will be there to guide and save your project. Whether it’s building a Shopify website, redesigning a client’s existing ecommerce store, or providing and managing SEO services along with web development, it’s important to partner with an established agency. That way you can focus on how to sell a website more efficiently, and let your trusted outsource team handle all the web development projects. Just make sure to communicate and keep everyone in the loop as these will produce satisfied clients in the long run.