Depending on how well website or mobile application projects are handled, web development projects may thrive or flounder. Proper project management will keep things going smoothly, while 404s, buggy templates, disgruntled customers and just about every other kind of gremlin imaginable can be a formula for the absence of due processes.
For your own development projects, this ultimate guide will help you get started with website/mobile app development project management. Step by step, through preparation, design, optimization, finalization and launch, we will take you through how to plan and manage a website project.
What is project management on websites/Mobile applications?
The use of project management to deliver website & mobile application projects, from new site/app builds to redesigns and migrations, is Website/Mobile application development project management.
Project management is a strategic method in which a project is broken down into activities that are collaboratively worked on through a platform and process for project management to accomplish a particular objective.
Set yourself up for project management on the website or mobile application developments:
You will need to set yourself up to execute it before you get started on the website/mobile app development project management process.
You’ll need to have three main factors in place:
Project manager: This is the person, using a project management method, who leads the team through a project. You could employ a full-time project manager, or engage a freelance project manager on a project-by-project basis, if your organization operates on a sufficient scale. Alternatively, responsibility for leading a project may be assigned to a current team member.
Platform for project management: The project is usually handled within a project management platform in website or mobile app development project management. These systems all provide ways of handling the activities that go into producing the final product, but they can differ greatly in addition to this common intent.
We recommend that you carefully examine the functionality of a platform in order to determine its suitability for your team. Here’s an introduction to the functionality that you get with teamwork.
Methodology for project management: A set of techniques that organizes how a process works is a methodology. Of the many methodologies used in the management of programs, Agile management of projects is probably the best known. Asana, Trello, Basecamp, and Prince2 provide other methodologies project management that are widely used to deliver website/mobile app development projects.
Whatever technique you use, before you begin working on projects, the team will need to be thoroughly qualified in it. The approach of your project management platform should also be explained in the project documents.
You will be able to begin the website/mobile application development project management process once you have put your project manager, your PM platform and your methodology in place.
Step 1: Planning
Planning with the client
In the planning process of website or mobile application development project management, the first goal is to identify, in the clearest possible terms, what the client needs. (Depending on the nature of your company, this could be a third-party customer, or it could be a department or stakeholder within your own organization.)
You may begin by getting the client to fill out a questionnaire that asks about the project’s significant variables. Here are a few examples of the following questions:
Who is the audience for the target?
What parts would you like to have for your website?
What pages are you going to need?
How much can the content or screens on your website or mobile app? Will you need to be able to use a content management system (CMS) to do this yourself?
Can you name the three templates you want for the website or mockup designs for mobile application? What’s it that you like about them?
What is your budget?
It can allow you to formulate deliverable goals for the project and describe its reach by getting the client to put points like these in writing. At this point, the more questions you pose, the more you can will the likelihood of problem customers complaining further down the line about subjective factors. At the beginning of each project, we suggest listing at least 10-20 key questions that you can ask.
Build a quote and specification for the website using the questionnaire, along with details obtained via meetings with the customer, covering the full scope of the project as discussed with the customer. When the customer has agreed to the quote and signed a contract with you, you can move on to the next step of the planning phase.
Preparing project with team
The next stage in the planning process is to go with your team through the website or mobile application development specification, so you can convert it into a project plan for the website or mobile application. The following questions should be discussed by you and your teammates:
What are the outcomes of the project (what needs to be done)?
How does the project break down into assignments, and who will do each assignment on our team?
How much of the budget of the client (or the time of the organization) is the project going to require?
Where are the project dependencies, where one task can only be done after a certain additional task has been completed?
You should be able to formulate a basic project plan, outlining how the website or mobile application project will be delivered, with these main questions addressed. For their approval, you now need to take this proposal to the client.
You can build a new project on your project management software and start designing the project tasks once the client and other main project stakeholders have agreed to the plan.
Step 2: Building
Your team will likely be focusing on developing the architecture, material, design and functionality of the site in the development process of a website or mobile application project.
The focus of project management, meanwhile, appears to be divided between tracking the progress of the team, ensuring full implementation of the project management process, and eliminating any ‘blockers’ that have been flagged up by team members.
On a granular, task-by-task level, and even on a larger-picture level, tracking team progress can be achieved using visual aids such as burn down charts, which reflect the percentage of project work accomplished, compared to the time available.
For the project manager, ensuring complete implementation of the project management process is a task. This will enable team members to be educated on how to use the platform for project management.
From a void in someone’s web design skills to a missing piece of content that is required to complete a page design, a barrier may be something that prevents a task from being completed. The project manager works with them to find a solution when a team member flags up a blocker.
Daily team meetings will help a team remain on top of all these considerations in the construction process.
Step 3: Optimization
This is the stage where the team takes the website or mobile application up to the highest standards it can, from improving cross-browser output to compressing image files.
You can build a new task for each requirement once you have your checklist and delegate it to a relevant team member. Project management of the optimization process from this stage onward functions just the same as it does during design.
Step 4: Finalization
This process of the management of website projects is relatively complex. It includes the work involved in the processes below:
Testing Initial: This starts with a research checklist from a project management perspective, similar to the one used to define the tasks for the previous process. For each testing operation, a task should be developed, from checking whether on-site transactions operate to evaluating the compliance of the website to usability standards.
The need for new tasks to be generated when a problem is found during testing creates more complexity. They should build a task for the problem and delegate it to the project manager when a team member discovers a problem during testing. The project manager then analyses the problem and reassigns the job to a member of the team with the capacity to address the problem.
Just go live: The web site and its support systems become operational during this process. Key tasks include uploading the site to its domain or publishing to play store or iTunes and integrating it with applications such as email marketing clients and analytics software.
Training for clients/staff: After launch, the people who will be operating the website or mobile application need to be taught how to use it. This can be supported by training sessions that can be scheduled as activities on the PM platform (provided calendar functionality is included in the platform).
Foundational practices in marketing/SEO: These are the activities that need to be performed to ensure that the site is prepared to attract users, from uploading the sitemap or links of play store/iTunes to Social media, Google, to creating connections between the site and any customer’s related social media profiles. A checklist-based approach to the recognition of tasks is once again recommended.
It is also likely that the team will work at one time on all of these bullet points (or perhaps even all of them). This creates the opportunity to become difficult to handle for the project, and we therefore recommend paying careful attention to how at this point your project management platform is used. Use features such as task lists, if you can, that support project complexity while maintaining the usability of the platform for project management.
Step 5: Launch
For a website or mobile application development team, the website or mobile application launch/publishing to Play store/iTunes and the work leading up to it can be an exciting period. This is the tough stage of all, though, in which to take your eye off the ball.
A second round of testing is the first part of this process, covering aspects of the site ranging from SEO to security. In certain cases, external parties such as search marketing consultants and pen testers may be involved in these studies. It is important to turn any problems posed during testing into tasks that can be delegated to team members who have the capacity to solve them.
You’ll be able to pass ownership of the website to the customer with all those final problems ironed out or publish build application using customers credentials to Play store or iTunes. This requires a degree of sophistication in itself, so be sure to establish dedicated tasks for fine information, such as writing the project completion report and passing login credentials to the customer securely.
Ever-improving web development project management
When the website or mobile application goes online, website or mobile application development project management shouldn’t stop. In preparation of the next website/mobile application project, the critical next step is to review the project results and learn any potentially useful lessons you can. This could mean everything from reviewing the success of the website, to asking team members about what they enjoyed or loathed about the process of project management.
If you are still learning about your websites or mobile application development and project management, both can continue to get better and better. Contact us for even better website or mobile application development project management teamwork today.