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Managing a Website Redesign

Tips for Project Managing Your Website Redesign

     -     Oct 4th, 2017   -     Search Engine Optimization, Web Design   -     0 Comments

Recently I was talking about an expected website redesign project with a client. They have been slow to get the project started and I was curious what was causing the delay. When I inquired, she shared that it’s just such a big project and she believed it would end up taking over her professional life and need motivation to get started. The reality is redesigning a website is a big project not only because it’s high profile for the firm, but also because of the substantial number of moving pieces that need to be managed. While your website company will often guide the process, there are processes that need to be managed by marketing. Key questions such as site layout, design and content development will need to be addressed throughout the process. I have worked with many firms where marketing was not firmly in control of the project due to poor planning and lack of process. The result was a protracted timeline to complete the work because of “too many chefs in the kitchen syndrome”. To help clients, prospects and others avoid such mistakes, FlashPoint Marketing has provided a brief summary of key issues to consider before project launch.

  • Who is responsible for making decisions?

Why is this Important? Before starting a website redesign project it’s important to identify one or small group of professionals that will be responsible for the design, functionality and other decisions related to the new site. In my experience, the smaller this group the easier the process will flow and fewer delays will occur. Your best bet is to identify those in the firm that have a flair for marketing (marketing staff, marketing partner, etc.) and are open to new and innovative ideas. This will help to insulate the process from those who are well meaningful but lack a strong understanding of marketing. By having a single person or small group assigned to manage the day to day decisions (and not a large committee) the process will move much more quickly.

  • What is the project timeline?

Why is this Important? The worst thing that can happen is a website redesign project starts without defined deliverable dates and benchmarks. Believe it or not I have been a part of 3 projects where the web designer didn’t provide a timeline and the client didn’t ask for one. The result was one web project that took a year and a half to complete and two others that extended beyond a year. Not an ideal situation. Clearly setting expectations in the beginning about the process and deadlines is critical to ensure the project is kept on schedule. Having a project timeline will make it clear for all parties involved what needs to be completed and by when to ensure efforts stay on schedule and no unexpected delays or other (unwelcome) surprises arise

  • How often will you meet with internal and external resources?

Why is this important? If you’re like most of the firms we work with the frequency of meetings will change depending on whether it’s an internal of external meeting. For external purposes, I’d suggest developing a meeting schedule in coordination with outside vendors and expected deadlines. This will provide enough time for them to do their work while concurrently allowing you to get approval on new designs, etc. For the internal team this can be tricky. The answer will depend heavily on the size of the team, whether they are developing content or not, and what other responsibilities they may have. In my experience, the internal team should be meeting weekly to review new design and give sign off in the early stages and then can transition to a once every other week as appropriate.

In Perspective

Managing a large project can certainly be a challenge especially when the marketing department still has to continue providing services to the firm or company. The best thing you can do is prepare as much as possible on how decisions will be made and who will be responsible for making them. If there are tasks which marketing needs to complete (and there usually are) then identifying who is responsible and establishing deadlines will keep things on track. If you have any questions on project management best practices, click here to contact us. We would love to hear from you.

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