Every Project Head, Project Owner, CEO, or CTO dealing with website and e-commerce development should read this article to make sure they know how to deliver a 100% successful Magento Commerce project to their clients.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This document is an ordinary article on how a project head should operate the project effectively in his organization and successfully deliver it to the client. If you are looking for technical methodologies, tools, development environment, development strategies, etc., this document is not for you. You will need to wait for another blog post to cover those details, which is coming soon.
You have to remember and achieve a couple of important things to make a project successful.
And to achieve those things, you have to make some plan of action and execute them on time.
I am going to explain all of this.
What are the most important things you need to make a project 100% successful, NOT even 99%?
- Fulfill YOUR PROMISES from day one to the end of the project. It’s not impossible.
- Communicate with your client regularly.
- Get as many DETAILS as you can from the client to execute the project development properly.
- Create a very detailed project PROPOSAL and include everything that you have discussed.
- Create proper WIREFRAMES for all the unique screens and features of the project and submit them to the client and your graphic designer. This way, everyone will be on the same page.
- Do the project development with MILESTONES. You can update the customers and review the milestone when it is completed. This way, the customer is always connected with you and gives you real-time feedback instead of giving all the feedback at the end.
- There should be no compromise at all with QUALITY and PIXEL PERFECTION – when you do something, don’t think you are doing it for a client. Think that this is your own project: are you going to accept this work if it is your own project? If your mind says NO, redo your work and make it perfect in terms of quality and pixels. Not even a single pixel should be broken.
- SERIOUS QA – you will need to assign dedicated Magento QA(s) to keep the project healthy.
- DEDICATED DEVELOPERS – you will need dedicated developers to handle the project on time. Sometimes, we keep switching or moving our developers in the service industry because of the team strength and project flow. DON’T DO THAT. If you can’t handle the project, tell your client clearly, and he will understand. BUT don’t do the project with compromised quality and delays.
- PROJECT HEAD – he is the main roller coaster of the project. Keep yourself 100% connected with your client and team if you are the project head.
- DON’T ASSUME – You can suggest the best ideas to handle any requirements client has given. However, assuming about the requirement and handling it the way you think is not what the client requires. Even if you think you are 100% accurate about his requirements, cross-confirm them with your client. The study says the client likes cross confirmation on everything we do for him. That saves time for all the parties.
- LAUNCH DAY – before launching, make sure your checklist is 100% executed and nothing is missing. One tiny missing thing can delay this whole launch. Remember, failing on launch demotivates the entire team. Always try to launch on SUNDAY NIGHT as it will give enough time to your team to rectify any issues that come across during the launch and post-launch. Keep your client updated every 2 hours and tell him what is happening next on this launch and how good the website is performing. I would also suggest doing some launching rehearsal before the launch day.
- POST LAUNCH – give full support to your client on any issues that he faces post-launch. Our company offers 6 months of free bug support. Also, you should always make the post-launch issues a top priority because your client feels very special and values your attention. It’s not paid, but it’s paid.
- Technical Documentation – I assume every company makes some custom feature etc. on the site. Create a technical document about all those features and educate your customer about how it works.
- Ask for a GOOD REVIEW. Review is everything. If you did a good job, ask your client for a written or video testimonial and post it on your site.
- CASE STUDY – write a case study for this entire project.
- Appreciate the effort of your team, who helped make this project successful.
WHEN TO DO WHAT?
- Initial Days (before the project is awarded) – communicate timely with your client. Impress him with your knowledge level, thoughts about his project, ideas, and other things. Ask as many questions as possible and send him back with your understanding for his approval. When everything is done, and all requirements are gathered, write a proposal.
- Proposal – make a detailed proposal, including everything you have discussed so far. Send the proposal to the client.
- Create a Gantt chart for your client and create another Gannt chart for your team. Both these Gannt charts will be different in terms of milestones completion date. You should put an extra buffer to the client’s Gannt chart and keep less buff in the internal team’s Gantt chart. This way, you will fulfill your promises.
- Put an outlook calendar event on all the milestone dates and make sure to complete them.
- Create 5-6 different milestones for your customers with dates. Share that milestone with your team.
- Update your client about each milestone.
- Take the screenshot of the current pages of his site and keep it in a safe place. This will help to compare what it was and what you have done, and it will also help you write a case study. Also, create a task called CASE STUDY POINTS – and from time to time, update it with the info you get.
- WIREFRAMING –
- Okay, so the proposal is signed, and work has started. The target should be to start with the home page and keep your customer informed about what’s going on with the wireframes. Show him the home page wireframe and ask for his input. Implement his inputs and get the final approval.
- Once approved, the graphic designer can start working on the wireframe and make a design for the home page. Ask for the client’s approval on the design.
- Once the home page design is approved, the development team can start developing a theme and integrating the new home page.
- The graphics team can start building the category page. Once finalized by the client, the development team can start working on it.
- The graphics team is now working on the product page. Once approved, the task to implement this will move to development.
- The graphics team will now work on the basket and checkout pages – once approved, it will move to development.
- DEVELOPMENT – In the initial phase, the development team will start working on the project when the graphics team finishes the first page.
- Sometimes, some clients don’t provide information on time, and because of this, many tasks remain pending in development. A project head should create a task called “PENDING INFORMATION FROM CLIENT,” and under this task, he should mention all the information that he is expecting from the client. This way, you will never forget what is missing.
- Also, on every project, 99% of the time, the client will ask you to give him an additional favor to modify something or make some new features. Whether you bill him or not, you should definitely create a task for this and keep a note of all these tasks because this affects the budget and the additional time. Make a task called “ADDITIONAL WORK DURING THE PROJECT” and keep notes.
- Once the developer completes the first milestone, ask the QA team to finish the work and make it 100% accurate.
- Once the QA team finishes a milestone, the project head should check the milestone and make sure nothing is missing. If anything is missing, revert to QA and Development to get that done before informing the client to check the milestone.
- Do the previous two steps until all the milestones are finished. Complete all of them on time.
- FAILURE TO COMPLETE MILESTONES – this should never happen. But it happens; many times due to many valid reasons. Some of those reasons are:
- The estimated time to complete this project was inaccurate as a few surprises came on during the project.
- The client gave additional work.
- An employee left the company or took a couple of unwanted leaves due to some emergencies.
- Outage in technology like x number of times Internet stopped working or had a power failure.
- Natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, etc.
- The client put the project on hold.
- Wrong execution of the milestones, server issues, bugs in the system
- A PROJECT HEAD should already be making a backup plan for all the failures. The client must do nothing with your failures, that’s your job. Also, informing the client about this will be good. Good clients understand your situation and cooperate with you.
- Make sure you create one more task called “LAUNCH CHECKLIST.” This will include all the essential points, whether it is feature, task, server, DNS, or access-related, which you want to keep in mind during the launch.
- Make one more task list from the beginning of the project called “QA Checklist.” This can be an excel sheet with all the functions, features, browsers, etc. And make sure the website passes this entire checklist before and after the launch.
- Once all milestones are finished, ask your client about the launch day. Give the preference to launch it on a Sunday night. This way, the website will have minimal traffic and the next morning, everyone will see a new site. This will give enough time to the development team to execute the project. Make sure you follow the checklist to launch the website, and that no points are forgotten.
- Keep your client updated every 1-2 hours about the status of the task.
- Once launched, send a “successfully launched” e-mail to your client and tell him that you will still support all the issues and feedback during the next couple of days and that you will give them free bug support for the next 6 months.
- Hand over a technical document on how to use this website to your client.
- Ask your client to provide a good testimonial on the overall experience with you during the project development. If you get a video testimonial, you should include that in your case study and also upload that to your YouTube website channel.
- Now it’s time to write a case study. You can read the points you had written in the CASE STUDY task, write a detailed case study and put that on your website.
This article is a perfect plan to execute a small to medium-level website and e-commerce site design by your company. I can definitely make this a very complex document and include some DevOps, server configuration details, technicality about Magento, WordPress, etc but that’s not the goal of this article. My goal is to help project heads to coordinate with their best with the client and internal team and make every project 100% successful.
I follow this to handle every project in my company. However, this does not mean it will fit every organization’s needs. So please feel free to send me your suggestions, queries, etc. I would love to hear from you on this.