Have you ever been frustrated with your business? Most business owners have, at some point, been frustrated with an aspect of their day to day operations.
An area of frustration business owners can struggle with is website design. There are a good percentage of business owners that deal with design projects and find themselves frustrated with the entire process. From Website Designer Woes:
Way too many small businesses fall head over heels in love with a design, but don’t stop to consider its overall marketing implications. There are literally dozens of considerations that go into making a website a functioning lead-generation, lead-nurturing and conversion machine. Design is critical, but so is marketing competence, so make sure someone in your company incorporates Internet marketing best practices in the design process.
The frustration stems from a few key areas of a design project:
- Misunderstanding of requirements
- Lack of schedule
- Lack of communication
Now, the point is not to point the blame at either party in a website design project. The point is to identify the area of frustration and provide the solution that can resolve most of these frustrations and make web design projects a point of joy for a business. That solution? A website design project manager.
Appointing a Website Project Manager
The project manager is the most important person in a design project besides the lead designer. From the business perspective, the project manager takes control of the project.
I’m a firm believer that someone needs to own a project in order for there to be a chance of success. If there is no ownership there is no one to take responsibility for outcomes. The design firm will usually appoint a lead designer for a project. This person owns the project and the relationship with the business. This lead designer is responsible for making sure a quality design is provided for the client. But this is not enough if there is not a counterpart of the business side of the equation.
Often the business owner will become the project manager of the design project. The reason this does not work is because the business owner has other, more important responsibilities to tend to throughout the design project. There is new revenue to be made, clients to manage and employees to manage.
It is usually impossible for a business owner to manage a design project. It’s necessary, in most cases, for the business owner to cede control of the project to another manager. Designate responsibility for the project to this person and make sure they understand what is expected of them. Back to our three points of frustration.
The requirements of a project are important. The designer needs to understand what the goals are for a project. A good designer will ask for these before even starting the project. It is the role of the project manager to make sure all decisions are made based on the goals and requirements of the project. The business owner will have a few responsibilities in the design project with the most important being to communicate the requirements.
Focus on the business goals for the website and use these requirements as the guide for any decision through the entire process.
With the lack of a project manager, schedule can become one of the biggest points of frustration. Designers can only do so much without items such as content or approval. These need to come from the business. A project manager can take ownership of the schedule from the business side. It will be the responsibility of the project manager to make sure the schedule is adhered to. This is for the benefit of the business and the designer. Schedules often get pushed back in design projects. If there is a person on the business side to be responsible for the schedule it is more likely to be adhered to.
Communication is difficult for business owners. They are being pulled in many directions and often the design project can get pushed down on the priority list. With a project manager, the communication of the design project is higher on the priority list. Steps in the design can be approved for opinions for changes can be made. Communication can lead to better design and better results in the end. Without communication the project may suffer as the designer will move along with clear direction.
A project manager is an important part of a website redesign. It’s necessary to have someone that can take ownership of the project from the business’ side. The design team will have a leader for their side of things, but in order for the project to have as few frustrations as possible it’s necessary for the business to have a counterpart. When looking at your next design project be sure to designate a project manager and make sure the design project is high on their list of priorities. You’ll have a good chance for one less frustration with your business if you do.