The following question was asked on Clarity.fm:
Who can best help my programmer and I come up with an actual completion date for our website?
The problem is that a few “deadlines” have come and gone, and changes keep being made as well, so we need an expert with a relevant programming background who can review where we are currently at in the project and help us understand what it’s going to take in order to stick to a realistic deadline this time.
Here is my answer:
Delays and a common problem with development projects. The scope of the project may not be as clearly set from the beginning as it should have been, and project creep inches up.
In the future, I would suggest that you request that your developer to create a comprehensive project plan outlining the project in extreme detail with dependencies. Project planning software’s help greatly with this. I typically use Smartsheets or Omniplan since they are Mac compatible. For Microsoft Windows users, Microsoft Project would be an option. One of the big benefits of Smartsheets is it’s cloud-based and allows for you the client to see all the intricacies of the project and what the current status of the project is at all times.
Here is what I would do to help this project:
Have a call with you to understand what has happened up to this point. Identify the deliverables you are looking for. Understanding deliverables is critical. I will then have you introduce me to your developer. Your developer and I will have a call so I can understand where he/she is at and what roadblocks or challenges are being encountered.
I will then take all the information I gather from you and your developer and create project specs (a written explanation of the functionality, and details required for a development team to fulfill your needs) for each feature of the project. I will send these specs to you for your review. You will sign off on these specs if it fully encompasses what you are looking for.
After that, with the developers help I will build out the project plan Gantt Chart, which will be used as a map to execute the project. The developer will define optimistic, probable, and pessimistic time estimates for each task. This allows us to get a more realistic time estimates and project variance.
If we find during this process that the developer can’t get all this work done with the deadline/budget you are seeking, we will then evaluate and consider options. These could include eliminating certain non-critical features or hiring additional developers to assist.
While the project is underway, I can help manage the project if you would like by having status check-ins with your developer ensuring that the project is progressing according to plan and making alternations as necessary.
I hope you found this post valuable. Here is my Clarity VIP link for a free call with me.