10 things that delay a project

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With many decades of experience in web development we can safely say there is no such thing as a project with no hiccups or delays. The key is always communication and understanding on everyone’s part in the collaborative experience that is the creation of a website. We’ve created hundreds of websites for satisfied customers over the years and this is what we’ve learned.

1. INCOMPLETE DELAYED PAPERWORK

Delays in the provision of paperwork at any stage of the process have a knock on effect every single days delay backend your project and an additional day added to the launch date.

[Scope Document / Work orders / Design Sign-off / Project Sign-off]

 2. OVERDUE PAYMENTS

Slow payment is an inevitability of business but nevertheless if you expect work to be started or completed unpaid you are not giving your developer respect or impetus to work hard for you. 

[Deposit’s / First Payment / Phased Payments / Final & Hosting Fees]

3. DESIGN SPECIFIC DELAYS

Delays in design sign offs are common. Most clients don’t appreciate the complexity of quality design work (its lasting impact and what it says about you) until the process is underway. Sometimes the term ‘sign-off’ scares them into thinking that it sets things in stone and implies additional costs to come. Without these industry standard sign-offs it makes a project unstable whereby nothing will ever be perfect but if you don’t draw a line in the sand before you proceed you risk duplication of work and frustration all round. 

[Logo, banner, CTA sign-offs / site design sign-off / non supply of imagery / feedback / amends]

4. CONTENT 

Incomplete content is the bane of even the smallest site. Of course we can’t expect you to only ever present finalised content or not wish to update it before a site goes live but you should supply as much as possible in as final a state as possible and something for every area of the site.

[Page content: About Us, Terms, Delivery Policy & Rates, Returns Policy, Privacy Policy / Details for new, bespoke or sector specific content / Translations / Contact details: phone number, store addresses, and email addresses)

5. INCOMPLETE DATA (Ecommerce)

When your site is ecommerce the products are everything to the developer. Missing data and products with unexpected or new attributes cause some of the longest delays and potential for new functionality to be created. Similarly when tying into 3rd party systems unexpected or miscommunicated functionality can be problematic.

[Incomplete CSV’s and databases / Missing unsourced images / Payment gateway data / historical & in-house practices not fully communicated]

6. PAYMENT GATEWAYS

When it comes to processing payments you cannot afford hiccups with customer’s money. Business live and die on their reputation yet clients often delay choosing, signing-up for and delivering details of their payment gateway until the last minute. No amount of experience in checkout systems delivery ensures a smooth integration for the developer (luckily te customer is protected from all this but is none the less a serious and sometimes complex task).

[Payment Gateway sign-up / Login Details / test and live account configuration / bank transfer set-up / test payments]

7. LOGIN DETAILS

Logins to 3rd party services are walls that your developer can’t cross without your help. If you can provide them up front it all helps and where not possible communicate them as quickly and securely as possible.

[3rd Party Login Details / DNS information / FTP / Feeds / Social Media / Google Analytics]

8. SCOPE CREEP

Websites are updateable and can do just about anything the client requires. Typically content amends are simple (when accurately communicated in bulk) what isn’t is design changes, unexpected content and new functionality. Few elements can be simply slotted in without any knock on effects to the templates, layouts and flow of a site design.

[Post sign off design changes / Re-spec and functionality changes following start of work]

9. AVAILABILITY

Sickness, holidays, travel and other commitments will of course impact on both sides of a project. The key is communication, preparation and promptness where ever possible. Of course these can be unforeseen and unavoidable but should still be factored in to the timescale and appreciate that they can affect the delivery date.

[Missed meetings / Slow replies to requests / Phone & email availability]

10. RESOURCES

No company can fully account for staffing shortages at peak times, emergency work affecting existing schedules and delayed projects encroaching on other work. Bespoke systems are also notoriously difficult to schedule accurately and adsorb a number of staff to resolve issues making staffing even more limited.

[Bespoke Project work / New features / Seasonal peaks]


By Alanna at 12 Jun 2014, 17:13 PM