Here are five project management tips pulled from a Mequoda Special Report titled 10 Steps to Manage a New Website Launch, by Steve Laliberte, president of iProduction and a contributing editor for Mequoda.
- Do not promote the new site until it is complete.
If you want to create the project from hell, ask your team for a schedule and publish the launch date to 700,000 readers. Steve calls that pre-meditated stupidity. Even after doing thousands of sites, he prefers not to guarantee a delivery date, because things happen. People get sick, systems don’t perform like they are supposed to and the staff said they knew, but they had no clue.
- If you must have a hard fast date, prepare to lighten the load.
Simply launch with the stuff you really need. This is where your business goals are critical. If the goal is to sell subscriptions, then when the system can show an offer, take the order and fill it, it’s ready to go. All other links and functions are not critical and can be added later.
- Manage Scope Creep.
This is the number one culprit in delaying projects. After the prototype has been approved, start the list for phase two upgrades.
- If it has never been done before, DON’T DO IT!
You need to ask yourself a simple question, “Am I a publisher or a software developer?” If you cannot find the function, you probably don’t need it. You may need to look outside your typical sphere of expertise. Too often an IT manager will limit the selection alternatives to only the technology the person understands. Too many publishers get stuck throwing good money after bad ideas by feeding the whims of a local developer.
- Hold regular status meetings.
One of the main problems with publishers is that they are always doing more work than they have the resources to complete. The Web project is added on to the existing workload of editors and circulators. They need to do the work. You must keep their feet to the fire and make them accountable. If you are not asking about the Web project, chances are, no one is working on it.
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