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Oct 16, 2018 / Andrei Medvedev

Key ingredients to make your digital projects successful. Commit - Communicate – Collaborate

Whether you want to enhance your online presence, create digital products around customer expectations or develop software applications to streamline your operations, you are up to running a project in the digital world. While there are many areas, skill sets beneficial for both traditional and digital projects, in this post we will cover areas and some specific components that matter the most for the success of digital projects.

Commit

To ensure the success of any project, your overall commitment is extremely important. It starts with setting defined goals and adequate expectations and deliverables, to bringing together right people, and assigning the right person to lead the project. When a sense of commitment is embedded on a senior level, it seamlessly cascades down to other project members.

One of the common mistakes many business owners make is overlooking the importance of choosing a project lead with hands-on experience in the digital environment. Make sure you assign a person who is up to speed on the industry trends, UX/UI concepts, the latest technologies, and emerging platforms. He or she does not have to be an expert but has to have an adequate level of knowledge to engage with a third party and your organization’s tech team, as an example.

Remember, this person will be your main guide and messenger when it comes to translating technical terminology into understandable business language, explaining why certain solutions work for your organization, negotiating terms and conditions on your behalf and building trust across the board.

In other words, whether you are a business owner or a project ambassador, plant a seed of commitment from the very beginning to make things happen.

Communicate

As obvious as it may sound, communication remains one the challenging areas that impact the success of any project. According to some studies, 57% of projects fail due to poor communications.

Nowadays, a number of communication tools are enormous. Think about all e-collaboration tools, web conference platforms, messengers such as Slack, Bootcamp, GoToMeeting. Has it shaped our communications culture, methods? It definitely has. But all these tools and cool technologies are useless if you lack communication strategy and plan aligned with project deliverables. Your stakeholder groups, impacted by the project outcome, have to speak to each other through the project life cycle consistently. There is no worse scenario than when key stakeholders, influencers, and decision makers get involved only in the middle of the project. It typically involves delays, cost increase and loss of trust.

As mentioned earlier, your project manager with a right set of skills has to foster ongoing communications with internal and external stakeholders. Also, make sure this person has “voice”, authority and trust to effectively manage the project stakeholders and drive the decision-making process.
And last but not least, your project lead should be one and primary contact person for any issues, concerns arising during the project. Let him or her orchestrate the process and make things happen.

Collaborate

Collaboration is the core of any project, regardless of size, scope, and length. When it comes to collaboration within digital projects such as the development of a new website, implementation of new software solutions, automation of processes , it is important to understand key deliverables, milestones, risks, roles, and responsibilities.

Any project is like a puzzle where all pieces matter and impact the final result. Let us cover a few “puzzle pieces” that, very often need more collaborative efforts as it involves digital projects.

Technical requirements. This is all about customer needs, wishes, goals or things to happen as a result of the project. This is your “what”. Technical requirements are your main ingredients that make things happen.
The risk of not clearly defined requirements involves loss of time, increased costs, delays and poor project outcome. As a service provider, when we know the client’s “what”, it is up to us to recommend ‘How” – technologies, solutions, best practices etc. As discussed earlier, your project lead has to engage with internal stakeholders to collaboratively determine requirements.

Have content ready. “Content is king” (as Bill Gates would say) is still very  relevant  but often overlooked. Content development is a key component of any digital project. It should be accurate, customer-centric, engaging, and consistent.  Good content creation takes efforts and collaboration. One of the common challenges around content development (from a web developer perspective) is the lack of process, roles, and responsibilities over content creation, editing, and approval. It results in loss of control, miscommunication, and thousands of revisions. Delays are inevitable. To better manage the content development,  you should define roles, level of authority and use technologies to streamline the process.

Identify quality assurance (QA) requirements. The role of QA is another area that plays a big role in the success of the project. QA criteria, depending on the scope of the project, must be factored in the deployment phase. Here are a few things to consider.

  • Choosing the right release criteria for different project phases. You can’t test everything endlessly.
  • QA assurance criteria should be aligned with your key technical deliverables.
  • QA criteria and timelines should be agreed upon and approved by a client. The idea here is what is “done” is actually done.
  • QA is a collaborative process that involves a cross-functional team.

At Convergine, we ensure that the QA process is embedded into the project to ensure we deliver quality product or service.

Want to learn more about what digital projects and solutions we developed and how we did it, check our projects’ journal.

Andrei Medvedev

We love what we do, and we think of it as an art form, but it’s not all about looks and ingenuity. Underlying the artist’s aesthetic in both our process and our products is problem-solving practicality and shrewd business sense.

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