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Why Your Web Development Project Needs a Project Manager

Joe Bunales
#News & Culture
Published on October 4, 2013

Web development projects can encompass many roles and several different deliverables. With so much going on within the project, at WSOL we believe having a project manager is essential.

A web development project can seem overwhelming to most organizations - particularly with projects that run the course of hundreds to thousands of resource hours, encompassing teams made up of designers, programmers, engineers, analysts, and client stakeholders. In addition, with so many moving parts, and ever-changing requirements, I’m sure you would agree that a Project Manager would make a difference in the success of your website launch.

Whether or not your industry practices waterfall, PMI, Lean, or agile methodologies of project management, at some point the need for a point-person to handle the project lifecycle should be realized and assigned. This person does not necessarily have to hold the title of Project Manager, but it’s best to have someone experienced in project management, and if they are experienced in your particular industry, all the better. The PM (or, for those who use agile scrum methodology, the “scrum master”) is responsible for the monitoring and control of the various phases of the project. This requires a great deal of communication efforts to integrate the various hand-off points, approvals, and ultimately the deliverables. While the project manager is monitoring the scope of work, reforecasting the scheduled timeline, providing project status updates, and maintaining primary communications with stakeholders, the design and development teams can focus on meeting their project objectives. The project can be measured by how well the tasks, activities, and resources meet the requirements without exceeding schedule, cost, and other performance variables.

Web site design and development projects incorporate many different roles for many different phases and activities of a project. Some of these roles require individuals who are special matters experts (or SMEs) in a particular area, such as design, development, quality assurance, and procurement. Some of us may be familiar with Design Leads that are Creative Directors or Art Directors, Development Leads that are Development Managers, or QA Leads that are QC Engineers. If that much attention is focused on those particular roles, one might argue, why not have a role focused on the management of the project? A key element in each project is that the final product meets your businesses needs and each person plays a part in reaching that goal.

At WSOL, we appoint a project manager for each project, and this person acts as the primary contact with the client, managing the various resources, activities, and project phases involved with cross-functional teams while facilitating communication between all involved parties. It’s a process that works well for us, and it has resulted in satisfied customers and projects that meet and surpass all expectations. To learn more about how we handle project management, or to see how we can help you with your own web design and development project, feel free to contact us.