With a fresh new year upon us, it’s the perfect time to start a new project! But before you jump right in, we have a few tips for you to help your projects stay organized and on track.
Thoroughly outline the idea
- Flesh out your vision for the project with as much detail as you can. The more solid decisions you make in this planning phase, the easier your project will be to execute later.
- Make note of what you will need to be successful, and what you will need to do to ensure those needs are met.
- Find someone you trust and bounce your idea off of them. Does the project make sense? Where could it be improved? What obstacles might you run into along the way?
- Adjust and iterate on your idea regularly during this stage. Ideally you’ll use this time to establish the basic outline, which you and your team will be able to revisit throughout the process to make sure you’re staying true to the intention of the project.
- Prioritize! Break down the project into big steps, then break those into smaller steps as necessary. Mark which pieces of the project are most vital for completion and which can be set aside as future steps, or a possible phase 2, if need be.
- Developing a timeline is essential for keeping your project organized. Note what you want to accomplish by when. Visual timelines, like a calendar or Gantt chart, can help you see the overview of your project more clearly.
Set realistic expectations
- Consider what other obligations you and everyone else involved have outside the project, and how that might affect your timeline and completion.
- You may wish to do some research around your idea to know what is feasible to create, and the effort necessary to create it.
Set your budget
- Know what you can afford to allot to the project. Cross-reference that with the scope of the project plan and make sure the two match up. If not, one or both may need to be reassessed.
- You want to be able to do your project justice. If it’s not in your budget, start with the most necessary pieces and set your goals to complete further parts in the future when you have additional funds. In the end, it’s better to scale down the scope than to cut corners!
- No amount of planning is going to have you entirely on time, on budget and on scope – and that’s OK! Your plan should cover major obstacles, but smaller issues are bound to pop up in the process. Keep an open mind, flag issues as soon as they arise, and be open to adapting when the project calls for it.
These are a handful of ways to set yourself up for success as you take on a new endeavor, but remember that every project is different, with different needs and outcomes.
Have questions about starting a new project for the web? Get in touch!