Project Management

Quick Tip: Web design project management

Ryan Boudreaux suggests some easy tips for organizing your projects and making sure you have the right foundation for setting realistic timelines and keeping track of tasks.

These quick tips will assist you to organize the workspace, set realistic goals and expectations, find useful resources for time-tracking project management software, and make it easier for you to set up to-do lists that improve arranging your web development tasks.

#1 Workspace: Make sure your workspace and office environment is suited to avoiding distractions and supports constructive productivity and creativity. No matter the operating system, or software you touch, the way your workstation is organized will reveal a lot about your style and work approach. Make sure your workspace is well designed, organized, clean, and comfortable; omit clutter and keep the work area tidy. In a survey it was determined that nine out of ten employees link workspace design to their productivity, and that when employees had an ergonomically designed workstation that performance increased by 25%. #2 Realistic expectations: Make sure you know how long the project will actually take to reach milestones along the way and ultimately the time to reach the final product. Rushing to meet unrealistic deadlines or milestones can cause serious issues with the final product, and you want your user experience to be pleasant and rewarding. #3 Project management software: If you have many tasks or sub-tasks that need to be implemented, it becomes easy to get lost in the fray. Losing sight of the big picture or getting distracted on several tasks but ignoring more important tasks can bring the entire project to a halt. Project management or time-tracking software will help to keep focus on all the tasks that make up the entire project, and some of these are available for web-based access. Several open source, web-based project management software packages are available, including Codendi, KForge, ProjectPier, and Redmine. #4 To-do lists: While it may seem simple enough, setting up a daily list of task items that require your attention typically will keep them at the forefront of your daily duties. Here are several tips for setting up effective to-do lists:
  • Toward the end of the work day, write or type up a list of items and issues you know will need to be addressed for the next day or near future. Each item should be a separate line and should stand out from other tasks.
  • The first thing in the morning you should review the list from the previous day, add any more items or tasks that came up since that time, and before tackling any of the tasks, assign a priority to each task or item. Label the very important items with an "A," and the least important items with a "C." Then if you have any items that did not get an A or a C, give those a "B."
  • Now that your to-do list is organized for the day, it is time to start addressing all the "A" items first, and then address the "B" items and so on to the "C" items. Be flexible; if any items need a priority adjustment, then you can reset the designation depending on the severity of the issue.
  • Any items that did not get addressed on the list will help make up the start of a new list for the next work day, and then follow the steps again to assigning them priority, and so on.

This is a quick, short list, so I am sure there are other techniques for web design organizing and project management that are favorites of yours. Do you have any other organizational or project management tips for web design that you use in your work?

About

Ryan has performed in a broad range of technology support roles for electric-generation utilities, including nuclear power plants, and for the telecommunications industry. He has worked in web development for the restaurant industry and the Federal g...

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