Website projects can be surprisingly complex with several moving parts and a lot of people. In many web projects, there is a development team, a creative agency, and an end client involved. For a website to hit its launch deadline, all parties have to hit several checkpoints throughout the life of the project in order to stay on track – only one missed checkpoint can throw a the whole project's timeline off. Here are the top reasons fjorge has seen web projects miss their launch deadline, as well as some tips for how to avoid these pitfalls.
1. Kicking off the project poorly (or not at all)
General overview, role definitions, project risks, scope and budget, timeline, and success factors should all be decided upon and understood by all parties during a web project kickoff. A simple, yet common, mistake we often see is a web project having its kickoff delayed (or nonexistent). If the first step in the web project is delayed, it can become difficult for everyone to be held accountable to their roles, responsibilities, and deadlines.
2. Adding features after scope and budget have been determined
"Scope creep" is the single biggest cause of website launch delays. When changes to a website's features and/or overall direction occur after development begins, it usually forces the project timeline to be extended and other features to be dropped. Counteract this by agreeing on a feature-freeze date during the kickoff meeting and tackle any feature changes and requests after launching the website.
3. Approval process delays
In many web projects, site creative and site content has to go through several approval steps involving several parties before being finalized. The best way to avoid approval process delays is to, during the project kickoff, outline the people involved in the approval process, which step each person is involved in, and the dates every item must be approved by.
4. Quality assurance timeline is not well defined
High performing websites require an extensive quality assurance stage. It's always a good idea to allot a little too much time to the quality assurance phase of a website build. This allows testers enough time to discover potential bugs and gives developers enough time to fix them. It's also important to set up a system for testers to easily report issues to developers during the quality assurance stage so that fixes happen easier and faster.
5. Not having domain and hosting credentials
This always sounds like a simple thing, but it is easy to get burned by unknown or incorrect domain and hosting credentials. These credentials need to be in the right hands in order for the website to launch. In order for web development and launch processes to occur as soon as possible, credentials must be passed and tested by the necessary parties during project kickoff.
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