Web Development and Time Management – How To Get The Best Of Both Worlds
There are over 1 billion plus websites on the worldwide web today serving an array of purposes including e-commerce, marketing, freelancing, work from home, information sharing, entertainment, socialization, health care and much more.
Everyone from huge multinationals to SMEs to aspiring freelancers are turning to the internet to increase their visibility, customer base and drive enterprise success. Currently, there are nearly 3.26 billion internet users across the globe which is equivalent to almost 40% of the world’s population.
Moreover, we see that around 93% of all purchase cycles initiate with an online search. These statistics indicate the colossal appeal for web presence, which has paved the way for tremendous growth in the web development industry.
One of the most highly sought-after skills of the twenty-first century; web developers find themselves adroitly juggling multiple projects or time-pressed to finish projects quickly to move on to the next as the web development industry is swarming with service providers competing intensely over projects.
Hence, where time is of the essence, web developers can also not afford a compromise on quality. So, how can web developers produce high quality websites whilst ensuring speedy functioning? The following guidelines are aimed at allowing you to get the best of both worlds by effectively managing time for web development projects whilst ensuring excellent quality.
- Begin With A Detailed Contract:
The key to ensuring efficient time management is to start strong. You need to invest time in drafting a detailed contract that covers all the nitty-gritty details of a web development project.
This will allow both your team as well as your client to have an understanding of what the project is all about. Moreover, it will provide you with a framework of how to get work done, prioritize tasks, delegate responsibilities, allocate resources and evaluate performance. While compiling a web development contract, be sure to incorporate the following elements:
- Define Deliverables:
You need to jot down all the stages of a project and all tasks that need to be performed from the beginning till the end in the form of a Work Breakdown Structure. All stated tasks should be coupled with processes so that you know exactly how you are going to achieve them. It is important, here, to split the project into small sections, which will serve as miniature milestones to evaluate progress and efficiency.
In order to efficiently manage time it is direly important that you prioritize the tasks at hand. A useful tip here is to use the Pareto Principle, which states that there are 20% tasks within every project that account for 80% of the total project value. By using this principle, you can identify these crucial tasks and assign the most time, human capital as well as monetary and technological resources to them. By doing so you will ensure your time and resources are being used to achieve quality in tasks that matter most.
- Make All Deliverables Time Bound:
It is absolutely crucial that you make all deliverables time bound and then strictly adhere to the deadlines. This will allow you to monitor project progress and identify areas in which you are lagging behind.
For such tasks you need to act swiftly to identify the root cause and then take measures to overcome it. There will at times be unforeseen delays in the course of a web development project. You can accommodate these unexpected delays by adding a buffer period.
- Facilitate Speedy Communication:
Open and continuous communication lies at the heart of quality web development. However, in order to remain on top of your game you need to set mechanisms in place that facilitate quick communication. You can do so by conducting daily or weekly team meetings followed by an update to your client about project progress. You can also make use of tools that allow team members to remain in constant contact with each other.
- Remain Focused:
An inherent part of being a web developer is having an extremely active work life that is full of distraction like emails, phone calls, etc. And as if professional distractions weren’t enough to derail us; we have personal mobile phones that keep buzzing. Where it is important to accommodate both personal as well as professional requirements in life, it is these distractions that cause time wastage. Therefore we recommend a few tips that will enable you to minimize distractions and remain focused:
- Promodo Technique:
The Promodo technique entails that you work in 25-minute sessions followed by a short break. However, in order to make this technique work for you, you need to focus solely on your web development task during these 25 minutes and avoid emails or phone calls, etc. You can use your breaks to check emails and unwind. This technique is proven to increase focus which is extremely important for developers who have to spend long hours working on computers.
- Definition Of Done:
Amidst a hectic schedule, we at times find ourselves struggling to complete tasks and forget about maintaining quality. In order to ensure that this is not the case you should sit with your development team to construct a Definition of Done, which is a list of all the activities that add value to a project.
Doing so will bring everyone on the same page with respect to the tasks that need to be performed and the quality with which they should be accomplished in order to be considered ‘done’. This technique will help you and your team channel their efforts and time towards what truly adds value to a project.
- Use Time Tracking:
Time tracking involves the distribution of a project into small achievable milestones, allocating deadlines to them and recording the time consumed to compete tasks. Time tracking is extremely important for web development as for most developers it serves as basis of billing. In addition to this, time tracking allows you and your team to remain focused and efficient. The idea here is to use a time tracking software that easily integrate with your project management software that you are using be it basecamp, trello, Jira. In our case, we use Minterapp that allow us to track time of our basecamp tasks and activities.
There may be more but following above mentioned guidelines will help you complete the web development projects with optimum use of time whilst maintaining the best possible level of quality.
Erica Silva is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs.
Find her on Twitter:@silvaderica
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