When you partner with a web design agency, accountability and managed expectations are an absolute must. In addition to providing you with an end-product that exceeds your expectations, your agency partner should also take the following 6 steps to ensure that your project stays on time and within budget.
1. Provide a Detailed and Specific Project Plan
Every web project should begin with a detailed project plan that will outline exactly what the agency is going to do for you and what items may be outside of scope. This understanding is absolutely necessary for planning and budgeting. Additionally, the project plan will create a concrete timeline. If the project plan is clear and everybody signs off, there should be no unpleasant surprises in the future.
2. Supply an Itemized Cost Breakdown
It’s important to have a clear understanding of the cost of any web design project. To make the most informed decisions possible, you need detailed information on the costs involved. Further, your web design agency should be able to tell you exactly where the money you spend is going. The best way to do this is to present you with an itemized cost breakdown. This breakdown should contain:
- Service or deliverable description
- Unit cost
- Total Cost
- Unit of measurement or flat fee
The breakdown will provide you with the needed clarity about what each deliverable is going to cost. If you find that the price is pushing the limits of your budget, you can use this information to identify any line items to exclude.
3. Clarify When Tasks Are Outside of the Project Scope
As web design projects unfold, things tend to evolve. You may identify features and functionality that you want to have after the project has already begun. In some cases, that’s something your web designer should be able to accommodate, but not always. A good web design team will be honest with you and willing to put on the brakes when a task is simply outside of the project scope. By doing this, they can make you aware of when a request could cause issues with your budget or timeline.
4. Identify Any Risks that Can Delay the Project
A skilled web design agency will be able to review the details of the project along with expected outcomes and identify risk factors that might impact the timeline you’ve established. Here are a few of the more common delays you might encounter:
- Lack of an efficient method of providing feedback and approvals
- No clear sitemap
- Unanswered questions at the start of the project
- Failure to gain buy-in from stakeholders
- Lack of responsiveness
- Too much feedback
In addition to being able to identify these issues, your web design partner must be willing to have difficult conversations with you about these issues. This willingness includes letting you know when inaction or other issues on your end are putting the project at risk.
5. Provide Feedback in a Timely Manner
Communication is a key factor in ensuring your project is completed on time and meets your expectations. The chances are that you’re going to have questions and concerns at every stage. You’ll have important decisions to make that depend on the feedback you receive from your web designers. If they are uncommunicative, things can go off the rails. Ask any potential web design agency about a communication plan before you contract to have work done. This discussion should include details on how and when communication will occur and a turnaround time on questions and requests for information.
6. Manage Changes in Direction or Scope
Sometimes a change in scope is unavoidable. New information comes to light, or a stakeholder determines that business needs necessitate a change. When this happens, there will need to be adjustments in the following areas:
- Budget allocation
- Other project features
The good news is that changes to project scope can lead to better outcomes. However, the process must be managed carefully. A quality web designer will have a structured approach to dealing with these changes and determining the best way to move forward.
Work with a Charlotte Web Design Agency You Can Trust
There’s no shortage of web design firms to choose from. Your challenge is finding the agency you can trust to complete your project on time and within budget. Ask your potential web design partner what they are going to do to ensure your project is completed as promised.