Gantt charts, maps and chemistry.

We’re working on some digital projects right now that have got everybody pretty excited in the agency.  We’ve just launched the first phase of Age International’s new site, and are proudly part of WaterAid’s The Big Dig.  There’s things on the launch pad, like a lovely interactive in memoriam tool for The Meningitis Trust.  And there’s some really great stuff bubbling under (including plans for the next stage for Age International, a spanking new website for Sands and some innovative campaigns elsewhere).

Which got me thinking.  What is keeping Team Digital grinning through those inevitably long hours as deadlines approach?  Just what is the secret to a successful project?  Watching them in action, I’d say:

  • Being a user  – Thinking about whatever it is we’re building from the perspective of all our audiences.  Where do we want them to go, what do we want them to do, and how quickly can we get them there?
  • Being forward thinking  – Planning ahead.  Having a vision of where a website can go, what the content plan should be, what the tech will need to do.  Both in the short and long term.  Digital doesn’t end when the project goes live.
  • Being collaborative – Strategists, creatives and developers pulling together, yes. Add in our superb clients, that’s when the magic happens. And all of us kept on a tight schedule by people who love MS Project.
  • Being nimble  – Life doesn’t always follow the Gantt chart. But flexibility means whatever challenge we hit, we can find a solution and get things back on track.

It’s about project management not fire fighting. Having a good plan so everyone can see what’s happening at every stage. Having realistic milestones, thinking about risk and budgets, breaking stuff down into workable chunks.  And above all, it’s about having  good old fashioned relationships.

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