Web development is one of the fastest growing, most lucrative, and more important aspects of business in the modern age. You’ll need a slick website with clean graphics with everything your customers need to get their business done quickly.
Should you be in middle management and placed in charge of getting your website cleaned up and prepared, chances are, you’ll be working with a web development team.
It’s no surprise that many businesses consult with and use a web development team that’s more up-to-date on the internet than they are, but you’ll also need to learn how to properly manage these contractors and freelancers.
When handling your first sprint, you need to make sure that you know how the individual members contribute to the whole of the project, as well as how your management can lead to results that both the Web development team and the business as a whole, is happy with.
Here are our five best tips for Managing a web development team
1. Establish the Hierarchy
First thing’s first: your web development team, whether hired on or working within the company, needs to have a hierarchy.
During a sprint, or set amount of time to complete web development tasks, things tend to go wrong. Coding errors cause site-wide crashes. Ideas that looked good on the design end may not implement properly. Your company may ask for last-minute changes that require books worth of code.
To make sure everyone knows what’s going on and who to ask about what, establish the hierarchy. Traditionally, this means nominating a Project Manager who will serve as the point of contact between the web development team, whom they are over, and the business as a whole.
Likewise, the Business needs to nominate one point of contact to work with the Project Manager to prevent miscommunication. The Project Manager will then designate which members of the team work on Front-End, Back-End, UI/UX design and so on.
Without a clear hierarchy, differing opinions and egos can get in the way of the greater picture, and inefficiencies can cause major delays.
2. Know Your Front From Your Back-End
If you don’t already know the jargon of web development, getting acquainted with at least this term should serve you well. That way, you can clearly designate any problems to the Project Manager and the right person on the web development team.
Most sprints involve two separate teams working on what’s known as the Front-End and the Back-End. Front-End designers, otherwise known as client-facing designers, work on everything you see on the site. So if you have an issue with the colors on a page, talk to your Front-End Designers.
Back-End designers, or server-facing designers, work on the behind-the-scenes nuts and bolts of the project. If you’re having loading issues or orders aren’t going to the right place, you may have what’s known as a Back-End problem.
Knowing your front and back designers helps you delegate the problem, reduce blame placed on the wrong parties, and most of all clarifies and catalyzes any issues that need to be solved.
3. Planning It All Out
Before a single line of code is produced, it’s important that you and the team are able to sit down and plan everything out. Often, that means getting everyone in a room or in a Skype call and explaining exactly what you’re hoping the end product looks like, works like, and does for the business.
You may also have introductory conversations about design, such as which tools for wireframing you need to use, but generally, this meeting is more to get everyone on the same page.
Once the meeting is completed, make sure that your Project Manager has a timetable and work scheduled well in advance. This will prevent designers from taking too long on projects and make sure everything runs smoothly up until launch.
4. Knowing Your Scope
When you’re getting into the nitty-gritty of planning out your project, it can be easy to let the design team and those unfamiliar with the web development process get carried away by what can and cannot be done in the time frame available.
While your web development team can usually handle any problem, they may not be able to deliver the world to you in just a week. Talk about the scope with the Project Manager and uncover whether or not your scope matches the budget and timeframe given to the project.
This conversation should help to prevent situations in which Project Managers have to ask for more time or resources to get a sprint completed.
At the same time, these sorts of talks help businesses understand what sorts of activities they can run on their website, and at the same time, know the limitations placed on the project.
Leveraging expectations and keeping on the same page is the best way to prevent further issues later on down the road.
5. Launching Correctly
Finally, when it comes to pre-launching and launching your website, it’s important to make sure your web development team doesn’t take a victory lap too early.
It’s very common for newly-built websites to have a fair amount of glitches and bugs in the system. And these aren’t necessarily the fault of the web development team. These builds are called sprints for a reason, and afterward, the team can clean up behind themselves and make sure no issues fall to the customer.
During pre-launch, make sure you have all notes from the business to the Web Development team prepared well in advance, and once launch officially happens, talk to the team about glitches and bugs they may be noticing in the system.
Launching correctly is the final step in the process, but to ensure your web development project goes smoothly, we hope that you take our suggestions here and work to most effectively manage your web development team.
With the right system in place and the right team on the job, there’s no reason that the website you build together shouldn’t last for years to come.