Star Trek Moment
Each project, whether it be branding, user experience (UX) design, website or intranet portal design comes with a unique approach to producing a quality product. With every approach there are many opportunities for the project to veer off into a positive feedback loop of perpetual delays. I’m going to briefly explain some of the tools that help keep us as a team (yes, that’s you too) on the rails, and deliver an on-time project.
What do I mean by “us as a team”? Let’s unpack this a little bit. Throughout the project there are many checkpoints, or milestones (if you want to get down with project lingo). The client team and Brunch Digital project team need to become one, we need a mind-meld situation (think Captain Picard & ambassador Sarek in Star Trek: TNG… only less painful). We need to know what you know and there is never a situation where we can have too much information. Some examples are providing your notes about how you produced your latest brand guide, past surveys that you’ve conducted with your team, and simple things like examples of websites that you like or dislike and short explanations why. Our unique project tools and everything you provide us will keep us moving forward and on-track to delivering the best solution.
Repeat after me, “realistic timelines, review times, sign off docs.” Realistic timelines, review times, sign off docs… Alright! These tools create shared expectations and help keep guardrails on the project. Realistic timelines are timelines that are created with input from both our team and your team. While we agree upon them, we also know that they can be adjusted should need arise. We call that a “living” timeline. Every project has different stakeholders, each stakeholder has different needs when it comes to reviewing deliverables, and we like to take review times into account for — shared expectations. And finally, we use sign off documentation because moving targets are hard to hit. This gives both teams the confidence that the deliverable we’ve been working on has been approved by all stakeholders and we can safely move on to the next step of the project.
Communication is key. We use the “living” timeline and status meetings to keep the trains running, but if there is one-way communication, we’re going to be late pulling into New York Penn Station because no one told us that the track power was out in Secaucus. You’re going to be mad because the Café car is closed, and you will be sitting on the train for an extra three hours, sans wine. Project delays cost time and money but those can be mitigated if communication is open and frequent. Is your team struggling developing content? Are your key stakeholders unexpectedly out on leave? Maybe you’re getting crushed by an onslaught of product orders. Whatever the situation is, communicating potential bumps in the road will help us plan around them.
Additional enhancements are features and functionality that come up after we’ve worked to nail down a comprehensive project scope and even after the discovery phase of our project. An additional enhancement could be the integration of a third-party app on your website or the need to widen the target audience of a user research exercise. We’re happy to oblige so let’s talk about how this affects the project as a whole. We’re open, we’re flexible, and want to deliver the best product or solution possible.
The tools I’ve discussed here help us be successful in delivering a project on-time. Every project we embark on is an adventure that we take with friends. It’s a hand-crafted, unique adventure that we promise to get right, every time.