While serving in a number of web design companies before starting with my own web design company in Delhi, I found it quite common for the projects to get delayed. This was a common pattern across all the companies and was due to the fact that planning was not proper. While it is true that the clients came up with newer requirements of functionality all the time during the course of execution of the project, it was also due to the improper suggestions offered by the companies which led to the delays in the project. While running my own enterprise for all these years and having been able to devise a mechanism which ensures that the project does not overshoot its timeline, I have found the following points quite helpful in planning about the project:
1. Understand all the requirements of the client absolutely clearly. You must know what are the objectives which he is seeking to achieve by getting the site developed. Once you know what these are, you would be able to offer him the options of design and functionality for the site.
2. Be proactive in offering options and suggestions: Do not hesitate to offer the client the options and suggestions, as many as possible. Do not try to hold back. If you hold back and the client gets informed of these at a later stage from some other people or companies then he will ask you to make the amends which will consume your time and resources. Let all the points be clarified in the initial stages itself and if there is a need for the brainstorming sessions, let these happen. You must understand that devoting time earlier to thrash out the minute details of the project saves you considerable time late on when you would be required to make changes during the course of project implementation. The client shall be thoroughly satisfied with the details of the project so that there is no or minimal intervention by him during the project execution.
3. Resource planning and rewards on accomplishment of project: Be practical in resource planning. Do not assume your team to be super humans. Yes, you can achieve better productivity by adding rewards for accomplishing task within stipulated time frame. These rewards shall be substantial enough for the team to put in their best possible efforts. Believe it or not, the rewards and recognition add significantly to the productivity of team. I am sure that most of the companies in Delhi would be missing this crucial component.
4. Give time to team to identify the likely problems: Once you give time to the team for identifying the key problem areas after allocating them respective works, you are taking the first step to make them think on the project before starting it. At the same time, you will also be able to set up key areas of coordination and develop a sequential and simultaneous plan of activities to be undertaken.
5. Keep some time on hand for some inadvertent delay: Despite the best of planning, there might still be some inadvertent glitches which might prevent project execution on time. Resource and work planning shall be done in such a way that this is accounted for.
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