Whilst there may not be a one-size-fits-all framework for digital projects, standard tenets apply to all successful ones. These include the need for clear definitions, schedules, and frequent, effective communication. Most project failures can be attributed to a lack of one or more of these.
Without an agreed process for delivery, where members of both the client and partner teams have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, it can be very difficult to actually get anything done. Your delivery framework incorporates project management and governance processes for the project and is essential in ensuring the successful delivery
of a product that matches your initial requirements and performs against your agreed success metrics. In short, it’s the thing that supports you the whole way from having an idea right through to seeing it realized.
The project management approach should be defined and agreed at the very beginning of your project, and your project manager will work with you continuously throughout the duration to ensure everything is progressing according to plan.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Just as your digital partner needs a project team to deliver the work, your organization needs an internal project team to keep everything moving, from agreeing on the initial scope to securing sign-off for project milestones.
We recommend a mirrored approach, where, for each role in your digital partner’s project team, there is a comparable role internally. This allows for all aspects of delivery to be assigned an owner, who has ultimate responsibility for overseeing that part of the project, whether that is the technical implementation or the overarching strategic vision.
In reality, you may not have an identical number of comparable resources to mirror. As such, it is normal to have multiple roles assigned to a single individual; the most important thing is that the responsibilities of each role are understood and adhered to.
ELEMENTS OF A PROJECT FRAMEWORK
Based on our many years’ experience of successfully delivering digital projects, we havecollated this overview of the types of activities you should build into your project framework:
SCOPING AND DEFINITION
One of the most critical stages determining overall project success, scoping and the definition should describe and visualize, where possible, the exact requirements of the project in detail and set the budgets for each of the phases within the project. The document should outline deliverables including objectives, priorities, dependencies,
constraints, risks, and timescales for acceptance.
A project plan should show all tasks assigned to the project team and when they will be doing them, with clear deadlines. Expect to account for all team members’ time, including holidays, as well as an allowance for contingency.
Your project manager should share a weekly, fortnightly or monthly status report, depending upon the size of the project. A status report should provide a condensed summary of key status indicators, critical issues, and any risks. This allows you to keep your stakeholders informed of progress.
Not all risks will be game changing, but some can be. So it’s important to identify, capture and mitigate risks as they emerge, in order to reduce the likelihood of them coming to pass, or at least diminish the impact they will have if they do occur.
Change control is essential to make sure projects stay on track. Changing requirements and priorities is not inherently a bad thing, but there will be consequences that affect time and/or budget, and these should be considered and managed where possible.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND DELIVERY FRAMEWORKS
Make sure to involve representatives from all parts of the organization at every step of delivery to ensure that your project moves at a steady pace and everyone is satisfied with the outcome.
‘There are many great lessons that come out of every project, so we recommend creating lessons learned log. This can be an effective way to share and learn from previous experiences across delivery, from the use of tools through to approach and methods of communication.’