If you’ve been following me for any time at all, you know I talk about the Six Productivity Principles for WordPress Project Success – ALL. THE. TIME. But they changed my life. That’s so trite these days but in this case, it’s true. These principles changed everything about the way I do any kind of project related anything, whether it’s at home, tiling your kitchen floor, or managing a WordPress project, or managing a project to go on an international vacation. And for all that planning that takes place, these same principles apply to everything.
The 6 Productivity Principles for WordPress Project Success
- Define the job in detail with a content-first approach
- Break the job down
- Estimate the time and costs OFTEN
- Get the right resources involved
- Establish and stick to a change procedure
- Agree on acceptance criteria
And when you apply these principles to your agency work, each one boils down into 1 or more (usually more) processes that you need to have in place to ensure success. And then those processes are boiled down into step-by-step procedures.
It’s so simple once you know what should be in these processes, but it’s time consuming. So let me go over what those essential processes are. There are many more processes that may come into play but these 10 are the core essential processes for proper project management (implementing the principles).
For more detail on these 10 Essential Project Management Processes and the ones that I consider to be the 4 MOST critical, watch this video.
10 Essential Project Management Processes Every Agency Needs
- Two-Step Proposal Process – so you don’t give too precise an estimate too early in the process before you do the discovery.
- Requirements Definition – How are you going to determine what does this website needs to do? What business problem does it need to solve?
- Issues Management – Issues are things unexpected things that happen on a project that threaten the cost, schedule, or scope. How will you manage and escalate issues on your projects?
- Risk Management – Risk are potential problems you can foresee and plan how to manage. How will you identify and mitigate risks on your projects?
- Content-first Development Approach – This means no development occurs until all the content is received and is the ONLY way to ensure you do not waste time when the client is late with content.
- WordPress Technical Approach – you need a starter site that you can use to quickly spin up new sites (and then make the changes to it). This needs to already have your plugin stack of your preferred and tested plugins installed.
- Communication Plan – What is appropriate communication with the client? What are the channels you’re going to use? What are the boundaries, you’re going to set for the client?
- Defendable Estimating Process – How are you doing your estimates? Is it something that you can do the same way every time so that you can improve? That’s why you need a defendable estimating process. Not that the client would ever ask you, but just in case they do, you need to be able to describe to them something other than “I just kind of grabbed something out of the air.”
- Change Control – This is probably one of my favorite ones. That’s just to keep scope creep from happening. And for those of you who don’t know what scope creep is, when the client asks for one little thing, and then you do it and then they ask for another little thing, and then you do it and then all of a sudden, this project has ended up with a whole lot of more requirements than you ever thought about at the beginning and you gave away a whole bunch of it for free.
- Acceptance Management – This is just what it sounds like. How do you know when you are DONE? What are the checklist of things that this deliverable (or project) must have in order for it to be considered complete and approvable. That needs to be decided before work begins on any deliverable.
Watch the video for more detail on these 10 processes.
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