Working in a position of management means that managing your own workflow, while it takes time, is relatively simple. If you are in a managerial role at a creative agency or marketing firm, chances are you have a solid team of employees dedicated to executing various tasks of a customer’s proposal, which makes proposed timelines and internal scheduling quite efficient. However, that all changes when you bring an outsourced service into the mix.
Anyone that has worked with outsourced development projects before knows that they require special attention. Developers are most likely working remotely on their own schedule, and not only is the timing disconnect an important factor, but the simple difference in communication style between developers and creative agencies plays a huge role.
Working with Project Timelines: Outsourced Development Services
If you are always struggling to provide accurate customer proposal project timelines, or you feel frustrated about development projects taking longer than expected, you’re not much different than pretty much anyone who has worked with a developer before.
Developers are different – they think differently, work differently, and communicate differently.
That means before you begin your next customer proposal or project requiring outsourced development services, you should keep a few high-level facts and tips in mind regarding working with developer’s schedules:
Project Details Matter
The project timeline you receive back from a developer should be quite accurate regarding the expected amount of work… for what you asked them to do.
The issue with many creative agencies is that they don’t fully understand the actual scope of work required for a developer and the various details they need to be in-the-know on before issuing a quote. That leads to a quote with an attractive projected timeline that ends up falling apart later in the process.
Be as granular as possible when talking with a developer about a client’s project. They need to know all the details of what you are expecting out of the web development’s or app development’s functionality.
You’re Responsible Too
Whatever project timeline you receive back from your developer is contingent on a few things, but most importantly – your involvement. Throughout the development process, you are required to work closely with the developer in providing text, resources, designs, and whatever else you assumed responsibility for in early quoting-stage discussions.
This means that for different stages of the development process, your developer will be reaching out to you for information. If you’re not timely with your responses, development projects can quickly fall behind deadlines. Recognize that the quote and timeline your developer proposed to you is contingent on your timely response and involvement throughout the duration of the project.
Every developer has a different process, and this will greatly dictate how accurate a projected timeline is going to be. Some developers have elaborate blueprints regarding their process of development, while others’ definition of a blueprint is a blue ball-point pen on the back of a bar napkin…
Not every developer is the same.
Spend the time talking with developers about how they arrived at their projected timeline for a project. KudosCode takes the time to meticulously map out all details surrounding a development project, allocate the available resources for each step, and provide a project timeline based on those realizations. Our partner plan also provides access to a dashboard which keeps our agency partners in the loop on updates, roadblocks, communication, needed materials, and everything else that may influence the overall project timeline in one way or another. Finding a developer with a system and dashboard similar to the way KudosCode works is imperative if project timeline accuracy is a must for you and your creative agency.
To Sum It Up
Managing timelines is simple, but it’s not easy. You have a team of dedicated employees (whether one or many) that are there to assume responsibility in portions of a client’s project. That makes project timeline predictions rather easy to give to your customers. However, once you venture into the realm of outsourcing development, things get a bit more difficult.
Remember that a developer will be very factual with their estimates. In other words, the timeline prediction they provide you is based on the facts and figures right in front of them. If a project goes over the expected timeline, it’s frequently because not enough information was provided up front. Also remember that you’re responsible for responding in a timely manner with all text and resources your firm agreed to provide throughout the duration of the project.
Finally, make sure the developer you’re going to work with has a clearly defined process for how they will finish the work they proposed within their assumed timeline. Do they have strategic blueprints or are they more of a pen-on-a-bar-napkin kind of person? Finding a developer like KudosCode with a customer dashboard that keeps everyone in the loop on communication and required details is incredibly important for sticking to accurate timelines.
Interested to learn more on how we can help keep your next project schedule on track? Schedule a free 15-minute consult today!