Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Digital/Web project management process

Whenever you are about to start new digital project you might wonder what exactly the process should look like, or what team members you need to engage? In this article I will describe the universal process and the most common team members involved.

I. Digital/Web project management process

1. Idea/requirements and rough estimation

Before the start of the project, there is the idea. It might be a customer’s idea or the product owner’s idea. The idea is then transformed into requirements and estimation in time, money and other resources is provided based on the requirements.

2. Signed contract or signed project brief/initiation document

If the customer or the product owner (stakeholders) agrees with the estimation you are going to have a contract or project initiation document signed.

3. Inception meeting

Inception meeting (with all project team members) purpose is not only to introduce the team members to each other. The project manager should organize the inception meeting with prepared project plan to discuss and approve by the other team members. Everybody in the team should know “what” and “when” is about to happen (different stages) and also “who” is responsible for every specific task.

4. Detailed requirements and specifications

The project manager and the product owner/customer should sit together and go through the requirements and get into details to clarify any queries. Clarified and detailed requirements are important so the transformation to well written specifications could happen.

5. Mock-up and design

The mock-up is just the outline of the visual structure of any design or feature. If you are going to manage a huge web project – mock-ups are mandatory to save a lot of time and resources. Once there is an agreement over the mock-ups the designers could finish the actual design (colors, buttons, backgrounds, fonts, fancy items, etc...)

6. Front-end coding

Once the design is done it needs to be turned into html/css code. This is what the front-end coders do. Also they add different features driven by javascript or other codes.

7. Beta development / back-end coding

The beta development could start even before the design. The back-end system is the backbone of your digital/web project. Every piece of data you see on the frontend is coming from database/code and the back-end developers ensure that the back-end system works without any flaws. Any critical and major defects/bugs should be fixed during beta revisions/development.

8. Final revisions and polishing

This is the stage where you need to involve the product owner a lot to ensure they/he/she is satisfied with the results. Any smaller issues should be addressed before the digital/web project is about to go live.

9. Going live and demo meeting

When you manage large digital/web projects it is important to allocate enough time and resources for the “going live” stage. Sometimes you need to ensure the hardware is going to stably sustain the traffic and the load and work closely with the system administrators too. It is always good to have a demo meeting in the end of every project, where the project manager, the product owner and/or the team members present the project’s features.

10. Maintenance and Support

These should be ongoing. Any future developments are better to be managed as separate projects and not just under support and maintenance.

II. The digital/web project team members

Below are the possible team members you are going to involve into a digital/web project.

1. Sales person

... or the sales team. They are responsible to gather the initial requirements (from the customer), to ask for rough estimation (from the design/development team) and have the contract between the customer and the company signed off. If the project is internal – the project manager is responsible for these steps (initial requirements, rough estimation, project initiation document signed).

2. Customer / Stakeholders / Management team / Product owner

This is the person (or the party) responsible to authorize the project, provide the requirements, and sign off and accept the delivered project. Also this is the person (the party) to address when the idea/requirement needs clarification.

3. Project manager

The project manager liaises with the rest of the team members and is responsible for the ultimate project delivery. Also the project manager is responsible for the entire project’s documentation – project plan, check list, gantt chart, specifications, project history, etc...

4. Design team

The team (or the person) responsible for the mock-up and the design of the project.

5. Front-end development team

The team responsible for html/css/javascripts, etc...

6. Development team

The team responsible for the back-end development, the software architecture and the backbone of the software project.

7. System administrators

The system administrators provide the hardware and the software support, to run the entire project. They also ensure that the system will have enough capacity to sustain the load.

8. Q/A team

Quality assurance is an important aspect through the entire project delivery process. The Q/A person matches the software with the specifications and ensures there are no defects and differences. If there is no dedicated Q/A team member, the project manager is responsible for stable Q/A.


  1. To be successful in your career, a positive interaction with people working around is a key. In a similar manner, it is extremely important to identify and manage stakeholders. Stakeholder management is important to the success of every project. Involving and engaging with the right people in a positive manner is highly important for project success.

  2. The right project template is the one that offers you benefits inside the initial stage to start a fresh project in making project checklist and analysis. These are some of the important points that I believe that a project manager should consider. However, if you are looking for a perfect Project Management Templates
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  3. Thanks for posting such a nice explanation of Digital/Web management this post is good for any
    Digital Brand Management Agency

  4. I would say that a PMP Certification is highly respected within both IT & non-IT communities where strong project management skills are required. If you plan on a long term career as a project manager, then yes, even with your level of experience, I would suggest getting your PMP. You can prepare yourself for the exam in one of the PMP trainingproviders like http://www.pmstudy.com/. You can do minimal prep-work to get 40 PMI® Contact Hours and apply to PMI for PMP Exam before the class begins.

  5. This is the list of some basic tool which are coming for better Project Management:

    * LiquidPlanner
    * Projecturf
    * Project Bubble
    * ZohoProjects
    * Solo