When you are thinking about collaborating with a digital agency to create your next masterpiece, it may be wise to consider how well they organise themselves to provide the best possible service – project management is an incredibly important aspect of getting the job done, however, it is often overlooked.
It is certainly worth questioning an agency’s project management procedures, tools and work ethic before committing pen to paper. We’ve set out some specific ideas that you might like to cover during initial discussions.
– Will a project plan be created for the project?
– Will the plan form part of the submitted proposal?
– Will you be using a professional Project Management tool to manage the project?
– How often will the plan be updated during the project?
– Do you have experience planning a project of this size?
– Is your development method Agile, Waterfall or something else?
– How closely do you follow your chosen methodology?
– How would you justify using your chosen methodology?
– Have you considered using other methods? Why is this method best?
– Can you explain how you have broken the project down into phases?
– What does each phase mean and how do they relate to other phases?
– How much time will be spent on each phase?
– How long will the feedback loop be – will there be frequent iterations?
– How often do you suggest we have meetings to discuss progress and/or any further requirements?
– Do you have a dedicated project manager that will be the go to person for the project?
– What different roles will individual people in your agency have within the project? What makes them worthy of the job?
– Do you specifically have someone with the title Programme Manager at your agency i.e. someone that oversees all ongoing projects and has visibility over the all resource allocations?
– Are all of your resources based in our timezone?
– Do you outsource any work locally or across seas?
– If you do outsource, who is liable for the work produced?
– What levels of access will we have to all team members?
– What systems will we have access to that will keep us updated?
– How much input will we have throughout the project?
– Will you lead the project or will we?
– Will we be making all the decisions or do you have someone who can make the smaller decisions for us?
– Will we have access to our design deliverables for our own use?
– What tools do you utilise that will enable open communication between us before, during, and after the project?
– Why do you think that these tools are important?
– Is the cost of these tools included in your proposal?
– What makes you confident that you can deliver, even if we change our requirements?
– What change control procedures do you have in place?
– Will a plan be created for measuring the project after it has been completed?
– How do you track the success of your projects?
10. Anything Else?
– Take a minute to reflect and ponder – is there anything else we have not asked to ensure the success of the project?
– Other questions to ask that are tailored to your business.
In our experience, these are the questions that clients do not ask enough – and with some digital agencies, this can mean being caught out further down the road. Always ask for supporting materials or examples where possible and you will able to gauge ability to execute! Ensuring that an agency can deliver a project that lives up to your expectations by asking crucial questions, you can be confident that everything will run smoothly once the rubber hits the road.