Trust us, we’re just as eager and excited to get started on your organization’s website redesign! As a project manager at Taoti for almost six years, I’ve managed dozens of projects of all sizes and scale, and clients across many sectors. And while I like to think that every project goes as smoothly as possible, there are always lessons learned from each of my unique interactions with clients. One of the biggest takeaways from my experience in client management is that a successful partnership begins on day one.
Here are my top six recommendations to help ensure we kick things off on the right foot:
- Be upfront about your expectations and communications preferences. Your project manager at Taoti is not only your project champion but someone you should be able to communicate openly and honestly with. At the start of every project, we typically start with an ‘Operational Onboarding’ meeting where we get to know each other and talk about general project logistics. The key to this meeting is setting expectations around project communications. Do you like to chat on the phone frequently? Great, we’ll set up regular check-in calls. You’re always on the go and prefer short but sweet email updates? That’s not a problem either. Whatever you prefer, just make sure you let us know early on.
- Gather the necessary materials upfront. Help us help you by gathering the necessary credentials and documentation so we can dig into the weeds of your organization. The ‘discovery phase’ is an incredibly important part of any project. It’s typically the most time-intensive for you (and our team as well!) To get everyone up to speed as quickly as possible, it’s crucial to start gathering assets and credentials at the very start, for example, existing brand guidelines, logo files, photo libraries, access to Google Analytics, and other third-party tools.
- Be an active participant in the discovery workshops. I love my laptop and cell phone as much as you do, but they can be incredibly distracting in meeting and workshop sessions. These meetings help pave the way for the entire project, so your attention and focus during these workshops are critical. During this time, it’s also essential to understand who your key stakeholders are and make sure they are engaged as well.
- Think outside of the box. We love to host clients in our office, but we have to get creative when we’re all working remotely because of the current reality. Brainstorming and ideation sessions are meant to be collaborative. There are no right or wrong answers when we’re brainstorming together!
- Learn the lingo. I sometimes take for granted how frequently I use CMS lingo in my everyday interactions. You’ll hear a lot of new technical terms throughout the project, so we’ve put together a handy guide to getting up to speed on CMS terminology. Never hesitate to ask questions if you’re confused about a term, process, or deliverable. We’re here to help guide you through this project.
- And last but not least, get excited! We understand that managing this new project is just an additional responsibility added to your plate for the next few months. And while we’re not denying it’s not going to add work to your plate, we encourage you to have a little fun with it. If we all do our jobs well, the website should be online for the next 5-7 years. Don’t you want to be able to show it off to all your friends?!
Starting a website redesign project is a large undertaking and a significant investment for your organization. It’s time to allow yourself to think about new ideas, get creative, and help build a product that the organization and it’s users will be proud of. We’re so excited to have you on board!