One of the most important things when planning the timeline for a client’s project is understanding constraints and balancing priorities.
Communicating with the client is key in order to understand the desired goal for the project, their desired timeline, desired features, desired target for the project and so on. Once we have all this information, we analyze if the project can be done in the client’s desired timeline. A lot of times we have to negotiate either their timeline or some of their desired features.
Development is complicated to measure and to create estimates for, and that is why we make sure to have open communication with the client about what is possible in what timeline.
This leads into the importance of prioritizing all the tasks that lead to the final product.
Aside from understanding constraints, it is also necessary to prioritize by making sure to figure out which tasks need to be done first and which need to be done later. If prioritizing doesn’t happen, the project can extend much longer than expected, making it impossible to complete by the time necessary.
For example: A client comes to us wanting to build a website to allow their audience to buy some type of product and their timeline is “this summer,” but our client also wants to add the ability for their audience to rate the product on the website. The website and this specific rating feature cannot be done in the client’s desired timeline, hence this when we have a conversation with our client where we prioritize the main goal for the project, agree on a timeline, and maybe add the rating feature to a phase two of the project. This way our client can have the website, allow their audience to get the product, use it, and then after phase two they would be able to rate their purchase. In order for the users to be able to rate the product, they need to use it first.
By having open a frequent communication, we are able to understand and properly prioritize the work that is needed by our clients to ensure a successful end product.
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