Biting Off Exactly What You Can Chew: How Project Size Contributes to Motivation, Improved Communication and Project Success
The typical profile of a web project consists of: one ‘mega-project’ to renovate the design, content, and site architecture; followed by a Phase II (which is where we put things that we don’t have time or money to put into Phase I). That is, if Phase II ever happens.
The challenge with this model is multifold:
- The ‘mega-project’ typically takes longer than expected and involves much more work on all sides than expected
- Motivation ebbs and flows as the project duration stretches out
- Knowledge and context frequently gets lost as we get close to the end and forget specifics decided at the beginning (even more common in projects with a high tolerance for change)
- Everyone is so exhausted by the end that they aren’t mentally in the best place to jump into the critical stage of monitoring / optimizing the site
- Business and technology change quickly, and the priorities determined at the beginning are no longer relevant or as relevant as they are at the end
Instead, it is productive to consider: what is the optimal project size to ensure motivation, quality, and project focus? Is it better to take a single “mega” project and break it down into smaller chunks?
ImageX and our clients together have worked on several small-to-medium projects, each of which was “right sized” to keep motivation and focus high and disruption as low as possible. Some change and context loss has still happened on these projects, but less than for a significantly longer project, and when the end of the project is closer to the beginning, it’s easier to stay motivated and on track.