How does web project management differ from regular project management?

There are some key differences between web project management and a more general approach to project management. Within these differences remain some important challenges that are recurring for web project managers and web designers managing projects.

  • Changing customer requirements
    Web project managers will need to account for evolving requirements or at least be able to minimize the negative impact that such evolving requirements will bring to a live project. This can cause both live projects and new proposals to hit delays as the expectations for each project or within a live project begins to change do to a broad range of influencers. New information, expectations of technology, fluctuations in business processes or inputs, and lack of experience can all contribute to a change in customer requirements. In some cases, these changes cannot be anticipated.
  • Evolving market conditions
    Similar to changes in customer requirements, evolving market conditions can have a monumental impact on a live project. The internet is a constantly evolving arena of technologies and ideas, which will force we designers to adapt their approaches and respond to evolving market conditions. One example of such a change was the announcement by Apple that it would not use Flash for the iPad or iPhone, which had a severe impact on the perception of Flash and it’s widespread usage.
  • Frequently tight or unrealistic deadlines
    Many web projects are burdened by unrealistic or tight deadlines. Often this is the result of a problem with concept to handoff from the client to the web vendor or development company. Many clients will cramp deadlines by extending decisions, while keeping steadfast to their deadlines. It is a best practice approach to communicateĀ  routinely to clients when their actions cause time constraints which will in-turn affect quality.
  • Need for real interaction with users and a degree of uncertainty
    Online ventures and campaigns can often be mission critical. Yet, there is often a need for experimentation and quick adjustments to content and messaging. There are very helpful tools and clearly defined processes for dealing with such detailed analysis of results and ROI. Some companies will launch BETA versions of their products to test it is a real world setting so they can make adjustments prior to full public launch. Other companies will also segment their audience and measure the results of messaging, web technology or design to a group of users and track the results before rolling out the work to their larger customer body. As with all forms of technology and marketing, a level of uncertainty will apply to each project as competitors scrabble for the leading edge or the market changes with a resounding impact to your campaign. Evolving markets can provide companies new opportunities.

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Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency and lead generation agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.