back to basics

Taking Digital Projects “Back to Basics”

This one’s for digital project managers and those in digital marketing roles dealing with digital agencies…

Forgive my indulgence in talking about the day job but at Mammoth we’re big fans of our online tools for project management and web project collaboration. Basecamp and Onotate to name only 2 systems we use, are  used daily amongst various members of my team for various project progression and delivery requirements. Clients love these tools too, being able to have full visibility and collaborate online in a highly accessible manner. These tools along with Podio are transparent, user – friendly and helps improve efficiency and project process for a range of digital projects. But… (there’s always a but.)

Taking Online – Offline

I’ve noticed a lot recently with a few bigger projects, how effective good old – fashioned offline methods to collaborate and get sign off have proved. Of course, I’ll meet clients at key stages of any project for discussions and agreements, but often the trickiest part of any digital project is when scope documents turn into production of wire-frames, which turn into visuals; then once the client sees something close to the designed page templates, their minds are spurred into a flurry of activity, often not focussed on the objectives of the campaign, the agreed specification, the wire-frames or the agreed user experience features and user journeys. It can get all quite messy and frustrating. Some offline sessions that we have run at Mammoth have proved extremely worthwhile and indeed more efficient than Basecamp, Onotate, or any scope meeting could ever be in ticking off those key project milestones, deliverables and getting projects on track.

We’ve noticed a lot recently with a few of our bigger projects, how effective good old fashioned offline methods to collaborate and getting sign off have proven to be.

It Works…

The method employed in this example is a printed and stuck on the wall montage of site maps, user journey diagrams, cms functions and design templates, covered in ‘post it’ notes. To those with fresh, eyes it looks scary, random and impressive in pretty equal measures.

MammothBelfast  MammothBelfast  on TwitterThe key thing is though, that this approach can and does work with clients. It often achieves and leads to conversations, agreements, challenges and a combined level of understanding that emails, calls, Basecamp, Onotate, and even traditional face – to – face meetings over a specification document could never achieve.

Going forward, for the right jobs and the right clients, the “Digital Wall” that I and my team employ at Mammoth, will continue to play a key part in our project management process. I’d never dream of ditching our glossy project management tools and processes, especially for internal collaboration, but going back to basics works. Designers, developers, project managers and clients all armed with A3 paper designs, competitor websites, wireframes, pens and ‘post it’ notes is sometimes hard to beat!

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