Our guide to project efficiency

and how to save money on your project

We are obsessed with efficiencies. Inefficiencies can become the biggest cost to a project

Project efficiency:

  • saves you time
  • saves us time, therefor saves you money
  • makes it easier to deal with complexity
  • can teach you new tools and processes
  • reduces stress

Main areas that we focus on are:

  • Tools
  • Indecisiveness
  • Clear communication
  • Support and Task Delegation

 

Tools

We use simple, free tools.

Asana

  • This is our primary tool. We only use basic features and not the entire toolset
  • Tasks are logged, discussed, actioned and archived.
  • If a task is not in asana, it will not be actioned.
  • We use Asana to replace email, however it can also send email notifications and you can respond to task discussions via email.
  • If you email or phone a task, it will be migrated into asana at your cost.
  • always place one task per task. Multiple tasks will be split up at your cost. this allows us to discuss, action and archive specific tasks
  • We store passwords, contacts and some project resources in Asana
  • Asana has mobile apps.

Not using Asana correctly will blow costs out substantially and we expect that you understand how to use Asana. If you do not know this tool, you may have a play to figure it out, learn online or allocate a little time for us to train you.

Here is the online guide https://asana.com/guide

Skype

  • For when things get a little too complex for asana, for project management meetings, training and workshop type stuff.
  • Instead of using a phone as it allows us to text chat at the same time. So we can share copy, codes, web addresses easily whiling discussing.
  • Sometimes we may mirror our screens to show you stuff or mirror your screen to see what you are seeing.

We can use an alternative tool if you have a better one that supports these features.

Dropbox

We use dropbox to share larger files and website content if needed in a project. We can use an alternative tool if you have a better one that supports these features.

Email

Yuck. Everyone has too much email. We try to restrict email use to the period of starting a job, for rare messages and for discussions unrelated to the project. Asana is far more efficient. Searching for a task or piecing together a conversation amongst multiple email is a great way to burn time and money and create confusion.

Phone

Some parts of building websites are really complex and if we receive a call while in the middle of long stint of writing code, we are likely to be dopey (unless you can talk in code), grumpy (if the code is really hard) and likely to have no idea about where your project is at or are able to help you. It can sometimes take a long time to get back into the code, increasing costs for everyone, especially you.

Sometimes phones are efficient and we only use the phone by appointment. This allows us to get out of the code, do a check of your Asana so we understand where we are up to with your project and focus on you.

If it is really urgent, please email requesting a phone call. We check our email lots and lots (we are nerds remember). Sometimes we can go days without checking our phones for missed calls and messages.

 

Indecisiveness

There are phases in every project where we explore ideas, review things and change stuff around. This is the time to make changes and also ensure that all stakeholders have their say.

When we enter build phases and especially finishing stages, changing the specifications will increase costs. In some cases it will force us to scrap all the work done and start from scratch. That sounds expensive and yes, it is.

Additions

Adding small features, sometime can cause major parts to be rebuilt or existing work to be scrapped. Try and predict that you have everything you need in the original specification.

Flexibility

We prioritise flexibility, scalability and minimisation where ever possible. The nature of customising work for specific needs, reduces this flexibility. Generally, the more customisations, the less flexibility.

 

Clear Communication

Due to the complex nature of building websites, clear communication is even more important.

If we misunderstand you, costs can incur quickly through

  • spending time trying to work out what you are asking or where the problem is
  • changing things that dont need changing (more cost)
  • making incorrect changes to functionality
  • causing project management delays while we work to understand your issue

Clear Instructions

  • log tasks individually in Asana
  • If referring to a webpage or example, add the link so we can go straight to it
  • explain what is wrong and how you are expecting it to work
  • Browsers and systems vary so we may be seeing something different to us. If this may be possible, take a screenshot so we can confirm we are looking at the same issue
  • let us know what browser and system you are using
  • if the error is part of a process, explain the steps that you took to cause the issue, the error and your expectations.
  • if you have any insights or ideas of the cause, let us know

 

Support and Task Delegation

Different people and projects require different levels of support. Some people may require more time to explain things. Have a think about weather you will need this support and budget for it.

We are a service based organisation and we are more than happy to spend a heap of time supporting you in various areas. We charge for our time so think about how you are using our time so you are getting the best value for the money you spend.

Delegation

Some projects require tasks that should be done, or able to be done by the client or through client resources. Think about what tasks can be done in-house to save our billable time and try not to delegate tasks that you should be doing. Make sure you have enough hours allocated to allow you or your staff to assist us to complete this project.

We will happily make you a coffee, however it will be an expensive coffee and probably not that great.

For tasks that are time consuming and lower skilled, we are happy to guide you on how to hire or contract someone directly to do this work, saving you our management costs.