Web Development Budget: Communication
Is Your Website Developer Causing Budget Issues?
Your website developer’s poor communication could be the reason for your web development budget issues. That’s a tough pill to swallow, especially as a website development company. At DevSavvy, we’ve learned the hard way that communication is at the heart of staying on budget.
If you are a marketing director or you’re the project manager on a website build, you know the importance of keeping your client in the loop while your developer codes their website. The problem is that most web developers go “dark” during the development phase. They are coding. That’s their job, after all. But, while they are working their magic behind the scenes, they aren’t communicating their assumptions. Likewise, the client is starting to make assumptions.
Recently, I was working on a membership tool for a client’s website. The client requested that we add a few new membership levels to the site. The assumption was that the new membership levels would be separate from each other. In other words, none of the membership levels would share the same privileges. During development, our team suddenly realized how problematic this logic could be for the client. We knew we needed to stop and make sure we made the right decision. After consulting with the client, we discovered that two of the membership levels needed multiple overlapping privileges, while the third had a unique role. This was not specified in the beginning. The fix was small. But, had we continued working, it would have resulted in additional time to undo our work.
Communication, even over-communication can prevent budget issues later in the project.
Weekly phone calls and emails are the main tool that we use to keep projects on track and under budget. I’ve found that clients have great ideas, even during the development phase. Sometimes, they actually want to add new features before phase 1 is complete. This is doable if we manage the original project scope. that way, the additional time for the new request is approved and the client knows they are getting exactly what they want. But, poor communication will just lead to unexpected budget issues. And, that’s never a good thing.