Many times we hear clients say "If only I knew how to code, I would do this myself". This is a common emotion for anyone who needs to outsource business process web development work. It can be an intimidating process to rely on an outside party for a large scale web development project, especially one that you may not fully understand the entire business process. However, there are ways to maintain control and make the web development business process as painless as possible.
One of the major causes of cost and time delays for web development projects are incomplete or inaccurate business process specifications. This is often the result of the project not being "thought out" in detail prior to the commencement of web development. A web development firm should make reasonable efforts to discuss the project specifications and business process with you and get your approval, usually through meetings, phone calls, and a requirements definition document or wireframe. However, the firm can't know for sure how the web application should function if the customer does not.
Whether you feel most comfortable drawing pictures or describing your project in words, put as much of your project on paper as possible. As simple as it seems to communicate what you want, miscommunication is by far the #1 criminal in a web development project. Make every effort possible to document and agree on all business processes and specifications of a project before web development begins. Avoid making any assumptions. The better your documentation, the better your price may be as well.
If you have decided you want to start your own social networking site, or Web 2.0 application, try to research the industry, standards, coding practices, and any other relevant topics. You may not know how to code, but that doesn't mean you can't learn about the platform your site will be built on. This will put you at an advantage working with a web development firm, since you can relate on their area of expertise and motivate them with your dedication to the project.
It's easy to get caught up in deciding on the look and feel of a web project, especially since this provides the first impression for your visitors. However, changing a color later in the game will be much less costly than changing functional business processes and software rules, so make functionality the focus during beginning stages. Also, some firms may follow a step-by-step approach which requires your creative approval before beginning web development, possibly adding months to your launch. If the end result of the project is to provide functionality to the user, then make graphics the after-thought and get the functionality to market.
Don't be afraid of being the "bad" client who is always calling, web development firms want to keep communication open with their clients. Staying away may convince the firm that you are not interested in the details and business process of the project, and that questions that arise should be decided in house. This takes valuable input out of your hands, and could result in negative consequences when the final product is revealed. Always maintain a friendly open attitude, so that those crucial questions are brought to your attention quickly. Just keep in mind that web development takes time, and there may not always be something to 'show' you when you call.
Web programmers, just like the rest of us, like to work on projects they find useful, interesting, and yes, FUN. Feel free to share your enthusiasm for the project and convey the benefits for your company and/or your market when the project is completed. In the end, good motivation may be the key to a good project.
Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to get work with an experienced web developer.