Most of The Creative Momentum web design and web development projects go really well. Client/agency expectations are set from the start. All goals are communicated clearly. Every step of the way goes according to plan (more on this later). Design approvals happen on time, image selection happens on time, development decisions happen on time. The website launches and BAM – everyone is happy.
And then … there are the outliers that are not. In all transparency, here are the reasons why.
Every time a prospect approaches us for a quote, we scope the project from start to finish. An SOW (scope of work) is sent to the client and signed before the web design or web development project begins. If you’re not familiar with the term, an SOW outlines the entire project and are the guidelines we work towards a deliverable.
Sometimes, scope can shift as the project unfolds. For example, something happens in the client’s company that causes them to rethink their strategy or a product is added. Functionality or pages are added to the website, the client asks for help rewriting content or “just a little” keyword research to help rank better in search engines. Some clients think these services fall under the price they have already agreed to and the SOW they already signed.
The Creative Momentum employs a full-time SEO team, a full-time development team, a full-time web design team and full-time copywriters. When pricing is calculated, the number of hours for all the resources touching the project are accounted for and that is how we determine pricing. Any requests made that are outside the original scope of the project are what we call scope creep.
Clients that acknowledge scope creep tend to get more than what they paid for because we appreciate the transparency. Many agencies go above and beyond when clients are truthful vs a client that tries to slide something new in under the rug.
One of the top ways a project gets delayed is when the client does not send us content on time or when the content changes.
Ideally, the client has finalized content before starting wireframes and we can design and develop around it. But more often than not, the client changes their mind and adds copy or never gives us the content at all. It is like building a house without a blueprint. So we do the best we can based on conversations, but then adjustments have to be made, which increases cost and pushes the launch date.
Remember all of those signatures we received at the very beginning of a project saying everyone would do their part? Clients frequently do not follow the approved project plan and miss deadlines for feedback and approvals.
If we don’t have approvals on the design, we cannot move forward. The majority of clients who miss deadlines then expect us to work faster to hit the original deadline. We want to help clients as much as we can, but sometimes it is not possible to double up on resources.
When the main point of contact for the client does not involve (or mention) all stakeholders until late in the process, sometimes we have to go back to the drawing board with things like sitemap or design.
All decision makers need to be involved at the very beginning and on major touchpoints throughout the project. If one person disagrees with the direction the team took, many times we have to scrap our work and start over.
We hope these tips will make your next web design, web development or marketing project successful, on time and on budget. The Creative Momentum wants the best for our clients! Contact us to learn more about our web design, web development and marketing services.