What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of your business’s project workflow? Confused? Complicated? Different every time?! If that’s you, you aren’t alone! I have struggled with my workflow too and let me tell you. It felt like every time I started a new project I had to tweak how I did things. This year that changed. I made it a priority to stick to a schedule and create a project workflow that made sense and worked every single time. Now it’s time to get your workflow under control so you can stress less, feel more confident in your process and deliver your clients a consistent (and amazing) experience every single time.
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Ready to get started?
Great! I’ve created a special worksheet to help you get organized and refine your web design project workflow. Download it now and print it so you can follow along.
1 | Make a Task List
Take several moments to think of every single task that you do in a typical project. Consider everything from the initial client contact where they send you an email or enter your lead funnel to the completion or launch of a project. Add all the little tasks for both the client (like any client homework they have) to the tasks only you will need to do (like send invoices, setup your project management system, etc). Don’t leave out any task!
2 | Put it in Order
Take your task list and put each task in order. What needs to happen so each task can be completed? Lay out your tasks in chronological order so you can see how your project will progress. If it helps you, you can also separate your tasks into different phases of the project. Like the discovery phase, the launch phase, the design phase, etc. The important thing is to organize it in a way that makes sense to you and ensures you have everything you need to complete a task before that task is due to start. That means getting all the information from your client about the project before you start designing so you don’t have to wait for it in the middle of the design process.
3 | Add Timeframes
You’ve got the steps, you’ve got them in order, now how long will it take for each task to be accomplished? Make sure you add in a little leeway in your timeframes to account for potential slowdowns. That way your entire project won’t be thrown off schedule when something unexpected happens. If you haven’t been accurately tracking your time, you’ll want to start doing that now! It will help you accurately figure out how much time it typically takes you to complete certain tasks. If you don’t have any time-tracking data to base those timeframes from, just use your best guess and change the timeframes as needed when you start tracking time and discover how long you actually spend on these tasks.
4 | Write it All Down
Using your workbook or calendar of choice write out the entire project timeline with the timeframes added. Add each specific task or milestone to the calendar to give yourself an overall view of your entire process. If you need to, make any last minute changes to the timeframe now. Now is also a good time to review the hours you spend on a project and consider your pricing. Are you charging enough to cover the hours it really takes you? If not, you may want to either adjust how you approach the project and simplify things or adjust your rates accordingly.
5 | Add it to Your Project Management Tool
There are lots of project management tools out there, so find one that works for you! I’m a fan of 17Hats (save 10% on your subscription by using my link). It does everything, including project management and time tracking so it helps me save time. It also makes it very easy to add workflows and tasks to manage your projects. What works for one person doesn’t work for everyone though, so use whatever you feel comfortable with.
Need a project management tool? Try these:
Take control of your web design project workflow! Create your own customized workflow that works for you. A solid workflow will help you avoid unnecessary stress, give your clients an improved experience, and make your life easier.