How we finish projects on time and on budget
It all starts with an initial analysis. Usually, we organize a Co-design Workshop with the client, a process that allows us to explore the project idea, design key wireframes/sketches, define requirements (what to do), and specifications (how to do it). It’s an excellent opportunity to align expectations and create a solid foundation.
One of the outputs of the Co-design Workshop is a high-level roadmap. Using this roadmap, we assign people to various projects following a well-defined timeline, taking into account work schedules and any potential constraints (holidays, vacations, other upcoming projects). We used Google Sheets for this, but we have recently developed our own internal tool.
We organize projects into sprints. This allows us to give rhythm to the project, maintain appropriate allocation and focus, make changes during the process, ensuring greater flexibility and adaptability in a continuously changing context.
Then the management shifts to Trello. We “break down” the project into cards and create columns like “Backlog,” “This Sprint – To-Do,” “This Sprint – QA,” “This Sprint – Done.” This helps us visualize progress, track ongoing tasks, and facilitate communication between team members and the client.
At the end of each sprint, we have a sync with the client. Instead of communicating only at the beginning and end of the project (I’m exaggerating, of course), we prefer to maintain constant dialogue. We meet every two weeks, sometimes even weekly, to showcase what we are doing, clarify any doubts, gather feedback, and quickly incorporate changes.
Three things that have made a difference and allowed us to deliver projects on time and within budget:
Resource management: We keep track of projects on a timeline, recording resource allocation, dedicated time, and effort (e.g., 4 out of 5 days a week). This gives us a clear view of available resources.
Breaking projects into sprints: This practice helps us distribute the workload of a large project into smaller iterations. It also provides the necessary flexibility to make changes during the process if needed. Agility has been key in quickly adapting to unexpected challenges that arise during project execution.
Initial analysis phase with the client (the workshop): We consider this phase as a mini-project where teams have the opportunity to get to know each other and build a strong collaboration. When there is a fit between us and the client, excellent synergies develop, resulting in smooth communication and a shared understanding of goals.