Great Expectations: Making Your Project Succeed

Presenters: webbykat, sam_elliott

Whether you're the client assembling the requirements for a web project or the vendor developing a proposal to meet them, you have the same goal: getting a great product online.

Unfortunately, many projects start out with poorly defined requirements or poorly defined approaches, leading to disappointment on both sides -- like realizing that your project plan hinged on an empowered decision-maker your client doesn't have, or that the vendor you hired for their great design work was unprepared for the extent of your migration and development needs.

This session will discuss how to improve vendor and client communication by increasing discovery and requirements clarity at the proposal phase; reviewing deliverables for the information that matters; and mutually setting expectations and confirming requirements throughout the project. We'll use real-life examples about operations and maintenance (O&M) contracts, as well as redesign contracts.

This session will provide an overview of ways to improve vendor/client communication throughout the project, including:

  • Defining and addressing the highest objectives of the project at the RFP and proposal phase, without focusing on minutiae
  • Engaging the right stakeholders at the right time to get the best feedback throughout the project
  • Determining which deliverables and tasks deserve the most focus
  • Communicating what feedback you need (and what feedback you don't need) to clients before presenting work for review
  • Defining the impact of approving deliverables (e.g. coming up with new content to fit a wireframe or design) to avoid surprises later in the project
  • Keeping momentum by providing clear action steps after each touchpoint

This session will be co-presented by a director of technology and senior technical manager, who will share insights from working with clients that include the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Department of Transportation.

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Community and Being Human