Regardless of whether it is a large or small project, don’t set one final deadline, set regular milestones. If it’s a week-long project, figure out what will be delivered each day and set daily milestones. Larger projects will have them spaced out more but either way, make sure that you have them at regular intervals and that all major deliverables are assigned a milestone.
A single deadline won’t let you know if the project is on track. Regular milestones will help you keep a handle on the project and where it stands. With regular milestones, if the deadline has to slip, you know it sooner rather than later.
Make sure your developer is reporting back to you on a regular basis. At the very least you should have a status meeting at each milestone to make sure it was hit. For larger projects you will need meetings between the milestones to make sure the project stays on track.
Programming is not an exact science. Deadlines and milestones will slip and you need to be flexible to the extent that you can. However a project that has gone off the rails and is regularly pushing back is a sign that the developer did not understand the problem properly and did not estimate it correctly.
When you are ready, move on to part 5 of 8 and read “How to Plan a Website – Know your budget.“
Want more helpful advice?
Are you looking for more helpful advice? Check out our book, Avoiding a Goat Rodeo. It was written to help non-programmers understand website development. It shows you how to get the website you want.