Face 2 Face

PXP prides itself on cutting out the middleman between a client and their product. We have a saying around here that “everyone is a project manager”. You talk with our app developers directly. Communication is faster and confusion can be aired out between both parties efficiently.

Now just like anything else, it comes with its fair share of cons. For example, web developers are not known for their great social skills. They tend to prefer communicating with their keyboard and not at a meeting table. Some of us enjoy getting caught up in the code for hours or even days.

But if that’s the case, why do we still do it?

Their/Your/Our Toolbox

Each web developer grows their coding toolbox and also their personal toolbox as a result. I encourage each of my web developers to have some hands-on time with a client because

  1. a) It allows them to talk about the hurdles they’re facing without trying to play the telephone game.
  2. b) It gets them out of their comfort zone (Sometimes it’s good for you!).
  3. c) It teaches both the client and web developer how to talk to each other -- tools which always pay to keep sharp.

It Becomes Personal

The more degrees of separation between a goal and a job, the harder it is to develop an interest for any project that goes beyond the paycheck. Allowing a client and app developer to both geek out for their respective fields towards a single task allows the best of both worlds to come together. Once my team develops a sincere interest in the product as opposed to looking at it like ‘just another job’ they begin making choices that promotes a better project rather than a bigger paycheck.

Greater Respect for the Deadline

Once you and the team have gotten into the brass tacks of a schedule, you all know what’s at stake and how long you have. There are no managers trying to convince a bored team how “vital” a deadline is. Everyone knows this project’s life cycle.

Those are a few reasons why we care to keep this system. But sometimes clients get confused by the change-up and that too can cause a few issues. How can you approach our team to help this go as smoothly as possible?

It’s an Art Commission

It’s easy to assume that purchasing a code project or website is like purchasing a hammer from a hardware store. Lots of website elements look simple and samey on a quick glance-over. So why wouldn’t it be a point-and-click affair?

But I suggest you pretend that, rather than a factory-built tool, you’re asking a single artist to do some sort of custom masterpiece for you. You guys have spoken, determined the job, and a due date. You’ve also talked about a few checkpoints where you’ll discuss progress and any changes:

Or something like that. At each point you have the freedom to make changes. But between those points, you need to leave the artist to their work. Throwing them changes midstream will confuse or frustrate your artist to the point that they give your money back and you’re back to square one.

Your web development team plays the same game. While meetings may feel productive, they can knock a web developer out of their rhythm. And constantly throwing new ideas can turn a formerly clean looking project into a buggy mess if not done right.

Avoid the Blue Sky

There’s nothing prettier than a blue sky that goes on forever. And a pet-project can begin to look unlimited in its potential if you let it. This is sort of like the point above, because indulging the Blue Sky is where many of those ‘swell new ideas’ come from.

“This app is looking great, but you know what it really needs?”

That happens a lot. Optimism is one hell of a drug. And sometimes we’re all taking it, we double-down on that new idea, and buckle our last plan in the process.

Keep The Pace

Once you’re avoiding the Blue Sky and we’ve talked about the schedule and deadlines, we all commit to the plan. It’s our job as an app development team to keep up our end. It’s yours to hold your end as well. Once the job starts, it’s up to all of us to stay true to the course until it’s finished.

Remember when I said meetings feel productive? That’s because sometimes they are. Having a regular meeting keeps us all on task.

You know those deadlines? It keeps all our eyes on the finish line. And that schedule? Sticking to it gets projects finished.

Doing the planning gets things off the ground. Keeping the pace helps us land it.

The well-oiled machine of web dev team and client works like a dream when all the components come together. We’ll take care of the team. You come with the project. We’ll all keep our expectations realistic and turn out a great...whatever it is you want built.

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