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Design Project Management: Manage your Design Projects Effectively

Projects are the lifeline of any business. A business is defined not only by the quality of the project but the way it is handled. Every phase in the design process is a reflection of the seriousness and sincerity and the level of commitment a business shows for the project design process. Project design forms a critical phase of the lifecycle of the project. All the basic elements of design are important and cannot be ignored.

Basic Elements of Design of a Project

Every project has its own story which is written in its blueprint. Project design is apparently the earliest stage of the project design. It is highly recommended that one should not consider skipping this phase and hitting the floor.

It is also important that all the stakeholders are involved in the design process as it ensures that all the important points are included and the expectations set are achievable and realistic.

It is essential that it also comprises a huge variety of visual aids and other details. Basically, you have to decide various deliverables, structure, criteria and even the other vital features in addition to the timeline. All this has to be in sync with the underlying vision of the organization. A complete project design process involves a well-laid out column covering the budget for the whole process. This part may seem out of place and is often left out by many as not concerned with the design department. But take a pause and think! Is the whole fight not for profits? So, how can it be left outside the design framework?

Let us Explore Fundamental Benefits of Project Design Management

  • Clarity of thought of all the stakeholders
  • Earmarking of costs and profits
  • Defining the Timeframes
  • Effective Management of Uncertainty
  • Scheduling Revisions and Improvements
  • Increased Team Productivity
  • Robust Control and faster Decisions

Project Design Process

Every successful project has a defined process which is based on a clear understanding of answers to the following questions.

  • What is the fundamental vision of the project?
    This may sound simple but how do you feel about a project which is not backed by any specific vision which seeks to foresee a problem and the suitable resolution for the same. Not only this, but the vision will also state the actual potential of the project. Vision is an important document which can be presented to the stakeholders for everyone to sense the viability and benefits of the same. Now, this is not supposed to be a huge document running into pages but a concise yet accurate description of the idealistic vision of the ultimate project outcome.
  • What is the Problem addressed by the project?
    Identification of the actual problem addressed by the project vision. This often comes with thorough market research and assessment of needs. Once defined, you may also see the obstacles which the business is facing. This demands both time and energy as one has to have an eye for detail when you are looking at different aspects of market trends. Herein, everything will matter, the target market segment which you have chosen to carry out your research, the niche in which you are planning to operate, the presence of competitors and the new entrants. In all this noise, you have to boil down to that one idea which has been left untouched, or which has not been addressed. That done, now you have work around your inner strengths and resources to see if you have the right kind of expertise to plug the same.
  • Do you have the Resources and Experts?
    This will involve extensive rounds of discussions with all the stakeholders again. The idea is to gauge how far are you equipped as an organization to address the problem. Addressing the five W's is generally considered as a safe way to see if you have the right mix of everything to handle the need. Now again, you should keep in mind the basic product goal in actionable and measurable terms. You need to figure out the overlap between the above goal and the presented solution. Remember, a project will have to pass through various phases and each of it requires a particular expert to cater to the requirements of the same. E.g. in case of a web development project, you not only need the desired software but also specific UI/UX experts, designers, developers for coding, quality assurance personnel, etc. Every point will need to go through a thorough grinding and time for ensuring that the expectation meets reality.
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  • Do you have a Plan B?
    It is possible to make an error and it is also equally possible that one small error can break apart the whole project/product if not checked in time. So, here lies the importance of Plan B or contingency planning. Shocked as you may feel but if you already have a sound Plan B that shock will soon morph into hope. So, remember, there should always be a sound backup plan in order to issues which crop up suddenly. This can be done by planning ahead and working out every possible goof-up. So, always keep room for delays resulting from processes or other humanitarian causes. There can also be times when the funds start to dry up due to some unforeseen expense. So, it is wise to have addresses and factored-in such risks before-hand.
  • Do you have any sound Plan of Evaluation?
    A project should have a sound and fool-proof plan of evaluation which will help you monitor the success of every stage. This is essential as any glitch or issue if present in the preliminary stages can be effectively handled. Accurate and timely testing is important for measuring the outcomes and their impacts on the next stages.
  • How have you planned the final launch?
    Product launch after the successful completion of a project is one of the major marketing goals as it presents the product to your audience. There can be no flaws as the audience will not give you a second chance. Every detail has to work out, again keeping leeway for unforeseen delays. Your launch will help spread the word about the product. So, there should be a proper media strategy in place.
  • Do you have a post-launch backup plan?
    A powerful post-launch blueprint is equally essential as the whole project management design itself. There can be no second thoughts to its usefulness and criticality. This is important as after the initial hype created by the launch and marketing the products soon start to lose its sheen and audience if not maintained with routine updates as per the prevailing marketing trends. Even analytics play a significant role in deciding the course of action one has to take at this point but it is always advisable to have a solid groundwork done for the next steps.

Hence project design management should be robust and powerful to produce products which break the monotony of the market and are a perfect answer to the needs of the audience.

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