Digital – it takes time, rigor, patience and energy

Digital – it takes time, rigor, patience and energy

Digital projects, be it building a website from scratch or sending an e-mail can crudely be divided into three production phases, and as a rule of thumb we work in thirds.  A third specification, a third build and a third testing.  Mentally, for web developers and digital marketers the last phase can sometimes feel like the most grueling.

A bit like my bike ride home after a long and busy day. For the final third of journey I always need to dig a bit deeper. I suppose I’m relaxing because the end of the day is in sight. But as soon as this happens my gears feel lower and my legs heavier. This last half a mile feels more like three  and it seems to take forever. It’s also the time when I’m less alert and more prone to making mistakes. One day a grey squirrel will meet a sudden, dizzy end between my spokes.

In my experience digital projects often roll out like this.

There’s the lovely dreamy specification phase with all the excitement and expectation of bringing something new into the world.  Then there’s the satisfying and rewarding build phase when our brilliant ideas take shape and we’re feeling smug and proud.

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Then comes the ‘brutal critique’ – The user acceptance testing. Other people stand around our beautiful new born and point out everything that’s wrong with it. We find ourselves back in the specification and build phase but this time with a looming deadline and depleted self confidence and enthusiasm.

ride home_0002

Over the next few weeks we’ll post our thoughts on why making digital stuff a reality sometimes takes longer than you might initially expect and how it’s our job to manage those expectations … and we’ll consider the project management techniques that help us all enjoy the process and keep our sanity intact.