Today, I want to share how I organize the WP projects I work on and delegate the tasks to my team. We found a pretty solid workflow that works well for us - and might be interesting for you to learn more about.
Our tool of choice is Asana, we have upgraded to the premium version and are super happy with that decision.
Additionally, we use the extensions Instagantt and Harvest to visualize our projects in Gantt charts and track our time.
Before I dive into the nitty-gritty, let me explain our rationale behind this workflow.
We're a team of designers, a project manager, developers, and myself as lead developer. It's a powerful team, but only if we keep our projects managed well and are always ahead of the curve. Currently, we manage roughly 1k open tasks across 30-40 ongoing projects with this system.
This team naturally grew over the past years and thus, our way of working together has changed multiple times. What we found works best for us, is to have clearly defined frameworks for every WordPress project (in fact, for any project we do).
In those frameworks, we clearly identify responsibilities like project ownership, milestone ownership, etc., we set deadlines and we estimate the workload for each milestone.
1. Every WordPress project we do is using a template project.
We created template projects for all of our services. That means, we got templates for things like:
- developing a website from scratch
- extending an existing website with a custom plugin
- creating a new logo for a company
As you can imagine, the list goes on.
For every project that we plan to do more than once, we map out a framework of tasks to ensure we don't miss anything important and can stay on top of the project at all time.
These templates also help us stay on top of delegating each task to the correct person and to identify dependencies.
After sending out a shorter version of this post in my email newsletter, I received the feedback from WP developers who were interested to buy these templates.
This honestly came as a surprise to me, but now I'm preparing the templates into a version that is ready for the public and that's not as closely tied into our internal processes.
I'll update this post when the templates are available and will also send out an email newsletter.
2. Rigorous use of task dependencies, deadlines and estimating hours for each task
Gantt charts have been a game changer for us, they're fantastic to visualize a project and to plan workloads for each team member.
I first got in touch with them during my studies for the integrated degree in Business Informatics, but I only started using them in mid of 2017.
Nowadays, I don't think our team could operate without them. Here's an example of how one of our projects is structured (forgive me that I blurred out the task names, but those are confidential):
Every task we add to Asana gets a deadline and a number of estimated hours. Combined with setting task dependencies (e.g. the logo has to be designed before it can be uploaded to the site), we're always ahead of the curve.
Instagantt allows us to easily rearrange tasks via drag and drop, automatically updating the entire project flow if necessary.
3. Time tracking for revisiting projects and post calculations
With Harvest, we have time tracking integrated directly into Asana. All team members are tracking how many minutes or hours they spend on the task at hand.
That gives us a clear overview of how we are performing in a project, if the budget we estimated is sufficient, and if a project has been profitable after it's finished.
These three pillars are the foundation of how my team and I work.
Do you handle things similarly or completely different? I'd love to know, shoot me an email if you're interested in having a conversation!