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One of the most exciting things that happen at Unity Web Agency is whenever we take on a new project.
There’s always a buzz and level of excitement across our team as we prepare to not only meet our client’s project team for the first time but also dive deeper into what they’re looking for and how we can make their vision to come life.
We get to hear about their goals, what they’re working towards, their plans for the future, and their ambitions that can only be met if they have a new or updated website in hand.
It’s one of the most empowering moments we get to experience during a project, and we’ve been so fortunate to be able to experience it numerous times since we opened our doors in 2016.
But along with understanding what our clients want and need, we also take a moment to explain and walk them through our unique project process model:
But what makes this so different from how projects are typically done? What benefits does it provide? And does it really make the process smoother?
What are “Sprints?”
There are a number of ways to go about a project, and it all depends on who your team is, how they like to work, the project goals, and more. There are five different approaches that agencies like to use, and that’s not including the numerous different combinations and overlaps project managers might have:
Our team is much smaller than other agencies and there’s a lot of overlap between the design, development, and strategy teams.
For us to work efficiently and on multiple projects, we needed to rely on a system that focused a lot on “concentrated effort.” And that’s not only because of our unique team makeup but also because of how each member of our team is hardwired, as we tend to operate better in “short, focused bursts.”
That’s where “sprints” come in, and they are a combination of the waterfall and scrum project management methods.
At the start of every project, we break down what the key components of any website would be (home page and sub-pages), as well as the unique functionality pieces that may be requested by our clients.
Once we’ve gotten that breakdown, we then dedicate “sprints” for each of these components and pieces. What this means is that during a project, our entire team will dedicate their time and energy to working on that component…and only that component.
What this does is allow us to implement, update, and finesse that particular component of the website and make sure it’s “good to go,” rather than going back to it at a later time. As a result, future “sprints” are better able to tie together as we have a better understanding of a completed component rather than something that is still in progress or not finished at all.
This could result in a number of “sprints,” and we’ve had as many as six for certain projects!
But regardless of how many sprints we take on, the focus and dedication to that particular “sprint” remain the same.
As a small team, one of the most common questions we get from prospective clients is how we manage our projects and how we do so with numerous clients.
Frankly, we’d be surprised if someone didn’t ask us this question, because it is a valid concern that any person looking for web development or design work should ask.
Now “sprints” have always been a part of the Unity DNA, dating back to 2016 when we first opened our doors. But as the years went by and we’ve had more clients come to and through our doors, we’ve been able to refine our process better to meet the needs and expectations of today's clients.
Although it’s what has always made sense for us, it’s also the best way our team operates. A typical website development process looks like this:
- Website planning and information architecture
- Content creation
- Quality assurance
Up until step three, our process follows a similar path:
We work with you to establish your goals and help to plan the website structure.
But from step three and onward, we take on a different approach.
Unlike what’s typically done, we actually start content creation after working on website planning and information architecture, as we believe that the content (while not the driving force for it) helps guide some of the decisions we make within the design.
Only after that is when we start design, and we follow a relatively traditional process:
- Create a rough draft of design concepts or the homepage
- Establish the wireframes and the general flow of the website.
- Present both assets and gather feedback
- Make the following changes and revisions per the feedback.
- Submit for approval!
If the design is approved, then we move on to development and fully dive into our “sprint” approach.
From here, we are dedicating our time, energy, and focus to getting that particular part of the website ready to go. From submitting drafts to requesting final approval, we go through our entire development process to ensure that specific “sprint” is completed before we move on to the next one.
And once we finish that “sprint?”
We rinse and repeat the other “sprints” until we are finished with the project.
Oh, and unlike other project plan approaches like the waterfall method, our “sprints” are incredibly flexible and can be adjusted to meet the unique needs of our client based on scope, timing, preferences, and more.
Like the way we go about our projects?
Interested in learning more about how our process can help you?
Reach out to our team and schedule a 30-minute consultation!
During that time, you’ll chat with our team about your goals, how we can help, and how our project process can not only help meet your goals but also work within your current schedule.
Whether you like to be hands-on or prefer to let us take the reigns, we can adjust our process to fit your ever-changing needs!