Running a web design project often involves an in-house team, all working within the same time zone. In recent years, however, there has been an ever-growing increase in remote, freelance, and international developers. This means that there is a reduction to teams who work within the same time zones, which can result in hindered communication and the issue of jeopardising immediate feedback.
There are many solutions to working around these potential drawbacks. Creative Brand Design, an experienced web design agency in London, details all of the tips necessary to run a successful website design project across different time zones.
Implement Collaboration Tools
Without team communication and collaboration, a project may not get complete or may conclude with poor results. Therefore, it is essential to have collaboration tools whereby the team can collaborate as if they were working together in person.
Speaking of files, digital file tools are also another useful collaboration tool. Cloud-based digital documents make it easy for teams to work together on the same project, see notes, make changes, and edit in their own time. The free Google suites of collaboration tools include docs, drive, sheets, meetings, and more, which are all great tools to implement if you want to manage projects despite the different time zones.
For example, a web design project may require Google documents to create and share text. Using docs, the team can view, edit, and share the work so that everyone can monitor and manage it in their own time. They won’t need to work on the document at the same time to edit or complete their task. Instead, the team can access and manage the file no matter where they are and what time of day it is.
Another useful collaboration tool from Google is the Google Calendar. There, team members can view the schedule, plan meetings, and send invites to others in any time zone.
No matter if the team is working on creating a mobile-compatible web project or one to enhance the speed of a website, it will always help to utilise collaboration tools so that everyone can share and manage the project around the world.
Along with collaborating through the same tools, it is essential to keep up communication. Although you might be able to see what your team members on the web design project are doing, you might need to ask questions or provide a solution for an issue they are having.
Frequent communication can be done through virtual meetings on Zoom or through messaging apps, such as Slack.
It isn’t as easy as working in an office together where you can quickly grab your teammate for an impromptu meeting. However, digital communication channels can ensure that the team can keep up consistent and regular communication.
Create A Clear Plan
A clear plan of action for a web design project is crucial. This will ensure that every team member in different time zones will know what the short and long-term goals are.
Speaking of goals, it is also useful to set goals within the plan. Short-term goals will encourage the team to stay focused. After completing each one, they can feel accomplished. These small goals are the pathway to success and reaching the final long-term goal.
Digital meetings, regular messages, and collaboration tools can ensure that everyone is reminded of these goals, new tasks, and the overall plan.
To create a clear plan, you will need to have a final goal. This goal should be clear and concise. Having several loose goals will make things confusing and also hinder the focus of team members. For instance, if the web design project is to create a mobile app to coincide with an existing business website, then the completion is the final goal. You should avoid making more than one goal as each project should be focused on individually for the best results.
Once a clear plan is in motion, then this should be shared with the team. This can be done through a virtual meeting or through a shared Google doc. Either way, making sure that everyone sees and understands the plan of action will make sure that everyone works towards the same outcome.
Each week, the team should come together to discuss where they are at and also be reminded of the plan. Again, this will help everyone focus and understand what the final expectations are. As you will need to communicate in different time zones, this might be more easily achieved through sharing documents. Or, having smaller digital meetings with team members that are of a similar time zone.
Just like you would in an office environment, it is essential to celebrate results when you work digitally. Even if your teammates are in different time zones, making sure that you celebrate goals together as much as possible will keep you focused and on top of your work.
It is much easier to forget goals and achieve new things when you are not working with a physical colleague. However, the reality is that you are still working with a colleague and therefore, you should celebrate achievements.
When a project is complete, or when a goal is hit, every team member should make sure to remind the others of this success. This will ensure that nobody dismisses the hard work that you have put in. Making sure that everyone tries to send a reminder to celebrate will ensure that everyone is accountable. Having accountability will make sure that you celebrate just as you would when working in a physical team.
Overall, it is important to know that it is more than possible to run a successful web design project on a time difference. Simply utilising digital collaboration and communication tools can make the project run just as smoothly as a physical team project in an office.