It is now almost 1 year since I began my occupation in project management and I've noticed a pattern of useful steps which I feel are worth sharing.
Introducing clients to the process
"We are almost done, but the client is mocking up ideas for the navigation."
Clients should be fully aware of the whole process and each cycle in it. From the very beginning when the development team collects necessary insights about the requirements, through the initial design proposals, ending with a final product demo where clients usually confirm the project's conclusion.
This practice increaces your team's chances to avoid crucial changes of the product, in its final stages of development. Except of course when changing the course is indeed the right thing to do.
Remove layers of abstraction
To avoid confusions such as "Why is the navigation on the left side of the page and not on the right?", you should aim to clearly visualise your ideas and proposals to the client.
There is a nice paragraph in Jason Fried's book "Rework", where he makes a comment, fitting perfectly:
“If you need to explain something, try getting real with it. Instead of describing what something looks like, draw it. Instead of explaining what something sounds like, hum it. Do everything you can to remove layers of abstraction.”
Good releases on time
Our foremost goal is to deliver good products and to do it on time.
In cases when a team in an already development phase is asked to deliver new features which surpass the initial estimation, we outweight the variable options and include all features for which we guarantee to be deployed and fully functional within the scheduled release date.
The past several months were bumpy and made me think about these practices and how I could improve the process. There is always room for improvement, so don't be afraid to analyse your efforts.
Now let's go and create something awesome!