quality and efficiency on SEO projects

How To Improve Quality and Efficiency on a Project

Every project, no matter how simple or complex and no matter which industry, can experience serious challenges. Projects, by their very nature involve something new – something that isn’t Business-as-Usual (BAU) – and when embarking on something new in a business there will always be risks. Risks that are worth taking, for sure, to grow the business or develop new products or services. The key is to manage those risks and deal with the challenges that arise in order to improve quality and efficiency.

One of the most common challenges during a project is to deliver high quality results that remain within the budget and are delivered on schedule. It’s not breaking news that projects go over budget and deadlines are missed but it’s always worth a reminder that careful planning can mitigate the risks of this happening.

With multiple tasks to juggle, communicating with stakeholders and keeping them satisfied with progress, all while making sure that your team is productive and motivated, it’s little wonder that projects can become stressful. So knowing how to balance all of this and ensure a high quality and efficient outcome is an essential skill. We’ve been through some of the ups and downs of project management at Ditto Digital so here are some of the tips that have helped us manage multiple, concurrent projects.

Define the scope and objectives for your project

You need a realistic and clear understanding of the requirements of the project before you can start. This helps to prioritise those activities which are most important but also helps avoid scope creep – one of the problems most likely to drive any project off-track. Both project scope and objectives should be clearly and unambiguously communicated to your team and to the stakeholders so that you can get their buy-in and feedback. Without this you cannot be sure that everyone is aligned with the same project vision.

Monitor and plan resources and time

Having defined your project scope and objectives you must plan out how to use your resources and time efficiently and effectively. You need to identify individual tasks, milestones, dependencies, deliverables; and any risk involved in the project. Once you have assigned task responsibilities you can estimate time and cost for each task in order to create a realistic budget and schedule. Monitor progress on a regular basis to track actual vs. planned cost and time; and also to prevent minor issues escalating to major problems.

Implement quality processes and standards

Quality standards should be documented at the start of the project and be in place throughout the project lifecycle. Quality processes and standards need to be appropriate to the project and may be quite straightforward on simple projects, or highly detailed on projects involving any safety element, new technology or data protection element. Whether quality standards are simple or complex, everyone involved in the project needs to know what they are and understand the importance of complying with them in order to deliver results that are fit for purpose. After all a project delivered on time and budget isn’t a success if the final deliverable doesn’t meet stakeholders requirements.

Leverage techniques and tools

There is a vast array of tools and techniques that can support quality and efficiency on a project. Far too many to name here and, in any case, you may already have tools in place or have personal favourites. What’s important is not the particular tools you use but that you make good use of those tools and techniques to help monitor project progress and quality.

Motivate and empower your team

As one of your most valuable resources it is important to motivate and empower your team to help them perform their best. Give them clear goals, roles and expectations and the authority to make decisions and help solve problems, whilst also providing them with the most appropriate support, tools and training. Remember to recognise and reward their achievements and contributions. A collaborative and positive team culture is essential for a project to be a genuine success.

Learn and improve

One of the best tools we all have at our disposal for improving quality and efficiency is to learn from past experiences and use those lessons to help improve processes and skills for the next project. Regular reviews will help identify weaknesses and strengths, and feedback from team members also plays a valuable role in helping assess projects. That doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes make the same mistakes again (unfortunately we’re not perfect!), but we are constantly adapting and continuously improving our processes. What about you?