How to (not) handle internal projects

April 15, 2020

Internal projects are not handled as client projects. In order to succeed you have to turn an internal project into a client project. Here are three suggestions to be successful.

We finally made it! We relaunched I will not let you know when we started talking about the new website. It’s just too long ago that we realized that we need something new. The content of the old website was still ok, but it was not „state of the art“. As a digital agency, we need a website that is state of the art, of course. Though we are not able to use our website to process business transactions – like many of our clients do – it is our poster child. It will let you know what to expect from us – a well thought-thru usability, a professional design, and a smooth browsing experience.

As for every other project we reflect on what we can improve after we have finished it. Guess – we had more learnings than usual. Here they are.

Quality vs. deadline

We did not want to have a website that looks too similar to any of those templates widely used. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for anyone else, those templates usually are very well done. So, we had to create something different that was not different for the sake of being different. It took some time to develop an individual UI by iterating again and again. We did not stop iterating when our coming soon page went online, though the pressure to relaunch grew after we „lost“ our actual website and replaced it with an interim page. But it helped speed up. Of course, you can also set a specific date, an internal or external event when the page has to be ready. Without anything pushing us, we would probably still be iterating. Learning no. 1 – a project is a project, i.e., it has a start date and an end date (of course, we knew this before).

On and off

We had many interruptions during our website project. Clients‘ projects needed all available resources, so we paused our own project altogether. It’s always hard to restart something which had been put aside. You feel like you are wasting time to get into it again. You forget things and find them out again when trying out something. And then you remember … sounds familiar? There is no difference between internal projects and external projects in this respect. Starting again usually is no fun. So, when we felt like it is REALLY time to relaunch, we did not pause anymore. We did not allow other projects to eat up all resources. And of course, it helped get things done. Learning no. 2 – don’t press pause before MVP1 is out of the door (of course, we recommend this to our clients all the time).

Eat your own dog food

We are always happy to hear from our clients when they are happy with us. We react quickly, do changes, deliver estimations, create rough concepts they can present to their clients, and develop products … We focus on our clients‘ needs, and listen to them. We treat their projects way better than we treat our own projects. When somebody tells us that he wants his product to be taken as seriously as our own product, we keep silent. Nobody wants us to do that. It’s the other way around. If we followed the recommendations, we have for our clients it would have worked way better. We would have started with a timing, and a roadmap and would have discussed with the client if there were any sufficient reasons for a delay. We would not have pressed the pause button. Learning no. 3 – use your project management skills in your own projects, not just your UI/UX and development skills.

We already have plans for another website. We will let you know what our learnings were again. Until then – have fun exploring our page and feedback is always welcome.

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