Realistic deadlines

Hey guys! Sorry for being a little late - was so busy with my projects! ))

Anyway, today we'll discuss a very important subject: deadlines and more importantly realistic and unrealistic ones.

When creating a time schedule (to use in the project or calculate the costs for the client or both) you frequently face the problem of realistic timing. Many people in the industry like to give their bosses "unreal" time costs just to look better, which in fact often jeopardizes the project as the whole timesheet starts to "float" towards complete cancellation. It is our job to minimize that risk at all (no, I didn't mean selling your children here) costs!

Here's a quick rule of thumb to keep it fast:

Whatever timing your production team members give you, multiply it at least x1,5 in your calculations depending on task type (1,5 for design & XTHML coding, 2 for content copywriting, 2-4 for programming, 2-5 for flash implementation depending on who you work with)

In my experience flashers are by far worst in terms of delivering their work on time. These are highly creative and thus not very punctional persons, who may be really cool guys in real life (they often are). Thus these folks have to be massively controlled and given additional chek-points and milestones for you to understands where it can go wrong.

Flash itself is a cool but rather... quirky tech, so they can come to a standstill untill they figure how to overcome another of its bugs. Yeah, there are bugs in flash, too!

Programmers are second evil because they oftentimes cannot estimate how long will it take to perform a task until they really dive in it. It can be a long long time in hell for you if you miss this.
Hack: Try to give them as much incitial information as possible, especially regarding any interaction with other data sources such as databases, on-line services etc.

Copywriters' and designers' work is typically much shorter (unless you are working on a MMORPG or some other portal with lots of neat graphics to work on) that they are the most used to streamline production. That's why they are often better with keeping deadlines though you still cannot totally leave control.

In any case
, you have to look closely into all steps of the development process to really keep in touch and understand how timing is formed there. It takes some time to understand all the little details of the whole but once you're there you become a much better website development manager.

Why should you be interested in how it all works
instead of just asking the professionals for their timing? Because they often cannot estimate it right. So you have to always evaluate it yourself. If you are ahead of timing, have a break, test the site for more bugs, tell about it to your customer in a happy voice or ask him for additional sum for that. It's up to you guys!

Check out the full contents of the future book for more info! Have fun during the week-end!

I'd like to know how helpful this advice was, add your comments here please! And as always - I will be more than pleased to answer any questions you might have so feel free to ask them ))