When building a complex website, should I hire a project manager?
I am looking to build an online marketplace and have been talking to a few developers who can help build the website. I have met with a few people that are not developers, but project managers with expertise in product development. Do you recommend that I hire someone like this to build our initial prototype? I am wondering if the benefits are worth the added costs?
When building a complex website, I can recommend you to use a professionally designed theme provided by http://www.templatemonster.com . In such a way, you can save a lot of cash on hiring web designers.
I prefer managing all the processes on my own. I use the help of some management software for it along with some monitor apps from https://www.refog.com/personal-monitor/ It allows me to be sure that everything is going great with my project. Maybe you guys will find it useful
Experience is a enormous thing. You can not have until you perform something. So manager have experience so could worth it. It make huge difference that who can make it and how can you make it?
You should build your initial MVP with our "Startup Incubator Lab" for startups who are at ideation or growth stage.
For more information : http://innomindtech.com/startup-incubator-lab/
Wish you the best,
I think hiring a project manager at this stage can only be an added cost. Having a small and good development team for start-up is okay as long as they can deliver what you expect for a product. Starting from scratch need no prototype. Just build it simply and level up the site as what is needed. That is why we have newer versions or updates of the products.
We should start from your background. Is this your first project in this field? Are you a project manager yourself or can handle this role?
If the project is first for you and you don't want to be a PM all the time, you should get one. Not necessary to have one for the full time at first. Better to try him during the prototype stage since later on working on a complex marketplace you would better work with someone you already know.
If you hire not developer, but development team or group, they should also have a PM, but this manager will work with them internally. Having a PM even part time on your side is a good benefit for a large project. In this case he will be more like a product owner, since internal PM of the team will handle all the task management activities.
A few more things to think of before making decision
- Do you know how to write a spec or make wireframes for the project?
Developers work better if you have defined scope and wireframed project. PM usually do that (no matter on your side or on their side).
- How often do you want to communicate with the developers?
At first it's time consuming but necessary to keep regular communications with developers, especially when you start.
In case you can dedicate yourself fully to this project and you did this in the past, you can manage project on your own.
Wish you successful project release!
Having a developer at this stage is understandable but a Project Manager is not because you as an entrepreneur initially have to work as a project manager and then when the project goes into commercial phase your work turns into general management of routine operations.
The more you are involved at this project stage the better you will be able to serve your customers and develop business.
This is true with all start ups and entrepreneurs. Every commercial initiative is a project initially for the risk and reward bearer/s till it takes off independently and starts generating returns.
Hope this answers your question.
Best of luck.
My answer as a former research engineer is to spend your money on someone who understands that a website is actually a UI to an information system, and not simply a portal.
Most people hire designers who know how to make a website's appealing in terms of the way it looks, and sometimes through guess work functionality, but the underlying accessibility to the function of you system is what will make people come back and use it.
Getting that element right the first time round should be you major priority, and to do that you should be using an iterative prototyping development model. Being able to see what your idea can achieve will get you a lot more money than something that looks good, but doesn't really deliver.
You can make it beautiful after the fact, but the underlying architecture is a totally different ball game, and once it's in place is a lot harder to change. You don't need a project manager for that, but you do need good engineers who understand structured object oriented design methodologies, and can build things in there sleep...
For prototyping you don’t need a project manager unless you are certain to move on with full scale project.
For Full scale project; Project manager is highly recommended. As its worth the cost. We develop large eCommerce website and dealing with non technical project owner is sometimes painful. Project manager becomes your adviser and a conduit between you and your developer.
Having said that selecting a PM is complex task. You need to hire the PM with right expertise.(off late many call them Project managers including retired coders , senior testers , guys looking to switch job profiles)
Project manger should have
1) Good understand on technology
2) Expertise in handling a team with tools like task management software , Gantt Charts CPM charts for critical path , Testing processes , code auditing , documentation , worst case scenario management ( eg.if you get into dispute with developers) and so on
So getting Project manager is good but picking up the right project manager is super important
First there are several types of project managers. Some track a project like a bookkeeper, however a good one can optimize for the things that are important to you. These may be: cash flow,total cost, delivery time, front end design, evolutionary design. You may call them top down or bottom up design. Many project managers, and designers have blind allegiance to a methodology, be careful here. Don't forget that you can probably buy what you need off the shelf. Lastly you cannot build a product without knowing what your completion is. You must evaluate each and every competitive product and see what you like. Structure your observations into an outline. Deliver your outline to a trusted associate as a speech, and if it is balanced, fair, comprehensive, discriminating, and feasible put it in writing. Next review it and identify all the requirements to implement it.
The Web designer would at this point create the architecture for your site.
Remember that every change after this point cost both money and product life. To quote from the Mythical Man Month the more you tamper with any operating system the sooner it fails.