I’ve been a Web Developer for over 10 years, working on multiple projects with multiple developers.
So what have I learned? Process is everything.
Now I’m not some sort of strict-must-follow-the-rules-type, I’m fairly laid back and would rather people bent the rules if it could lead to a better outcome.
However, when it comes to building web applications (and this probably extends to any kind of job), not having a process in place can cause the littlest of ripples to become waves later down the line that drown everyone who is involved.
Work can be stressful, and building websites is particularly stressful as there are so many intricate factors that make up a website as well as the important task of meeting our clients expectations.
A good service-based worker is conscious of what they do and how it impacts the customers they serve, a website can be a company’s lifeline, it can be the window to which their customers look through to engage with them. It has to work, look good and most importantly do its job whatever that may be. Having a decent process is the key to getting all this right.
Process, to me, is the means of doing something that is documented and can be easily followed by someone else. Even if you work alone, document your process. Writing it down and seeing it with the naked eye might make you think about it in a different way.
I personally believe projects should be enjoyable, and having a good process in place allows you to be more productive. You focus on being creative, alleviating as much of the stress as possible as it stops you and your team ‘making the same mistake you’ve made a thousand times’.
At Fluid, our Digital Team has a great process (I should think that, I helped shape it!), it’s well documented and has been communicated with the whole team. All team members have input and are listened to, and so the process is constantly evolving as the team and technology evolve.
It means our websites are more robust, we are more agile to deal with issues that may arise, and more importantly the team is happier. We can express ourselves in our work instead of being stressed out.
But remember, don’t rest on your laurels.
Review the process all the time if it isn’t working, or can be improved.
Simply implement it, follow it, grow from it, review it, change it, implement it, follow it, grow from it, change it...you get the picture!