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Chapter 1. Planning a Web Project > Looking at budget and timelines

Looking at budget and timelines

Even an inhouse project has a budget and a timeline. These things can change during the course of a project: Sometimes, deadlines cannot be met or need to be pushed forward. But remember that time and money, as in any project, are tied together.

As you work on your first Web projects, you'll probably find that budgeting time and money is difficult. Projects usually are more complicated than they seem; even small projects need input from multiple individuals, and those individuals will need to agree and collaborate. While we can't give you a magic formula for calculating how these changes and collaborations will impact your project, keep in mind the following guidelines when you're planning the budget and deadlines:

  • Clearly establish deadlines up front, specifying what elements team members will deliver on those deadlines and what resources team members will need from stakeholders for the project to continue on track. Include information about what will happen if stakeholders or clients delay the project. When a client is responsible for delivering materials, such as photos or text, and he doesn't get it to you on time, you cannot proceed. It's standard practice to add the number of days the materials were late to the timeline. If clients are two days late with text, the deadline pushes out two days.

  • Whether you are working as a freelance Web designer or as part of an internal team, put everything in writing. This way, you avoid the he said/she said scenario that only causes frustration and is counterproductive.

  • Use a rush fee. This is extra money that you charge if the client wants you to deliver the project faster than originally agreed. You can also use a rush fee when a client asks for a project on extremely short notice — for example, a client calls and asks you to create a minisite in only two days.


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