How to avoid many problems in the development of a large eCommerce project on Magento 2 — the vision of a project manager

20 May 2024

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Yana Kravets

Project Manager

Yana Kravets
How to avoid many problems in the development of a large eCommerce project on Magento 2 — the vision of a project manager

About the author: Yana Kravets, Avivi project manager, who has been working in our team the longest and has seen the most. She has not only a large number of complex projects that are successful among clients, but also a whole generation of younger generations of managers trained according to our company's standards.

Where does project development begin — with you and the idea. Even before finding contractors and drawing up plans, you imagine what your website will look like, how it will look, and how visitors will shop or order services there. Already later, you are looking for an IT company that can develop a certain product for you according to a detailed description, hold meetings, receive evaluations, review presentations from applicants and make a decision on cooperation. And then communication begins between the customer's team and the development team, the success of which depends on ⅔ of the entire project. Why? Now I will tell you in detail.

It all starts with contracts

Already at the stage of idea development, you need to correctly determine the type of cooperation on the basis of which the project will develop. The main differences between contracts are the difference in fixing all the conditions and agreements between the two parties. Depending on the level of development of the technical task, you may have a completely different idea about the project and its details: what should be, how it should work, what should appear in result? The main types of contracts under which cooperation can be carried out are:

  1. Time and Material — time and money — this type of contract is suitable if you do not have a complete understanding of how the project will look at the cost, if the functional conditions can be changed during development, or if the project is unique and its accurate assessment is not possible. Under this type of contract, you pay for the actual time that the team used during a certain development period;

  2. Fixed Price is a fixed price of a certain project or its part. This type of contract is suitable for projects that are described in detail, agreements and changes in functionality are not foreseen until the project is handed over;

  3. Staff Augmentation is this type of contract where you hire company specialists for a certain period of time to work in your staff on a certain project. This type of contract is suitable if you have a part of the development company in the staff and you need to attract a few more specialists for a certain period to cover some points of development;

  4. Outstaff is a type of contract under which our specialist becomes a full-fledged member of your company's team. Such contracts involve interviewing specialists and signing tripartite agreements. These types of contracts are needed by large companies that plan to expand their teams and are in dire need of qualified personnel.

Team touch points

Let's take a detailed look at a project that can be subject to Time and Material or Fixed Price contract types and the problems that many development companies face. The main challenge understands your product, being able to interpret and convey the idea to the development team. Now I would like to touch on the topic of management during the development of any project.

Namely, the role of the project manager is not from the development side (which is always on projects), but the responsible manager on the customer's side. Quite often, such a person is the owner of the business: well, in this case something is better, because he is the ideological helmsman of the whole process. However, the author does not mean a good controller who can perform the project manager's work well. Therefore, a hired specialist who is an intermediary is often invited to this position, and then the further course of the project will depend on his qualifications and immersion in the topic.

There are some of the most pressing moments before starting work for customers who have decided to order any intelligent product, namely:

  1. I myself know what I want, I will tell everything and I will accept everything myself;

  2. I came to you, I trust you, do it right.

I bet 99% of the first type of problems may have the following misunderstandings:

  • The development team, especially at the beginning, needs a lot of time to gather all your needs and wishes regarding the project;

  • After the start of work, the team will need frequent requests, meetings, creation and approval of all user stories for the project. This will require time and your obligatory immersion in the development itself;

  • You will have frequent meetings to accept parts of the developed functionality, it can be one-week or two-week sprints, in which you must necessarily participate;

  • From the development of the whole project, you will have a lot of small questions, for example: the color or size of a certain element or its action. These stages also require considerable time.

Basically, the involvement of you as the main and only stakeholder will be great. You will participate in the entire development period and will know all the technical aspects of the product being developed.

If at the same time you run your own business, you will certainly face a lack of time to manage a development project.

Another important aspect is the timeliness of providing information. The simplest example: you need to give developers access, and you are on vacation or at a business meeting. In this case, a lot of time will simply be lost, and development will remain at the same place.

Trust must be justified

Let's now consider the second option, when you trust professionals.

In practice, Avivi quite often meets clients who do not want to get involved in the project at the beginning and at the development stage. Such a project is developed with minimal requirements, and at the sole discretion of the team.

If we are all left to fend for ourselves in such a project, the end result will always be negative. Whatever the customer says at the beginning, it is at the end that he accepts the finished product, and also in 99% of cases it does not match the expectations. In general, this is predicted, because each person has his own vision, at the finish line, no one needs it.

So where is the way out? From my own experience, I will say that the only solution should be to involve the project manager from your side. It should not be an employee who is engaged in some basic work and will combine other work on the site — I recommend that it be a person with technical experience and understanding of working with similar products.

Only the presence of such a person in the staff increases the chance that all tasks and wishes will be correctly interpreted from you to the team and vice versa. You should delegate all aspects from the idea of the project, the start of work, its management and acceptance, to a single person who can be involved in all details of the product and can quickly make decisions and be responsible for them.

Therefore, the key to success in the development of a large project, especially eCommerce, is an understanding of the idea from both sides, as well as competent delegation. If the idea is documented, the appropriate type of cooperation is chosen and all the necessary information is provided on time, such a project is simply doomed to success. We at Avivi will always help you choose the right path, because we are interested in the success of our clients.

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