Search engine ascent more often than not stems from sound web development fundamentals. As an experienced SEO professional, I consult on many and diverse search marketing projects. There isn’t one, PPC included, where I haven’t adopted a formative role in the direction & shape by which web content is structured. This is not without its challenges! Vested interests collide, not least client directive, but also design opinion, development language & platform functionality. A search expert is an expert in diplomacy indeed!
The 3 C’s of HR management are crucial; Communication, Coordination, Collaboration. 90% preparation: 10% perspiration. Fail to prepare, prepare to Fail…I could go on! That’s where a tight, considered, comprehensive brief is paramount. For example, I’ve been overseeing the redevelpment of MyGoodPoints.org over the past 6 months. A classic case of a project crying out for centralised management given development outsourcing to various pro-bono benefactors. With stakeholders spread far and wide, I set out to review the best project management solution for our needs. As a charity, Free would be good for a start!
The go-to had to be 37 Signals Basecamp product, now a household name practically for online project records. Like most good freelancers, I’ve been using basecamp for years and it’s done the job nicely. Cloud-based, universally accessible, I can set up and save client projects, assign dutys, timelines and milestones, record work-time, upload shared documents and sync conversations to email threads. Robust & reliable. I’m pedantic though. I wanted to see who else was on the scene, especially because I’m now so used to Google Docs. I expect to be able to collaborate real-time on shared items rather than the old draft/amend/send routine. It turns out that Google hasn’t yet released a turnkey project management service, albeit they have all of the fire-power ready to hook up in docs, calender, chat, gmail (i.e. Apps).
UK-based Huddle caught my eye, not least because of the funky site and complimentary app. Here I had discovered an enterprise-level solution with some technical clout, document collaboration even! I took the trial and was suitably impressed. I made enquiries then with their sales team, looked into their charity foundation rates but unfortunately there were no two ways about it, we were going to pay to use this facility, and we’re talking sterling, thousands of pounds!
Settle for Basecamp then? Almost. Ever heard of TeamLab? Go check it out, please. This is the genuine article, a complete stress-tested bit of cloud software that covers off all of my requirements, and as I said, I am pedantic! They even have a basecamp import facility, so migration is child’s play :~)
Launchpad in place, we could roll up our sleaves and start plotting out the job at hand. I’m a stickler for site blueprints. As I said, get the architecture right, and all of the pieces fall into place. The creative brief & functional spec is that master document. Quite an undertaking then? Not With the help of crowd-sourcing! Why start from scratch when your peers have shared their work with the community already? A quick trawl through the public templates of Google docs and bingo, a template for drawing up a creative brief. Combine that with some stencils from an open-source wireframe template also to be found in Google’s library and very quickly a sculpture for MyGoodPoint’s reincarnation took shape.
I’m really proud of this initiative. We’ve set our stall out in a good light, philanthropists are joining the platform all the while charities upload real projects-in-need and our product pipeline has a lot to roll-out yet! Worth trying it out for yourself by setting up a giving account today!