Digital Strategy

12 tips for getting project foundations right

Graeme Ashworth

The most successful projects have a number of key ingredients in place, and whilst this stuff is obvious, it’s all too easy to overlook.

Wireframes for website with a mobile and ipad

Here are our top tips for delivering a great digital project:

1. Give yourself time and space

Trying to run a web project at the same time as all your other day to day activities is a recipe for disaster. Speak with your management and set expectations that this project will require a lot of focus - offload other responsibilities where possible!

2. Balancing stakeholder needs

Taking in the needs of your business, your customers, and any technical constraints will enable you to hit the sweet spot in the middle of the three pulls. It’s a balancing act, but the most successful projects don’t favour any group too heavily.


A quick tool that you can share and agree with internal stakeholders, this gives you clear pushback when Fred in accounts payable doesn’t like the colour blue that the rest of the business has opted for. 

4. Selecting the right agency

We know Ridgeway isn’t the right agency for everyone - these projects don’t happen overnight, and for these projects to be successful you need confidence that both parties can work in partnership.

5. PQQ-RFP-Pitch

Do you need to follow this process? Get to know your agencies - initial chemistry meetings will save you a lot of time and heartache. After all, people work with people and you need to be confident this team can deliver for you.

6. Define project success

Outline the business challenges and how the project's success will be measured, as this ensures all parties are bought into what you need to do.

7. Setting the context

Tell your agencies about you, what you do, why you do it, who your competitors are, etc. A list of functional requirements upfront rarely gets the best outcomes for a project - this detail comes later! 

8. Define your 'why'

Set the reasons as to why you are looking to do what you are. This detail will ensure you stay true to the project's core purpose and don’t end up distracted by the latest must-have.‚Äč

9. Realistic timescales

Sounds obvious, but being realistic about how long a project will take to deliver is a must. Right from the point of agency selection through to go-live, adding additional pressure on yourself and your agency rarely yields the best results.

10. Realistic budgets

Be upfront with your agency on what capital you have to invest. Good agencies can cut cloth accordingly but can’t deliver a Rolls Royce for the price of a Dacia.

11. Manage stakeholders

Work with your stakeholders and ensure they have visibility of the project. Building a project roadmap is a quick way to keep pressure off you and ensures stakeholders know what to expect and when.

12. Build in contingency

For both time and budget (15% is advisable), make sure you have this in your back pocket. Projects can often grow in time and scope once the full scope is visible. Predicting this upfront will help to ensure you don’t need to go cap in hand to stakeholders.

We know a lot of these tips are obvious, but we are humans after all and humans make mistakes - use them to make sure you don’t fall foul on your next digital project!

For help and advice on your digital project, why not explore our portfolio of work or get in touch to discuss how we can help.