Tag Archives: successful project management

Eleventh Hour Checklist to help a PM before launching a new website

It’s a stressful time for PM’s on the eve of launch. Accordingly, Alisdair Blackman has devised a simple list or ‘checklist’ to help all PM’s check over the project prior to release/launch/go-live.

Project Checklist Prior to Website Launch

Standards and Validation

  • Accessibility
  • HTML validation
  • JavaScript validation
  • CSS validation

Search Engine Visibility, SEO and Metrics

  • Page Titles are important; ensure they make sense and have relevant keywords in them.
  • Create metadata descriptions for important pages.
  • Check for canonical domain issues (e.g. variations in links to http://site.com.au http://www.site.com.au http://www.site.com.au/index.html should be reduced to a single consistent style)
  • Ensure content is marked-up semantically/correctly.
  • Check for target keyword usage in general content
  • Check format (user/search engine friendliness) of URLs
  • Set up Analytics, FeedBurner, and any other packages for measuring ongoing success
  • Create an XML Sitemap
  • Configure Google Webmaster Console and Yahoo! Site Explorer

Functional Testing

  • Check all bespoke/complex functionality
  • Check search functionality (including relevance of results)
  • Check on common variations of browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome etc.), version (6, 7, 2.2, 3.1 etc.) and platform (Windows, OSX, Linux)
  • Check on common variations of Screen Resolution
  • Test all forms (e.g. contact us, blog comments), including anti-spam features, response emails/text, etc.
  • Test without JavaScript, Flash, and other plug-ins
  • Check all external links are valid


  • Configure backup schedule, and test recovery from backup.
  • Protect any sensitive pages (e.g. administration area)
  • Use robots.txt where necessary
  • Security/Penetration test
  • Turn-off verbose error reporting
  • Check disk space/capacity
  • Set-up email/SMS monitoring/alerts (e.g. for errors, server warnings); consider internal and external monitoring services


  • Load test Check image optimisation
  • Check and implement caching where necessary
  • Check total page size/download time Minify/compress static (JavaScript/HTML/CSS) files
  • Optimise your CSS: use short image paths; make full-use ‘cascading’ nature of CSS, etc.
  • Check correct database indexing
  • Check configuration at every level (Web server, Database, any other software e.g. Content Management System)
  • Configure server-based logging/measurement tools (e.g. database/web server logging)

Finishing Touches

  • Create custom 404/error pages
  • Create a favicon
Continuous Improvement Project Cycle Digital Rehab

Tips on a Successful Project Delivery

Projects are becoming increasingly complex – be it driven from technical requirements or expectations.

Scope of projects can often be mis-interpreted, misunderstood or not altogether well defined. Given the demands on-time and on-budget project delivery, it has now become more important than ever to manage scope and scope changes to ensure successful project delivery.

For smooth and successful project scope delivery, I believe there are three core ingredients:

  1. Documentation
  2. Process
  3. People

Let me explain…


This covers all documents produced using the Initiation or definition and specification phase of project, including documents such as: business case & requirements, timeframes, budgets, solution design, wireframes, user scenarios/stories etc.  See recent article titled ‘Technical & Business Project Management Methods’ for a comprehensive listing.


It is important to put structure around the project documentation to help guide how all project participants are to work together. Whether a classic, agile or hybrid project approach be adopted, it is important that your project processes be in tune with the project approach taken.


Documentation and Process will provide the foundations for a good project delivery however, without People, projects don’t get delivered.  The key to project delivery is to ensure all stakeholders and PEOPLE are properly engaged, consulted and invited to provide feedback is needed or decisions are required to be made. This will serve to ensure buy-in and commitment is maintained from start to finish of the project.