Web Project Management and the Art of Mastering Complexity
Redesigning a single, large website entails managing a lot of moving parts. Multiply that by four, set them on not-quite-parallel timelines, and it’s akin to playing three-dimensional chess.
In a highly coordinated effort, Gard Communications worked closely with Tuality Healthcare to redesign their principal website, as well as the websites for the Tuality Foundation and the Tuality Health Alliance. (Tuality has since become OHSU Health Hillsboro Medical Center.) We also designed a new and differently-structured Spanish version of the clinical site.
Each of the four websites caters to a different audience, so that meant we researched, planned and designed for four different sets of stakeholders – in essence, four clients with their own needs, pain points, aspirations and goals. Add in senior hospital management preparing for affiliation with another institution and you have a fifth set of stakeholders.
The entire project was a success because of how closely and cooperatively the Gard and Tuality teams collaborated. Successful web project management on this scale takes superlative responsiveness on the part of all individuals, as well as realistic time planning, open communication of expectations, and a solid footing in risk assessment. A trusted project-management strategy must be in place at the start and adhered to throughout the project to enable each stage to unfold on time and on budget.
One of our key functions as a web team is to advocate for the users – in this case the patients, their families, and other audiences of Tuality’s various websites. Another responsibility is to help clients stick to the timeline, as client feedback, approvals and even deliverables are needed at multiple points along the way.
Web project management must be coordinated with a set of top priorities in mind, such as user-centricity, timeline, budget and other constraints, and our job is to monitor all progress in relation to these priorities. Requests for changes mid-cycle are also assessed against these priorities, and we strive to keep our team and the client teams grounded in the original goals, so we avoid the “can’t see the forest for the trees” situation that can affect large, complex projects during their later stages.
The practice of healthcare itself is complex. The changing landscape of healthcare is complex. Large websites are complex. Gard’s web, public relations and public affairs teams are at home in this complexity, and can successfully guide the way through these processes to help our clients grow and evolve.