Assuming I’m working on your project, here’s the tried and tested strict process that I have in place to ensure both of us have the best possible experience:

Stage 1: Roles and time zones

  1. Identify and assign a single point of contact with you / your organization.
  2. Create a Trello project and add the relevant people from your organization, and make sure all of us know when to reach each other, and make a note of the difference in times. For example, I work from 9 AM – 5 PM ADST (+9:30 GMT) and yours might differ.
  3. Exchange Skype details.
  4. We establish whether you would just like the completed files, or if you’d like us to set the site up for you upon completion.
  5. We sign our contracts.

Stage 2: Milestones, resources and the development link

  1. Depending on the scope of the project, we create milestones on Trello along with the designer window (more about this in Stage 4). Any advance payments are cleared at this point.
  2. I receive all relevant files, fonts and other resources from you on Trello, Dropbox or any other service. We agree that the designs we receive at this point are final, and any other changes to the files or functionality will either not be accepted, charged additionally or result in the stopping of any further work on the project depending on my commitment to other clients.
  3. I create a “development link” on my development server, which is constantly updated, and share that with you so you can keep a track of the progress of the project in real time.
  4. We establish when we have Skype meetings to discuss the progress of the project, and any other concerns.

Stage 3: Development

  1. Development begins and you are constantly updated with what’s going on. Your involvement and quick feedback is essential at this point. We keep our time differences in mind, and work around any feedback that I might need from you.
  2. Your approval might be required at certain points during the development before proceeding to the next phase.
  3. All goes well, and I finish your project within our development deadline.

Stage 4: Designer window

  1. What I like to call the “designer window” is a predetermined time-frame where a designer reviews the project for its entirety, integrity and functionality. The designer then prepares one consolidated list of changes / updates (if any) to be made to the project for it to be considered “complete”.
  2. Any changes or updates requested after the designer window, or any change / update requests which are not within the scope of the project will either not be accepted or charged additionally depending on my commitment to other clients.

Stage 5: Sign-off

  1. The project is signed-off by you and the final invoice is raised.
  2. The final invoice is cleared, and all files are either transferred to you, or I set the site up on the new server, depending on our agreement.
  3. We archive the Trello project.