Web Project Initiation

From managing stakeholders to creating a collaborative environment and everything in between.

25 Feb 2016
Jump to article

This blog post is to support a webinar Cameron Spilman and I are running on our thoughts on Web Project Initiation.  A few of the slides talk about documents and tools we use here at Quba. There’s a lot of detail in the webinar session, so we’ve pulled together a list below - I hope it’s helpful.

First up is a list of some tools that you might find useful.


  • Board.  This is where you can store a raft of information for a particular project (i.e. ABC Ltd: Website Project)
  • List. This is where you can create specific stages for tasks (i.e. Backlog, Blocked, In Progress etc)
  • Card. This is where you can create individual tasks (i.e. Front-end mark-up, Create Visual Concepts etc) You can see on the screenshot below that on my ‘New Website Project’ board I’ve created four lists and added numerous cards.


A few of Trello’s nice features, include:

  • It’s free
  • Easy to use and understand with a great user interface (UI)
  • Share boards with clients
  • Assign cards to team members (internal or client)
  • Assign due dates for cards, which show in red when overdue
  • Assign cards with coloured labels (my example shows Yellow=Design, Red=Client, Green=PM, Purple=Dev)
  • Add comments, checklists (which show a nice % complete bar) and easy-to-add attachments
  • Great free app
  • Great community support, plug-ins and extensions

Google Docs

Google Docs allows you to ‘Write, edit, and collaborate wherever you are. For free.’.  Really brilliant and game changing when you’re pulling together content collaboratively say for a blog post or webinar.

Some of Google Docs features, include:

  • It’s free
  • Create Documents (think of Word), Sheets (think of Excel), Slides (think of PowerPoint) and Forms
  • Auto saving and solid revision history
  • In-line editing - see who’s viewing and editing a document
  • Works great on any device

Post-it Plus App

Post-it® Plus App.  A lovely app to have on your phone or tablet.  Take a picture of the dozens of coloured bits of paper and you’ll be able to share or export them (saves writing them up). It’ll also align them if you’re into that.


Some of Post-it Plus App features, include:


  • It’s free
  • Capture multiple notes and combine other notes
  • Create digital notes
  • Share and export to other tools
  • Works great on any device
  • And...it saves so much time


InVision claims to be ‘The world's leading prototyping, collaboration & workflow platform’.  Who are we to argue.

It’s a brilliant way to share work, get feedback, show revisions without needing to send multiple files or links.

The screenshot below shows a design we’re currently working on.  You can see the areas with comments on the right along with actual comments on the left.


Some of InVision’s features, include:


  • There’s a free version for one project
  • Works great on any device
  • Threaded and contextual feedback
  • Free user testing app with video and audio
  • Slick version control
  • Great community support, plug-ins and extensions

Here are some of the documents that we use at Quba. It’s not exhaustive but it should give a flavour of what we use.

Proposal.  Should cover what work you’re proposing to do, what it might look like, how long it might take and costs.

Specification. Can get pretty in-depth, but we describe all the requirements that are in scope for a project and, probably more importantly, what’s not in scope.  We use visuals where possible; sketches, photos of diagrams etc and, where possible, annotate in plain english so that anyone picking it up can understand the functional and technical details of what we’re detailing.

Test Plans. Describe what you are testing, on what browsers or devices - and again more importantly what browsers or devices aren’t in scope - and how the tests will be completed.  Manually on devices or using a emulator, or using an automated test framework.

Timeplan or Project plan. A visual representation of what’s meant to be happening, when and who’s doing it.  Can be used to give a client a nudge when they they need to do stuff.  We use a Google Spreadsheet or Excel; it works for us.

Highlight Report. Ideally a weekly one pager giving regular updates to busy clients. Status on timescales and budget, what you’ve done and planning to do, highlight issues so they’re in the open.  Send through regularly and it shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes to create.

Post Project Review. Towards the end of a project, but don’t forget and do it for every project.  Should capture at least, what’s gone well on a project, what’s not gone great and what lessons are being learnt.  End clients should be invited to the session, if not, then this should be sent to the client.

If you’d like any other information, feel free to get in touch:


Jon Rhodes is a Senior Project Manager at Quba, working on a variety of projects, most recently the redesign and rebuild of London Luton Airport’s website.