As a manager or owner of an online business, the outcome (success or failure) of a project sits directly on your shoulders. Coming to terms with that statement is the first step in developing what I call the "no excuses" mindset.
You want to rely on your team as much as possible, of course, but you're ultimately the one in control... Let's stop the finger pointing and excuses on the management front first, then we can move on.
There are two parts to every project. Tactical and Strategic. Your team complete's the tactical part of the project. You complete the strategic.
By "strategic" I am referring to all the groundwork that needs to get laid before a project even begins. So many managers leave their team hanging... They expect a contractor to get from point A to Z without a map. It doesn't work that way.
There are three very important strategic aspects of any project that need to be documented and agreed on before it starts.
- Definition of the Project - including in-depth documentation and an explanation of "why" the project exists - A deep understanding of the project will allow the contractor to make better decisions mid-project.
- Deadlines - you lay out an acceptable date for the project to be completed by.
- Sign-off - you are finally able to pass the responsibility to your team. They've signed off on the requirements, they understand the project, they've agreed to the completion date. The ball is now in their court.
You do have a tactical role to play as well in every project. You need to be available for support via email, phone, skype, chat, whatever communication means your team uses. Questions will arise no matter how well the project is documented.