Website Progress Updates

Communicating to stakeholders doesn’t need to be boring or complicated.

Project path for IL Drupal Template


Since this web template project was going to span well over a year, I wanted to use a visual that stakeholders could use to see some progress, especially when there wouldn’t be much to show in the first few months.

The project kick-off meeting included a full explanation of the stages and how some items will go back and forth between steps before they are released. We referred to the middle section as the rinse-and-repeat cycle since some items when through a few times.

I created this graphic in Adobe Illustrator and shared it as a PDF for the monthly update. Management enjoyed seeing the progress for each stage since they could track the components and deliverables as they moved through the project.

Lessons Learned

Since the project had a deadline to launch in August before students started classes, we had to work with the stakeholders and decide which items we could move to version 2. These items would get added in after we released the site.

  • The first site didn’t use the news feature, so that was an easy agreement.
  • The directory feature upgrades were a bit more controversial, but the deciding factor came down to the lack of department resources to implement.
  • The giving enhancements weren’t considered critical content, just a nice to have and we agreed to move them to version 2 as well.

Next time, I won’t accidentally show any “enhancements” we were tossing around. The excitement in one update meeting led me to show a file with a few ideas we were working on. The stakeholders thought they were going to get those until we had to move some items to version 2.