Why a single point of contact is so important.
On of the key structural elements of the Agile project management methodology Scrum is that there is only one point of contact on the client's side, usually called the Product Owner. The reason for this is simple; the people who developed Scrum have learned, over the course of many many projects, that trying to run a project where the vendor has to appease several key stakeholders is deeply inefficient - at best.
As web developers, we aren't there to resolve your internal disputes, or balance your competing priorities, or negotiate your internal politics. What we're here to do is build you a website. And if we need to check in with six different people every time we need a question answered, then the project is guaranteed to go over budget before it's even started.
This is why it's so important for us to have a single point of contact. We fully acknowledge that you may well have competing priorities and internal disputes, but we need you to resolve them yourself, and present us with a unified face.
More often than not, if you present a question to a committee, you'll get as many answers as there are members. But if you present it to a single point of contact, they can often just answer it right there on the spot. One question, one answer, and on we get with the job.
Furthermore, a single point of contact has a much clearer understanding of the full scope of the project. They've been involved in it from day one, they understand everything that's happened to get us to where we are right now. The same almost never applies to a committee. This is incredibly important, as decisions made in isolation are rarely good ones, and it's impractical to keep six people equally informed.
Ultimately, you can get any project across the line if you throw enough money at it, but by far the most efficient way of managing the vendor-client relationship is to have a single point of contact. It allows us to work much faster and more responsively, and it prevents you from offloading your internal decision-making process onto someone else. And best of all, this concept scales up remarkably well, especially in areas like web development. So before your next project starts, make sure you work out who's going to take on the role of the single point of contact, and make sure you do your best to support them as they work with your vendor to deliver your new project!
Assembler is a web design agency based in Perth, Western Australia. This blog is intended to be an informal, behind the scenes look into the web design and development industry. If you like our content, please follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook!