You know what they say – wise people learn from the mistakes of others. As Magento consultants, we often deal with the aftermath of troublesome Magento implementation. Some of our customers have been through painful cooperation with development and support vendors, and now we offer their experience summarized and analyzed.
A story about missing a consulting approach
Company X encountered our team right in time of need. The company ran several Magento-based online stores backed up by a team of Magento developers. Working with tech-savvy guys, the company’s managers often wished for better consulting support.
For example, the company had Magento migration from 1.9 to 2.0 version planned. The task lying ahead of the developers wasn’t easy owing to a considerable number of installed Magento extensions, ample business data and custom code accumulated for years. Besides, Magento 2.0 itself was not yet well adjusted for data and extensions migration. The developers neither voiced any migration risks nor proposed any preparatory measures (like Magento code audit). With the task set, they got started.
The result was a three-month delay in the delivery of live websites as it turned out that bugs in custom Magento code hindered data migration.
Lessons to learn:
- Make sure to have problem-solving skills as a criterion when choosing a Magento implementation team to launch or optimize your online presence. In the best-case scenario, your technology partners are initiative and proactive problem-solvers who are fully engaged in designing your business evolution roadmap with due attention to risk analysis.
- The beauty of Magento is in customization potential. But naturally, the quality of custom code contributed by each Magento developer depends on their qualification. So, if you have worked with a number of development teams over the years, consider engaging a third-party code auditor to validate the code maturity. This can save you from frustration with a cumbersome migration process or poor website performance.
A story about missing communication skills
Miscommunication got in the way of Company Y, an established player on the country-wide electronics market. To launch an online presence, they engaged an ecommerce consulting agency, a marketing agency and a team of Magento developers. The cooperation came out of control soon.
The domain and technical experts spoke different languages. Business and marketing consultants were mapping out activities disregarding the time and skills needed for their implementation, which often resulted in deadlines missed by the technical team. It wouldn’t be an issue if the team’s project leader managed to articulate project challenges and progress clearly, advocate proposed solutions and communicate technicalities to business-minded people effectively. Besides, general meetings with all the key stakeholders (representatives of Company Y, a project manager, ecommerce and marketing consultants) were initiated only after miscommunication between them became apparent.
Lessons to learn:
- In a complex project environment with several teams engaged, project roles should be clearly defined. Project management must be strong to ensure effective alignment of long-term and short-term goals across the teams.
- Project managers of all parties involved should agree on a proper communication strategy from the very start. The points to discuss may include convenient communication means (essential for internationally located teams), the regularity of meetups or phone meetings, participants, and the reporting schedule.
- The ability of project managers to navigate easily between the “code” talk with their team and the “business” talk with a customer allows developing better communication across the project.
A take-home message
It contributes to the project success greatly when retailers and Magento developers share the same language. While we don’t deny the importance of technology excellence for Magento developers, their problem-solving and communicative skills may come to the forefront and impact the project progress.
We have competencies and in-house resources to take on Magento implementation projects of any scale. Do you need expert involvement?