Project Planning Does Development Good

An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure they say. I believe the same goes for web production and development.

Documentation is our fiend. Here is just a short list of some documents that will save your project a lot of time and money in the long run.

1. Branding Style Guide
Get the company colors, the fonts, the logos, everything! This will not only help in the intial design process, but keep the brand true when it goes into production.

2. Sitemap / Information Architecture
Just a general overview of what the client wants on the site and where each peice in general is going to go. Double check that if you have specific section designs that each peice falls into a section. This document really helps when you’re looking at how far you still have to go in the project as far as content or pages go.

3. Site Requirement Documentation
This one can be tricky. At the beginning the client usually doesn’t know EXACTLY what they want, so nailing them down on required development and user experience can be difficult. Especially when they can’t easily visualize the experience. Expect this documentation to change several times during the development process, but make sure all team members are aware as soon as those changes are made and make it clear when parts of the project are still up for discussion. This communication will save you quite a bit (maybe not all) of rework down the road.

4. Project Timeline
This is a timeline of all the milestones that the project should go through, from planning to final testing. Make sure that when you get started on the timeline that you discuss all the particulars and requirements with each team member to get an accurate estimate of the true effort required. Usually the most frequent project issue is time and deadlines, so doing this preplanning and letting everyone know when their section is due will help the project stay on track.

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This little blog happens to be the personal ramblings of one April Holle - I'm female, outspoken, webbie, a community evangelist, and Principal of Made Better Studio. Check out the about section for more info.

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