Stop wasting time and money!I know there is a lot of conventional wisdom is the normal flow of projects, but I am beginning to doubt convention. I think the heart of the issue for me is the very beginning. What does conventional wisdom provide us with? A Scope. A Scope usually lists all the things that the project owner wants. Then we get a functional spec, which attempts to make sense of the Scope, and tells us how we are going to fulfil the scope, and so on down the line.
Don’t get me wrong, this type of flow has its place. Where the final product is set in time or stone and can’t be changed again without huge amounts of effort, then this is a great method that has ‘conventional wisdom’. My question is with web based projects where there need not be a final product that is set in stone. I think it requires the process to be turned on its head and perhaps, thrown out all together.
Well built websites are easy to change, add to and build on. They are not static buildings of bricks and mortar. Just like the content of a shop, we can bring in new advertising, new staff, and new products on a daily basis if we have the right plan. What worked and what didn’t work can be removed or changed easily when you have the right tools, right people and the right plan.
So how do you plan for change? Make ‘Change’ your best friend. Be prepared to work in collaboration with your designers, marketing people, technical people, project manager and decision makers with only clear results as the part of the puzzle that is set in stone. Don’t lock down a scope, instead, be open to new ideas that could reach the results you want sooner or better than you have now.
Most importantly, don’t stop. Keep going. When you realise one goal, set new ones. The evolution of a website is more like the building of a business, or the development of staff. It is a continuing, fluid growth process, that should be guided with care and a focus on the goal, not limited to one path that was decided months (or years) ago.
*Not all of these steps are taken by everyone as the convention, it is only an illustration.
If you want to find out more about evolving your website, contact Receptive Technologies on 1300 794 770.