We all know how much time can be required to put together a comprehensive Project Plan document that clearly presents the work ahead to all interested parties. It can take some organisations years to publish the next version of their website and in many cases the actual building of the site can take place over a relatively short period (most of your time is spent planning).
When it comes to the larger organisations, it typically takes much more time to get stuff moving forward and there is a higher likelihood that the Project Plan is going to be as thick as a phone book. Independent professionals and small businesses do not have sufficient time or resources to dedicate to “Documentation Heavy” projects and this almost always constitutes a risk that should not be under-estimated … the risk of Project Failure.
If you don’t make a plan your project is highly likely (practically guaranteed) to fail. Project Managers know this of course, but they work for the larger companies. The small business owners and freelancers don’t typically employ project managers in-house and, incredibly, not all local web agencies do either.
I would suggest that even the most simple and basic of projects should start with clear definition of Goals and Scope. Here is an example.
1. Overview and Organisation (Climasmart Example)
The motivation to develop this website grew from the increasing awareness of risk to our planet from climate change largely due to increased carbon output. Carbon footprint has become a widely used measure of direct emissions of gases that cause climate change into the atmosphere.This new website called Climasmart offers a unique value proposition to the user, it will make the individual smarter about climate change in their everyday life. It differs from other products in this area by using a unique approach to help users make more informed decisions that will reduce their carbon footprint. Ultimately Climasmart will automatically monitor a wide range of the user’s carbon creating activities and provide an individual carbon footprint rating. By partnering with the UN and climate awareness organisations Climasmart will become the worldwide leader in this area.
1.1 Goals and Scope
The principal longer term goal for Climasmart is to achieve worldwide acceptance as the de facto means of tracking an individual’s carbon footprint. To inform and educate the user in making smarter choices that will reduce their carbon footprint.
1.2 Project Goals
The goal of this project is to deliver on time a live demonstration responsive website with one or more functional modules working ie. Transport, Waste and Recycling, Energy Consumption and Lifestyle.
There are five key factors that will define this website:
● The user easily discovers how to accomplish their tasks.
● The user intuitively interacts with the website and easily moves through the
website and will also do so on repeat visits.
● The user accomplishes repetitive tasks quickly and easily.
● Regarding system performance and responsiveness, the user interface
responds quickly when the user makes a selection.
● The site delights the user and creates an emotional connection so that the user becomes an ambassador for the website and a climate change champion.
The scope of this initial project is limited to producing a prototype for demonstration purposes.
Outside the scope of this project:
Producing the users actual carbon footprint data and displaying it on the site. Collecting the users sign in data.
Interfacing with any social media, third party services and applications.