Constructing a Web site is not unlike building a home. Careful planning and frequent communication will lead to a finished product that meets customer requirements and helps avoid costly mistakes. Having well established development processes and guidelines help set realistic expectations. Documenting site goals, objectives, content/format requirements and solutions in a formal Project Plan ensures customer satisfaction. Using effective project management tools to document tasks and issues, schedule assignments and deadlines is crucial to overall project success.
What follows are brief descriptions of some management tools with links to download PDF files of the actual tools.
Web Development Processes and Guidelines is a document which explains the rationale for each phase of web development and provides sample tools and techniques to formulate and implement a project plan from design concept to finished site. The Processes and Guidelines document provides
- Interview guide and questionnaire
- Sample project plan specifications
- Sample task and implementation schedules
- Testing checklists
- Design considerations
The Project Plan contains an illustrative description of organization purpose, goals and objectives, competitive analysis, site design concept, structure, content outline, functionality and features, and includes a project schedule detailing roles, responsibilities and timelines.
A GANNT Chart is a visual representation of discrete project tasks with associated time intervals for completion, assignment of responsibilities, and notation for task dependencies. The tool is helpful in clarifying the what, who, how, when and where of project tasks from a bird's eye, or macroscopic view.
A Page Inventory documents site directory structure and lists all of the files that need to be produced in an organized fashion. By maintaining and constantly updating the inventory, one can track progress of page construction. Additionally, the inventory provides a place to track testing and cross browser/platform checking of all pages.
The Task Schedule provides another way to list sequence of all tasks, subtasks, assignmnets and deadlines for project phases and milestones. The level of detail provided in the task schedule provides a microscopic view od project status and progress.
An Issue Register is a tool to capture, assign responsibility and track progress of resolution to various issues as they arise. Invariably, miscellaneous issues emerge during site design and construction that require attention and resolution for successful project completion.