Planning Your Projects
I’ve had the idea of blogging about project planning for my next blog for a while now, so I was very interested to see Dan’s blog about adaptive development, or basically dealing with changes in project plans. As Dan mentioned in his blog, changes are inevitable and we enjoy brainstorming solutions for these changes and are very adaptive at managing them. While changes will always occur and can be handled efficiently, proper planning is still the most crucial step of a project and will add value from the start.
Before beginning development on a project, it is key to thoroughly plan out what the project requirements will be. Talk to the intended users of a system before beginning development to discuss what features they would like the system to incorporate, how they think things should flow, and how the system can create value for them. Mocking-up processes and flows is a great way to refine system requirements before the actual development begins. Planning a project well adds more value by allowing more time to add additional features and refinements (and make it even more “awesome”) rather than constantly having to rework sections of a project due to poor planning from the beginning.
Gathering technical requirements for a project is also a very important part of planning. While this is usually a very simple step, it can be the most frustrating when not properly planned for. As a developer, I know there is nothing more frustrating than having part of a system that works perfectly using standard best-practice techniques and then have to rework it because some special technical requirements were unknown and not planned for. It’s hard to add value to a project when a change is reworking something to do the same exact thing, just a different way.
Planning your project is nothing to be intimidated by though. We’re always here to meet with our clients to help properly plan and architect their projects from the beginning. When the inevitable changes do come, we will handle those and switch into adaptive development mode. And of course, if a project’s plan starts as a personal ‘About Me’ page and ends up being a system to drive our country’s healthcare system, we can still make it happen and we will make it awesome!