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Scoping Projects to Avoid Stress, Headaches and Angry Mobs

Scoping Projects to Avoid Stress, Headaches and Angry Mobs

Attention to detail in your code and design work is important – but before you lay down one single pixel, or one single line of code, you need to make sure that everyone (you, your client, your clients client, etc) are on the same page and make sure you are managing expectations on what the desired project outcome is.

You, and your client(s), need to determine which theme framework (if any) are appropriate for the project, which plugins can be utilized to meet the goals of the project and determine which aspects of the project require custom development to account for features that existing plugins do not currently cover.

Managing expectations and properly scoping out a project is key to successful project management, both for you and for your client.

Lisa Sabin-Wilson

June 05, 2013
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  1. scoping projects 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13

  2. STRESS 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13

  3. HEADACHES 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13

  4. ANGRY MOBS 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13

  5. Lisa Sabin-Wilson •DESIGNER SINCE 1998 •DEVELOPER SINCE 2007 •AUTHOR: WORDPRESS

    FOR DUMMIES •CO-OWNER: WEBDEVSTUDIOS 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  6. scoping.... 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13

  7. a very important phase in every project you do design

    & development 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  8. If you do not have a Scoping Phase for every

    single project - prepare your self for stress, headaches and upset clients. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  9. Eliminate Assumptions • Saves time • Reduces headaches • Avoids

    hard feelings • Happy client • Happy developer 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  10. Set Expectations Early • Keeps project realistic • Keeps projects

    on time • Avoids miscommunication • Happy client • Happy developer 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  11. Document Project Requirements • Ready reference point for all •

    Eliminates “he said/she said” • Provides a work flow • Happy client • Happy developer 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  12. PROJECT DATE CLIENT JULY 2012 NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOES NOT

    YOUR AVERAGE JOES HTTP://NYAJ.COM Wednesday, June 5, 13
  13. PROJECT DATE CLIENT JULY 2012 NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE’S NOT

    YOUR AVERAGE JOE’S HTTP://NYAJ.COM Wednesday, June 5, 13
  14. Typical work flow INITIAL CLIENT CONTACT | PRE-SALES DISCUSSIONS |

    INITIAL REQUIREMENTS | STATEMENT OF WORK | DESIGN PROCESS | DESIGN APPROVAL | DEVELOPMENT | TESTING | GO LIVE! 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  15. New-Typical work flow INITIAL CLIENT CONTACT | PRE-SALES DISCUSSIONS |

    INITIAL REQUIREMENTS | SCOPING PHASE | STATEMENT OF WORK | DESIGN PROCESS | DESIGN APPROVAL | DEVELOPMENT | TESTING | GO LIVE! New-Typical work flow Wednesday, June 5, 13
  16. As the developer - YOU have to take charge of

    the scoping phase. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  17. WE BUILT A SITEMAP - WHICH WAS HELPFUL... BUT IT

    WASN’T ENOUGH 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  18. WE HAD A 16 PAGE STATEMENT OF WORK BUT IT

    STILL WASN’T ENOUGH 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  19. PSD Files Acquired. DESIGN APPROVAL DONE! 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday,

    June 5, 13
  20. A TOTAL OF 26 DIFFERENT PAGE VIEWS/LAYOUTS BELIEVE IT OR

    NOT ... THIS WAS STILL NOT ENOUGH 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  21. at this point? it is really tempting to dig right

    in and start developing this bad boy. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  22. the sooner you get it done... the sooner you get

    paid. the sooner you can update your portfolio. the sooner the client is happy. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  23. right? 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13

  24. What they wanted... ? LISA NEEDS TO START DEVELOPMENT NOW

    BECAUSE WE WANT THIS DONE & LIVE IN LESS THAN 30 DAYS. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  25. What they needed... ? STOP ... TAKE A BREATH ...

    LISA NEEDS TO DEFINE THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT IN A WAY THAT TAKES QUESTIONS OUT OF THE ENTIRE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  26. remove eliminate obliterate assumptions. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5,

    13
  27. as a developer - I can make assumptions with the

    BEST of them 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  28. assumptions are based on a persons own frame of reference.

    2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  29. what i see in my head will be different from

    what you see in your head. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  30. interpretations will vary. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13

  31. For example . . . 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June

    5, 13
  32. THE LANDING PAGE THERE IS A LOT GOING ON HERE

    2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  33. i made some assumptions :( 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June

    5, 13
  34. THE LANDING PAGE MORE PHOTOS? IT’S A SIDEBAR CAROUSEL -

    IT FLIPS THROUGH STAFF PHOTOS Wednesday, June 5, 13
  35. THE LANDING PAGE THE REALITY .... THE CLIENT’S INTENTION ?

    ... 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  36. THE LANDING PAGE THE REALITY .... IT’S A SLIDESHOW/CAROUSEL OF

    PHOTOS IN THE MAIN BODY Wednesday, June 5, 13
  37. a sidebar carousel is HUGELY different than a slideshow in

    the main content area. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  38. if i had gone with my initial assumption without discovering

    the clients intention ... 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  39. i would have wasted time. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June

    5, 13
  40. i would have presented incorrect work to the client. 2013

    - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  41. i would risk the client losing confidence in me. 2013

    - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  42. especially if i had made my next assumption . .

    . 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  43. THE LANDING PAGE REMEMBER THIS? 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June

    5, 13
  44. THE LANDING PAGE JOIN OUR EMAIL CLUB - - LINKS

    TO A PAGE WITH A SUBSCRIPTION FORM - RIGHT? Wednesday, June 5, 13
  45. THE LANDING PAGE NOT EXACTLY - CLICK IT AND IT

    OPENS INLINE - NO NEW PAGE LOAD. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  46. THE NAVIGATION MENU LINKS TO INTERNAL PAGES? 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON

    Wednesday, June 5, 13
  47. THE LANDING PAGE NOPE! IT CONTAINS A FLY OUT MENU

    WITH SUB NAVIGATION 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  48. none of this was indicated •INITIAL REQUIREMENTS •STATEMENT OF WORK

    •SITE MAP •PSD FILES 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  49. a smart developer •RECOGNIZES GAPS •ASKS QUESTIONS •SEEKS ANSWERS •REQUIRES

    CLARIFICATION 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  50. i have not always been a smart developer •WASTED HOURS

    UPON HOURS •FRUSTRATING BACK AND FORTH •LOST MONEY •FRUSTRATED CLIENTS •SCOPE CREEP •NEVER ENDING PROJECT 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  51. SCOPE CREEP where the requirements of the project keep piling

    up and up and up - before, during and after the project schedule. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  52. when you have your hands on the approved design files

    - get into the mind of the user 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  53. you know .... the person who is actually going to

    use the web site 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  54. you will do yourself and your client a favor if

    you start asking questions like... 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  55. what happens when I click this? 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday,

    June 5, 13
  56. how many photos are loaded into this carousel? what happens

    when i click “more photos?” does clicking on an individual photo take me anywhere? 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  57. asking questions like these gives the client the chance to

    correct your assumptions... “oh no, that’s not for those photos ... it’s for the main photos on the left! ” 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  58. so then you can clarify.... •HOW MANY PHOTOS? •ARE THEY

    LINKED TO ANYTHING? •ARE THESE POSTS WITH FEATURED IMAGES? •DOES THIS HAPPEN ON OTHER PAGES? •OR JUST THE HOME PAGE? 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  59. wherever there is an action indicated ... clarify it 2013

    - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  60. Never be afraid to... ask questions get clarification correct your

    assumptions 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  61. Scoping helps you determine which plugins to use custom plugin

    development needs theme framework or custom 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  62. Doing so shows ... initiative motivation to do it right

    confidence thoroughness 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  63. but wait .... don’t stop at simply having the conversation

    2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  64. document it. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13

  65. make it part of the contract. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday,

    June 5, 13
  66. YOU DO HAVE YOUR CLIENTS SIGN A CONTRACT, RIGHT??? 2013

    - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  67. before you lay down one single piece of code -

    get your client to sign off on it. 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  68. find a method you prefer - but definitely document it

    2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  69. •AUDIO: RECORD THE CONVERSATION •OLD SCHOOL: SPREADSHEET •CONCEPT SHARE •HTTP://WWW.CONCEPTSHARE.COM

    •CAGE APP •HTTP://WWW.CAGEAPP.COM 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  70. whatever method you choose to use - make sure you

    document the process 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  71. Documenting each element in the project added approximately 2 hours.

    2013 - @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  72. if it wasn’t documented ... it didn’t happen 2013 -

    @LISASABINWILSON Wednesday, June 5, 13
  73. The End. Questions? 2013 - @LISASABINWILSON THAT’S ME AT WORDCAMP

    PHILADELPHIA 2012 - I WON THE SPEAKER COSTUME CONTEST! Wednesday, June 5, 13