There is a saying that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail and that is true when handling web development projects. As a developer you need to understand the details of a project before venturing into it. Some developers get confused when they are contacted for a job because they don’t have clear project description to follow and here is a guide on what to do before and after a web development project.
First, there are three different types of projects –
- Company Project
- Personal Project
We will focus on personal projects here because you are the one in-control of the project phases. You make the required decisions related to the project.
Steps To Execute A Project
- Define the objective and scope of the project: Ensure you get detailed description of the project before venturing into it. Know what the client wants, the reason(s) for the project, the aim and what the project will cover. Getting a clear definition helps you as a programmer to have a clear vision of the product and you tend to know the right questions to ask. Remember you have to do more of listening than talking here so as not to miss any detail.
- Understand the purpose of the Project: Find out from the client the main purpose of the project. Example, is it to sell, market, gather leads, build email lists, etc. When you have a clear understanding of this, then you will be able to choose your user requirements wisely.
- Target Audience: The next step is to know the target audience. Who will be the users of this app? Children, Youths, Adults, Teachers, etc. This helps you to structure the interface of the work so as to suit the intended target audience. Understanding the purpose of the project will help you identify this.
- Technology Requirements: The next step is to choose the technologies you will use to develop the project such as Languages, Frameworks, Design Techniques, API, Database Structure, etc
- Budget: Ensure you document everything and define the budget of the project. Don’t make mistake on this because clients hate correction on budgets and this presents you as an amateur. Cross check based on the requirements you have gathered and know what the cost will amount to before compiling it. Also take into considerations your expenses.
- Deployment: Next check the hosting and domain name details you know will be good for the project and calculate the cost. Add it up with your budget and be ready to send the contract details to the client.
Ensure you go through your documentation and don’t skip any step as they are all crucial to the next phase of the project life cycle. Preparing this before hand will save thinking time because you know what you want to work on, the requirements and above all you can plan and predict the the time frame to deliver the project.
Note: The greatest skill of an expert developer is the ability to meet deadlines. Ensure you tell the clients a later date than you think or planned.
Here is a guide on how to breakdown the project phases in order to meet deadlines.
Project (Work) Breakdown Structure
- Wireframe and Mockup: A wireframe is a low fidelity layout design which has three simple targets
- It contains the main information
- It draws the outline of the structure and layout of the project
- It gives a visual description of the user interface
- Start Coding Finally: Once the mockup is ready, it’s finally time to code. (I know this is the stage developers are waiting for…).
- Use the above steps as a guide
- Setup your development environment based on your requirement – angular, express, xampp, etc
- Research other projects that are similar to get more inspiration
- Setup a Git Repository with branches
- Everyone should have their workflow if you are on a team
- Communicate: Ensure you keep communicating with your client all through the project phases. Make sure the client is on the same page with you at all times so as to get their feedback at every point in the project. Remember that customer satisfaction is key. You can use project management software if you choose to. They help too.
- Be thorough with your testing (but ensure you always run unit test while working)
- Also test the complete work thoroughly and also based on milestone
- Test the project on multiple browsers, operating system, etc to ensure its functionality is consistent
- After deployment, test more
Finally, never give up because some clients might not be easy to work with but if you go along with the above guidelines, you will better manage your clients. Keep pushing till you become an expert in what you do.
Drop your thoughts so that we can learn from each other. What’s the challenge you have ever faced working with clients? Let’s get your contribution and get your view.
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