Would You Build A House Without A Blueprint? How About A Website?
A Blueprint Approach to Website Design and Application Development.
If your organization has ever gone through a web design or application development project, chances are it was both overwhelming and frustrating.
Many web design and application development firms sprint into the quoting process and eagerly submit best guess estimates. They create mind-numbing “include everything but the kitchen sink” proposals – which in the end – don’t commit to delivering anything concrete. If every proposal section ends with “subject to follow-on discussions” or “this will be clarified during the discovery phase,” then what are they actually saying they WILL do? They want you to commit to an “agreed fee”, but with them everything is “we’ll see.”
Aside from simply being unfair to clients, this type of ‘can’t be nailed down’ proposal approach usually results in projects that are over scope, over budget and way over schedule. It also means that everyone involved is likely to be dissatisfied with the outcome.
Never Suffer from Project Disappointment Again
Are you ready to learn a better way to plan your next project? Rather than signing-off on another “figure it out as we go” project effort, why not start by creating a project Blueprint? What is a Blueprint, you ask? It’s what you do before you start a project. Basically, it’s a detailed project planning deliverable that contains everything you need to effectively outline the scope of work, resource requirements, and level-of-effort estimates. Think of it as a Web Builders Tool Kit that contains: site maps, wire frames, design guides, user-experience diagrams, core platform specs, requested modules, and functional requirements. Once finished, the Blueprint provides an exact cost for each activity, component, and features to be included in the project. If the budget needs adjusting, simply revise the Blueprint until you achieve balance between deliverables and cost.
Blueprints Lead to More Successful Web Projects
It just makes sense – start with a website or application development plan that details your desired website design, structure, functions, features, and user experience. Blueprints are effective because they:
- Tell the design team exactly how to lay out the website
- Tell the development team exactly how the website should function
- More accurately identify all of the costs involved
- Help everyone make good decisions early in the process
- Lead to better management of project budget vs. deliverables
- Reduce risk and minimizes surprises
Once the Blueprint is complete, you own it and can decide what to do with it. You can start the project with the firm that produced the Blueprint, continue the project internally, or work with another firm using the Blueprint as a launching point.
What does the Blueprint process typically include?
- Key Stakeholder Discussions
- Requirements Analysis and Guidance
- User Experience / Audience Analysis
- Web Analysis and Market Plan Evaluation
- Information Architecture
- Site Map Development
- Technical Engineering Evaluation
- Development Platform and/or CMS Recommendations
- Preliminary Wireframes and Layout Diagrams
- Initial Project Plan and Timeline
- Blueprint Delivery Meeting
Why Every Project Should Have a Blueprint
The days of sitting down with a web development firm to exchange a few notes, throw around some design concepts, and seeing what sticks are over. Statistics show that 65% or more of web development projects fail for the following reasons:
- Fail to properly define project goals
- Fail to understand the clients vision
- Fail to meet the initial requirements
- Fail to be delivered on time and within budget
- Fail to launch and are abandoned/never go live
With a Blueprint approach, you have more control over costs and the development effort – so everything is more transparent and predictable. For the average project, it’s a low-cost and low-risk way of figuring out exactly what you want; and getting a detailed development plan in the process. Typically if you choose to continue the project with the same firm that developed the Blueprint, the Blueprint cost gets credited towards the overall project cost.
The Final Word
Taoti Creative has a proven process for helping clients achieve the desired results. We have found that the Blueprint process leads to more effective project budgets, timelines, and expectations. This makes everyone happy; and enables us to deliver the best possible solutions within the resources available. You wouldn't build a house without a blueprint, so why build your website without one?
Want to know more about the Taoti Creative Blueprint process? We make it easy to try us out. Contact Ron Garnett at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 546-8946.