Analyzing a Website Development Initiative

The website has become an essential tool for all kinds of businesses. We all know that we had to have a website, to target a large customer base at a glimpse of time. But are we using this venue to its greatest advantage? Most people responsible for their company’s websites have stats packages and counters to tell them how many hits, how many unique visitors, where they are coming from, what their IP addresses are, what browser they’re using, and of course the all important monitor resolution. So what! Who cares? The real question is do we have an effective website which actually draws customers and helps in either ticking the revenue meter or making the platform a most popular one to visit?

Now if you have a transactional website, commonly referred to as an e-commerce site, you know the number of sales you are generating from your site, which is important, but do you really know how effective your site is? How many orders are you losing because of bad layout, awkward design, confusing navigation, and poor content? How many potential clients have you chased away because you haven’t put a telephone number on your site and an accessible real-person that can answer questions?

In short, a website is your business’ Public face. Big businesses can look like mom and pop operations and mom and pop operations can look like BMW. The design of your website should not be taken lightly, its budget should not be an afterthought, and the designer you hire should be someone who understands more than code. Your Web-designer should be a multimedia-marketing advisor, someone who can counsel you how best to deliver your marketing message, and someone who can go beyond technical issues.

You can spend a lot of money and have someone analyze your site for you, but are you really going to believe him, are you really going to act on their recommendations? You can’t sell somebody something they really don’t want – that may sound obvious, but believe me, sales people do it everyday ;-). If you don’t think you need a new website, you aren’t going to spend the money to have one built. So the best way to tell if you need one is to analyze the one you already have, yourself.
Below is a set of questions you can ask yourself. If you answer them honestly, you’ll know whether you need a new site or not. After you’ve gone through the process, ask some colleagues to do the same. See if your answers compare. Scale them and decide on the basis of that.. Good LUCK..

1. Does Your Website Have A Purpose?

Every website should have a clearly defined purpose. Having a website just because everyone else had one is not an acceptable approach.

What is your website’s purpose?

” Transactional sales-oriented site (E-commerce)
” Customer service support site (Support)
” How to instructional site (Informative)
” Product or service demonstration site (Tutorial)
” Lead generation site (Lead Generator)
” Marketing, branding, positioning site (CRM)
” Promotional campaign site (Business Development)
” Viral or buzz creation site (Firm type)
” Friends and pals site (Community)
” Listing site (Directory)

2. Is Your Website Focused?

Too many businesses both large and small use their website as an information junkyard, a dumping ground for everything you do, everything you’ve done, and everything you ever thought of doing. This won’t work. Customers are like children; they want clarity, direction, and unequivocal answers. Your website should be focused on a singular function. URLs are cheap, there is no reason you can’t have different websites for every major thing you do, or every marketing campaign you initiate. How focused is your website?

3. How Functional Is Your Website?

Everybody knows that websites should be easy to use, that you shouldn’t have to drill-down too deep to find what you’re looking for, and of course everything should work. Your website is a communication tool “virtually”. If your website doesn’t work properly, the only thing you’re communicating is incompetence. How functional is your website?

4. Does Your Website’s Construction Balance Competing Concerns?

Websites by their very nature are a compromise of competing issues. Aesthetics, multimedia, frame construction, HTML, Flash, client-side, server-side, data bases, SEO tactics, information architecture, marketing communication, transaction efficiency all compete for precedence in the design of a site. Are you sacrificing clarity, focus, and communication for SEO tricks and unattainable traffic numbers? Did you start with an IT solution like a database and build your site around a poorly conceived information delivery system. Does your website’s design reflect your sites’ defined business purpose or is it a result of secondary technical concerns?

5. Does your website honestly reflect your business personality?

Does your website represent and promote your marketing objectives? Okay, this is a trick question for many small owner-managed businesses. Marketing is not sales. Marketing is about communicating who you are, what you do, and why you do it better than the other guy. Marketing is about image building, branding, and positioning, in other words, enhancing your business personality. Does your website honestly reflect your business personality?

6. Is the design of your Website integrated into your overall marketing plan?

Too many websites bear no relation to the rest of their business’ marketing initiatives. Everything your company does should reflect an over-riding philosophy, point-of-view, and personality. If your marketing collaterals don’t match your website presentation, you are confusing your audience. Is your Web-presentation integrated into your overall marketing plan?

7. Is content “king” on your website?

I once had a fairly large client ask me to build a website based on selling website templates. This fellow was so paranoid that his competitors would see what he was doing that he hid his products from his customers. This business got discontinued before it can start. We’ve all heard the saying ‘content is king’. Is content king on your website? Does your website adequately display and explain what you do, what products you sell, and what services you provide? Are there examples of your work? Are there testimonials from your customers? Have you provided information on how to order, how to use, and how to resolve problems? Is content really king on your website?

8. Is your website an experience, is it cool, up to date?

You watch television, you listen to the radio, you read a magazine, but you experience a website. Unlike other marketing vehicles, websites provide you the opportunity to deliver your marketing message with the full complement of multimedia tools. Websites can stimulate all the senses, sight, sound, and interactive touch in order to communicate and connect with your audience. Websites are not brochures. Visitors shouldn’t just see your website, they should experience it. Is your website an experience?

9. Does your website have a distinctive look?

The notion of the flaming animated logo has become a cliché for bad design and style over substance, but that does not mean your website should be aesthetically boring and visually lifeless. Your site should display clarity of vision; it should provide functional page layout; its use of colors, type, and static and dynamic visuals should be distinctive and purposeful. Your website should provide a defining “Look” that enhances your business personality. Does your website display a distinctive look that represents your business personality?

10. Do you list appropriate contact information on your website?

Websites are all about connecting you to your clients, not hiding from them. If you think you can put your website on autopilot and that a FAQ and Help Q&A are going to cut-it, you better think again. Does your website have adequate contact information? Do you list appropriate email addresses and telephone numbers for the people responsible for various aspects of your business?

There you have it. Ten questions that when answered honestly will tell you whether or not you have a website that works and whether or not you need to rebuild.

If the answers are “Negative”, at least you found me who can help you bringing your website up to speed! Anyways, once again its your decision..

Finally, and maybe this should have appeared under the first paragraph!

Is your website prominent, is it optimized to come up in relevant searches on the engines? Let’s assume for a moment you have covered all the 10 points above, what does it help you to have a beautiful website that will not be found on the internet!?
SEO – Search Engine Optimization is what I am referring to, a vital component to bring your website to true success! An essential component you can not miss! It is really not that expensive and worth it every penny. Ask me if you want at groogle underscore wonder @ hotmail dot com

Good LUCK..

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PROJECT MANAGEMENT APPROACH

I. Introduction 

Project management has to be a core competency for an organization. I said IT projects but that is probably a bad term to use. What we really should be talking about is business projects with IT as an enabler. Research has shown that IT was not actually one of the more significant causes of problems with development projects. Research has shown that if projects are going to succeed one should really need to have a strong business possession, good project management practices and a focus on outcomes. In this regard there is a project management framework to provide a structure to the way of managing projects.

The post will first go through some of the reasons for needing a project management framework. I will then consider some of the key learning, both successes and failures. Finally I will describe a case study of the application of the project management framework.

The key message I will try to deliver is that you should have an agreed project management framework. This is not only to ensure that you have effective project management, but that it is done in a consistent way. You can then support your project management framework with training programs, guidelines and so forth. If everyone is doing it their own way it becomes much more difficult. I will be presenting the project framework, but I am not trying to sell that to you, what I am trying to sell to you is that it is important to have some form of project framework. And there is off the shelf software available that can assist project management. Microsoft Project, ACE Project are some of the examples, but there are many others that you might be able to fairly easily adapt for your own particular state of affairs.

II. The Project Management Framework 

Well why its required to implement a project management framework? There are situations in almost all IT organizations dealing with projects, where it have too many projects running over time and over budget. And there also are lots of creep in project scope and that is one of the reasons that they were running over time and over budget. Improper clarity in Project responsibility. Insufficient ownership by the business areas of projects. Insufficient emphasis on identifying risks and how they should be managed. And interestingly there are too much emphasis on output rather than outcomes. This is quite common for projects that are based on new IT applications. There is a tendency to think the job is finished when the IT application has been developed.

Just to give you one example of the emphasis on outputs rather than outcomes, I had a major Jobsite project where the people that developed it said, “it’s built, it meets all the specifications and is fully tested”. But the end users were not using it effectively. So the project wasn’t really complete. There was a missing gap between the ‘output’ of delivering a particular Jobsite application and the ‘outcome’ of it being used successfully by the end users. And I think this is true of a lot of projects. Developers forget about the last step of assisting users to apply the new system effectively.

And also we didn’t have a universal approach to project management. A lot of people did take project management seriously but they did it in their own way. I had been influenced by a Senior Project Manager who had a great reputation for project management. In fact they argue that good project management is one of the most significant contributors to their profit margins.

The project management framework has seven key elements. These are set out in Table 1. It isn’t rocket science, but a lot of common sense. But actually having each of the elements documented and used to manage projects is very sensible.

TABLE 1: KEY ELEMENTS OF THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK 

1. Project Planning
2. Management of Risk
3. Management of Issues
4. Management of Change
5. Project Quality Check
6. Project Audit
7. Project Financial Management

1. The first phase I will talk about is project planning. This phase sets out the business case including the specification of outcomes that you actually want to achieve. But also, importantly, it defines measures that determine whether you actually met these outcomes or not. It also sets out the project outputs and how they are linked to the project outcomes.

2. Management of risk is extremely important. The first step is to identify what the considerable risks are and this really should be done in a brainstorming type of session. And sometimes it is very useful to bring in people who are not too closely associated with the project. You might bring in people who may not know much about the particular project but they have experience in project management and through this set of eyes they can see things that often those that are closer to the project cannot see. After you have identified the risk it is important to develop risk alleviation strategies, ie how might you reduce or even eliminate a risk. And then you have to make a decision on whether you will adopt the risk mitigation strategy or take the risk. In some cases its impact may be so low or the chance of it occurring so low you will decide, well let us take the risk and not expend the resources involved in reducing the risk. It is also an important part of project management to think about what the contingency plans will be where you aren’t fully taking account of a risk. And of course it is important to monitor risks all the way through the project. They can change. We all know from our experience that issues crop up all the time. They need to be managed but it doesn’t make sense to deal with them one by one as they occur. It would simply lead to anarchy. I guess some are so important you have to deal with them at the time and that is where judgment comes to play. But all issues should be recorded and it’s important to examine if there’s some patterns emerging so that you can address issues in a systemic way rather than just on a one by one ad-hoc way. And as issues are processed they become either tasks or risks or dropped as no longer an issue because they are not sufficiently important.

3. Management of change is another vital driver of project management. And this should be planned for early in the project rather than waiting until the commissioning stage. It really can be the key to success. We all know that change isn’t always welcome by those who are most affected. A lot of people prefer to live in their comfort zone. So it is important to identify the people who might be affected by change, understand what their concerns are and develop plans to address these concerns. It is also important to win their hearts and minds and that they know and understand why you are making change. You need to convince people that it is not only in the long term interest of the organization that it is also in their long term interest if that is the case. If it’s not their long-term interest it’s better that they know that sooner rather than later as well. It helps them plan their future. Job design is a very important part of this process. And if you can, you should allow the people who are most affected to influence the way jobs are designed. And training/ re-skilling of course is a vitally important part of the management of change, particularly if staffs are changing responsibilities.

4. Project quality check is largely common sense. For the outputs, determine how you are going to decide whether they are actually fit for purpose. What are the measures of success?

5. Project audit is an important variable. Many projects fail because the audit arrangements are inappropriate or unclear. First of all, establish milestones and manageable project phases. A lot of projects are very big, so it is important to break the project down into chunks (manageable chunks). A good rule is not to allow any project phase to last more than six to twelve months or take up more than two to four staff years. Once you get beyond that, it’s starting to get difficult to manage. Of course lots of large projects are much bigger than that. So you should try and break it down into manageable chunks that you can control what is happening much more easily. However, you need to have a full understanding of the links between the different chunks. These have to be managed as well.

As to setting up the actual audit arrangements, this is horses for courses. The project management framework suggests that a project board be set up. And generally you should make the business area (the owner or end user of the project) provide the chair of the project board just to make sure the project ownership is appropriate and senior people from the business area are involved throughout the project. For smaller projects this might be overkill and the usual line manager, if you like, can take on the responsibility of the project board, ie the decision making responsibility, determining key strategies, monitoring project progress and so forth. But they may decide to set up a consultative or steering group to assist them even though they are taking the main responsibility. But no matter what the project audit arrangements are, it is important to define and document the roles and responsibilities of all who are involved or confusion can reign. People can start getting involved in activities that are not really their business. Or the reverse can occur, that is they don’t take responsibility for things that they really should be responsible for. The key role is the project manager. That is the person who has most responsibility for the things that happen from day to day. And the project owner is important. They often are the Chair of the Project Board or they may delegate their authority to someone else. But they must retain ownership.
It is necessary to make hard decisions that may change original project plans if things don’t proceed according to plan. It may be that as things develop the original plan doesn’t make sense anymore, that you should do something somewhat different. You may have budget blowouts or time table blowouts perhaps even in the early phases of the project. And making necessary adjustments to the project plan is a very important part of the responsibility of the project board or whatever audit arrangements you establish.

6. I will not say much about the project financial management except that it is largely common sense. I have found it useful to analyze variations to expenditure plans, particularly significant variations, because it can give you insights into potential problems.

Just to repeat something I said at the start of the post, I’m not arguing that you should follow the project management framework I had just discussed. I am just using it as an illustration of a framework and suggesting that something along these lines is important for all organizations. It is also important to have a framework for all projects whether IT enabled or not.

The Spiritual Side of Project Management

Having spent many years in both spiritual pursuits and project management, I have been intrigued to see how a number of areas overlap. Because spiritual principles seem to have a bearing on running projects successfully, it seems that there ought to be ways to communicate these spiritual principles to make them accessible and practical in the work place.

Some years ago, I was impressed by a need to more completely embody and act out some spiritual principles with which I had been growing increasingly familiar. It was almost a bolt from the blue to me, because I had been thinking that my spiritual inspirations would just eventually cuddle my actions. I got to the point where I realized I must simply stand up on my mental hind legs and do it.

Later, I was talking about spiritual things with someone, and they said, “When I hear you say those things I say, ‘Yes, I know, I know’, but I want them to be more real to me.” My response was that they most often become more real to you after you do them. As we act out our spiritual principles we gain a growing perception of their reality.

Not long ago, in my project management work, I was brought into an on-going information systems project. I asked if they had applied some basic principles of project management, like “first understand and clearly document the requirements.” The people around me said, “Yes, we know that is what we are supposed to do, but we didn’t do it, because we were too busy and the requirements changed too often.”

As the project progressed, this team became even busier, because they hadn’t understood and clearly documented the requirements. The project was restarted, and then it dragged out for months longer than it should have.

When the next similar project came along, I put special emphasis on clearly understanding and documenting the requirements, and reviewing it with the customer for approval. Then I put these requirements under informal version identification and change control process and managed any changes methodically and majestically. It was not easy, and it took persistence to nail down all the indistinct issues and get agreement. The result was that project went much, much more smoothly than the previous one, and it was a widely acknowledged success.

In considering what I brought to that project, I realized I didn’t tell them anything they didn’t already “know.” I simply did it.

The difference was in being a doer of the word and not a hearer only. I am still trying to describe that quality, because it is so fundamental to success in my area of work. The only word that seems to fit is “guts,” which to paraphrase my Webster’s is “common sense, actively applied.” It seems that the “actively applied” is the hard part. It involves paying attention, discipline, belief and understanding.

I think understanding doesn’t just know something; it is standing up for something. Until you stand up for something you don’t really understand it at all.

It is interesting that in the Gita (The Holy Indian Epic), some of the verses that speak of this quality use building projects to illustrate the principle. See if you don’t think the first few phrases of the second verse sound a little like your project environment.

“Therefore whosoever hearth these saying of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

Balancing Honesty and Goodwill

I’ve been on lots of projects, and some were very high-tech. When suddenly assigned as Project manager for a support team on a very large and complex web and software development project, I wondered if I would be able to incorporate the technology quickly enough to add value. After three months, I learned a lesson I would have learned before. No matter how technically advanced a project is, the hard part is not the technical part, it is the people part 

Projects need special people skills since they often involve people with conflicting priorities and high stress. It helps in such projects to have some reliable principles to rely on in dealing with people issues. Project leadership, especially in a matrix organization, requires that the project manager build informal relationships with the members of the project team. About 10 years back, when I had just started going with a new girlfriend, a professor told me that relationships are built through communication and consideration. Now whenever, I want to build a relationship, I consciously look for ways to increase the communication and consideration I am putting in that relationship.

Project environments sometimes require a great commitment to truth, and this is sometimes difficult to reconcile with the interpersonal demands of getting along. Such demanding environments call for the application of sound spiritual principles. Here is one such principle that I have found useful in project work.

I started thinking about the end of last year when reading the Gita from the beginning. I watched carefully to see the emergence of the spiritual message as it evolved from the first stage of spiritual discipline and obedience and then gradually grew to a larger sense of the spiritual principles of goodness. I was interested to see that some advanced spiritual principles appeared quite early in the text.
I was struck by the phrase “kindly and truly” that appears several times. Even four thousand years ago, it was deemed by some a worthy standard to deal with each other kindly and truly.

It seems we have not always remembered the simple realism of dealing with one another in this way. We often hear people justifying their positions by saying, “Well, I was just viciously honest. I told them just the way it is. I can’t lie.” And they think this is somehow a recipe for success. It turns out that honesty and good-will need to be balanced together to bring success to our dealings with others.
Our practice of truth and love go together. Our love isn’t really love if it isn’t true. And the truth doesn’t have the positive affect we want unless it is also loving. I learned a few years back that being brutally honest can be, well, how do I put this – an act of viciousness?

Someone once said, “I want neither unloving critics nor uncritical lovers.” That reflects the reality that truth and love need to go hand in hand. We value honesty as an ethical principle, but we need to couple honesty with good will. If we have only honesty without good-will, we simply end up as a “whistle-blower” in our organization or as an abrasive “Chicken Little.” This may be ethical in one sense, but it is not the sign of a healthy, progressive organization. Success is achieved when we make sure our honesty is balanced with good will and that our good will is really true. Only in the combination of these we can make genuine advancement.

You might think of these two forces as vectors, and the success vector is the resultant of good-will and honesty exercised in balance (as shown in the figure). It is not our exercise of one or the other, simply trying to be nice to people or being viciously honest, but the vector sum of these two factors that is a solid principle for success. The resultant vector is a cross-product of honesty and good-will. There is a good reason for calling this a cross-product, since while either one by itself may be relatively easy, increasingly exercising the two in balance can be a real struggle.

These spiritual principles can be communicated in the work place by simply holding up the standard of honesty and good will, dealing with one another kindly and truly, and best of all, by acting this out ourselves.

Introduction to the WBS

A Work Breakdown Structure is a results-oriented family tree that captures all the work of a project in an structured way. It is often displayed graphically as a hierarchical tree, however, it can also be a tabular list of “element” categories and tasks or the indented task list that appears in your Gantt chart schedule.

Large, complex projects are comprehended by breaking them into smaller pieces until they are an anthology of defined “work packages” that may include a number of tasks.

A $1,000,000 project is simply a lot of $5,000 projects joined together. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is used to provide the framework for organizing and managing the work.

In planning a project, it is normal to find oneself fleetingly overwhelmed and confused, when one begins to grip the details and scope of even a modest size project. This results from one person trying to understand the details of work that will be performed by a number of people over a period of time. The way to get beyond being overwhelmed and confused is to divide the project into pieces, organize the pieces in a logical way using a WBS, and then get help from the rest of the project team.

The psychologists say our brains can normally comprehend around 7-9 items simultaneously. A project with thousands or even dozens of tasks goes way over our ability to grasp all at once. The solution is to divide and complete. The WBS helps to break logically thousands of tasks into pieces that the project manager can understand and monitor. Preparing and understanding a WBS for a project is a big step towards managing its intrinsic complexity.

The WBS is commonly used at the beginning of a project for defining project scope, organizing Gantt schedules and estimating costs. It lives on, throughout the project, in the project schedule and often is the main path for reporting project costs. On larger projects, the WBS may be used throughout the project to identify and track work pieces, to organize data for evaluation, reporting, for tracking deliverables, etc.

History of the WBS

The WBS was initially developed by the U.S. defense establishment, and it is described in Military Standard (MIL-STD) 881B (25 Mar 93) as follows: “A work breakdown structure is a product-oriented family tree composed of hardware, software, services, data and facilities …. [it] displays and defines the product(s) to be developed and/or produced and relates the elements of work to be accomplished to each other and to the end product(s).”

It requires some mental discipline to develop a product-oriented or deliverable-oriented grouping of project elements adding up to comprise the entire project scope. Intuitively, we tend to start out with a task-oriented approach. This is Ok for very small projects where extensive project management controls will not be used. The task-oriented approach is easy to understand, because we can easily think of projects as collection of tasks. A task-oriented WBS can be developed by beginning with a simple “to-do” list and then clustering the items in a logical way. The logical theme could be project phases, functional areas, or major end-products.

If your organization will be collecting historical data to form a cost database, you should try to select a standard approach consistent with the organization’s long term data collection needs.

A sample WBS is shown in the figure below:

WBS Format for Application Development Projects

A WBS for a large project will have multiple levels of detail, and the lowest WBS element will be linked to functional area cost accounts that are made up of individual work packages. Whether you need three levels or seven, work packages should add up through each WBS level to form the project total.

Product or Process Oriented?

The WBS was initially defined as a product oriented family tree, however subsequent definitions have introduced more flexibility — so a WBS can also be deliverables or process oriented. Your WBS can be built on nouns or verbs. If the results of your project are primarily verbs, then a verb based or process based WBS may make more sense. If your WBS is to be product or deliverable oriented, then you can start by thinking of the WBS as a parts list for the ultimate end-items of your project. These differences are not shown to tell you what is the right way for your project, but just to familiarize you with the distinctions, so you can think about them and choose what’s best for your project.

WBS Numbering

WBS elements are usually numbered, and the numbering system may be arranged any way you choose. The conventional numbering system is shown in the figure. The shaded box shown in the above slide could be numbered 1.2.2.3, which would tell you it was in the second box in level 2, the second box in level 3, and the third box in level 4.

WBS Dictionary

If a WBS is extensive and if the category content is not obvious to the project team members, it may be useful to write a WBS dictionary. The WBS dictionary describes what is in each WBS element, and it may also say what is not in an element, if that is unclear. Here is a sample of a WBS dictionary description:

WBS Element 1.5.4.5. – Application Test Equipment Planning – This element includes the effort to identify requirements and specify types and quantities of test equipment needed to support Application Test process. It does not include the design or procurement of such equipment, which is covered in Element 1.5.4.6.

Mapping WBS for Cost Management

In a product-oriented WBS, functional categories of work may form “cost accounts” within a WBS element. Cost account managers are responsible for a functional area’s contribution to a WBS element. Cost accounts from several departments or functions may combine into one WBS element.

Internal department planning for a cost account will be made up of individual work packages. A work package will typically have its own budget and schedule. Work packages should be small enough to be executed by individuals or small groups in a single department, and they should be of relatively short schedule duration. A small project might define a maximum work package size as two weeks of effort. Larger projects will assemble larger work packages that can be appropriately managed and monitored.

The project manager will have to decide to what degree employment of various details of WBS implementation will benefit the efficient management of the project. On a very small project, a formal WBS may serve no useful purpose, but it can become valuable if project size or complexity start to increase.

As an organization’s project management environment matures, or as larger size and complexity are encountered, application of the WBS concept can evolve from an ad hoc list of tasks, to time-phased activity lists, task lists clustered by project deliverables and services, or an end-product focused WBS fed by cost accounts and work packages.

If you are using MS-Project or a similar project management software application, you may encounter the WBS as a vertical list with indents to show structure. This will be compatible with the Gantt View data entry screens. While some software packages provide a separate WBS view, you could prepare your WBS in the vertical format using a word processor, and then cut and paste your WBS into your project management software package.

Organizational Standards

Your organization may want to decide on a standard WBS format or group of formats, use these across all projects, and communicate definitions widely so everyone will be speaking the same language. This can save re-learning project units and can lay the foundation for successful data gathering to aid future cost estimates.

WBS Implementation

When you have prepared a project WBS, think about how you will be using it later in the project. Try to consider how you will organize the WBS, schedule format, manager assignments, and charge numbers, in your early project planning. These days, the WBS in smaller projects ends up automatically being the indent structure in your Gantt schedule, so pay attention to those indents, and make sure that is the WBS you want for rolling up costs in your project. It will be helpful if you can map the charge numbers, managers, and task groups to each other. This will help you track costs and progress for each manager. If your project schedule will on MS-Project, you may want to insert “text” columns into your schedule (Gantt View) for project charge numbers and manager names.

If your project charge numbers cannot be linked to groups of tasks assigned to specific managers, you will have no way to provide performance measurement feedback to managers.

Some project management environments have distinct conventions for grouping items in a WBS. The best method is to have a WBS that works for your particular project and organizational environment. The WBS should be designed with consideration for its eventual uses. Your WBS design should try to achieve certain goals:

• Be compatible with how the work will be done and how costs and schedules will be managed,
• Give visibility to important or risky work efforts,
• Allow mapping of requirements, plans, testing, and deliverables,
• Encourage clear ownership by managers and task leaders,
• Provide data for performance measurement and historical databases, and
• Make sense to the workers and accountants.

There are usually many ways to design a WBS for a particular project, and there are sometimes as many views as people in the process. Experience teaches that everyone takes a slightly different slice of the apple, so make sure WBS arguments seeking metaphysical certainty are quickly brought to closure. Simple practicality combined with enlightened trial and error usually is the best approach. Good Luck..

Website Design Project Life-cycle

A successful website relies on much more than merely its visual design. Careful analysis of consumer wants and needs are essential to the delivery of a successfully designed website. At WEB SITE DESIGN PROCESS, follows these 4 working practices or methods within a project life-cycle: These are the steps which comes in the execution phase of the site’s development. Apart from these there are other Management Processes to undertake, which are Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring and Control and Closing.. The below mentioned steps comes in the Execution Phase..

* Website Exploration
* Website Creation
* Website Evolution
* Website Deployment

These all depend on numerous deliverables and milestones to move the project forward leading to its completion and moving it to the closing phase. WEB SITE DESIGN is here to help guide you through the process with clarity. So, where to start? The first step in your project will be the Website Exploration Phase.

Website Exploration

It is during this phase that the Service Provider’s team spends a lot of time getting to know you and your business. It’s required to determine:

* What is the purpose of this website?
* What are your marketing objectives?
* Who is your audience and what are their expectations?
* What message are you trying to convey?
* Who are your competitors?

Once a thorough understanding of your place in the market and your business needs is being obtained, then the service provider will require making recommendations of how to best achieve your goals.

The information that the provider uncovers during this phase will provide them with the foundations for the Website Creation Phase.

Website Creation

The designers take the results of the Website Exploration Phase and begin to come up with a concept for your website. Typically, the provider then offers a range of website designs and discusses with you each one in regards to usability and ease-of-use. Designing the look and feel for your website is just one deliverable of this phase; there are other tasks that will seek understanding and agreement on:

* Determining the architecture of your website by developing a detailed site map.
* If there is any technical development, we will need to make sure that the design of the functionality meets all of our usability standards.

Now as the decision on the look of your website had been achieved and have identified all of the pages that will need to be constructed, its an initiation phase to start constructing the website in the Website Evolution Phase.

Website Evolution

Working to the design developed in the Website Creation Phase, the team is ready to construct the pages of your website. During this phase its required to do the following:

* Construct the navigational architecture with usability best practices
* Populate all pages with graphics and content
* Code any technical requirements into the site – including database & e-Commerce functionality and website interactivity
* Create all animations, menus, and multimedia components

The emerging website will be located on one of the development servers of the provider for you to see and discuss prior to its ‘live’ location. The final phase of the project life-cycle is the Website Deployment Phase.

Website Deployment

Prior to your website going-live its requires to undertake the following:

* Thoroughly test the website to ensure an optimum user experience
* Determine a website launch plan – emails, newsletters, PPC (Pay Per Click)
* Determining the SEO plan for getting higher positions in the organic search of Google (if required)

Project Lifecycle

Project Life Cycle<a

Its another look to the Project Lifecyle for a Web development Project. A web development project, once a proposal is agreed, moves through a logical sequence of phases as the different components which are required to be considered for a web site development (design, programming, interface, text and Sign off). Throughout your project, Virtual Viewing will work closely with you, collecting content from you and asking for your feedback as development proceeds.

Design
Working through a detailed design questionnaire with you, the Project Manager will brief the designers to produce initial mock-up designs of Home page first and then on getting confirmation on that from you. The inner key pages of the proposed site will be designed and will be sent for your approval. This will include navigational design, informed by the detailed site map the project manager had developed as part of the project scope statement.

Programming
As well as the construction of the full list of pages of the site (including any for which you will subsequently have administrative access), this stage also incorporates the linking of content to content management systems (such as OSCAR), the implementation of any programmed elements of your site (such as product databases, web-based forms for services such as inquiries and registration/signup, or site search functions), and integration with third-party systems [such as Payment gateway/ RSS (external feeds)/ Shipping gateway/ SMS gateway etc].

Internal Testing
Once development is completed, your website will pass through internal testing against the project specification to identify and correct any issues thats being detected in its operation.

Acceptance Testing
During this key stage, the Project Manager will make a development version of your website available for you to test and check online, so that you can confirm that it provides all specified functionality and adheres to the approved visual design.

At this stage, you should inform the Project Manager of any issues arising from Acceptance Testing (other than those accounted for/by any modifications or variations that have been formally agreed during production), so that the Project Manager can address these in the most suitable fashion.

While further modifications can be incorporated at this stage if so required, please note that any previously unspecified requirements will need to be estimated (cost) and approved by both the parties.

Content
To populate the framework provided by your website’s design/programming, you will need to collate text, visual and other content (including any database that had been incorporated into the site’s functionality). The agreed scope/specification and site map will guide you through the content that will be required, and the Project Manager can also assist you by providing templates that will optimize your pages for search engine visibility.

Sign Off and Go Live
Once all development issues have been completed and resolved, your site will then be ready to be launched to public, subject to any final accounting / administrative issues.

With this stage, there can also be deliverables like arrange Training for your key staffs, Tutorials, QC plan.

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