web development, web site

Building a Blueprint – Development Plan

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Alan Lakein

Just because I am not going to write a full business plan, does not mean I am not going to have a plan.  In fact, I’m going to have a plan for both the development of the site and the marketing site.

First, the development plan.

If I was developing a site for a client, I would develop a full requirements document including a site map, a set of wireframes (document describing the features of each page), and design notes.  I would also provide a  project schedule with deliverable dates for both the client deliverables (content) and myself.

Now I am both client and developer!

First, the site map:

Site Map for a Social Networking Site.
Site Map for a Social Networking Site.

I used an application called ConceptDraw: MindMap to develop my site map.

In the site map, I have identified all the web pages that are necessary for launch. This is important.  FOR LAUNCH.  I am scaling down the feature set and capabilities to get to launch quicker.  A website is NEVER done.  So, what is absolutely necessary to be there from the get go, and what can be added later?  In order, to get here, I used my features list from the Competitive Analysis, and I focused on my mission, as defined in my Executive Summary.

Next, the wireframes:

The above wireframe describes what features/content is necessary on the home page. The home page must have the logo, top navigation, a way for users to login to, a marketing message and a short version of the registration form.

I will do a wireframe for each page on the site.

Lastly, I will develop a project schedule.  As this is a side project, I have somewhat limited hours per day/per week.  My plan will be to work on it one weekend day and a minimum of 2 weeknights per week for a total of approximately 14 hours per week.  This will allow me to continue to have some sort of social life.

Simply using an Outlook calendar, and a spreadsheet that I have developed which calculates the amount of development time based upon the sitemap and the complexity of each page, I calculate a tentative launch date: January 1, 2009.

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5 thoughts on “Building a Blueprint – Development Plan

  1. The site map is done in a really cool program I found called ConceptDraw MindMap. The wireframe was done in Adobe CS3 Fireworks.

    And yes, I do have a social life. Or so I keep telling myself…

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