“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:
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.