Schedule: MVP and Phases

by Kevin Dees on April 19, 2017.

Big web projects are like elephants. You need to eat both one bite at a time.

Making the deadline for a large web project can be hard. If the deadline is missed so are expectations. For a large project to be successful, you need an approach that is more flexible and feasible.

Many times the best approach is to break a large project into smaller parts. These smaller parts can be launched in succession as phases. Each phase is its own small project with features and requirements. When phases are launched they are fully functioning. And, since phases are launched over time, you can start to measure results sooner.

The biggest benefit to working in phases is that your project is more likely to be feature complete on time.

As with any project, phased projects must be planned out. The first step is to consider the minimum needs to launch, often called the minimum viable product (MVP). Once the foundation is set, the following phases are mapped out based on what is most important and most urgent. Items that are not both important and urgent can be moved to later phases or left alone.

Phased projects require discipline. You need understand what is most important and what is not. Keep in mind that saying “Yes” to one thing is also saying “No” to something else. Keep priorities in check and remember to keep “ready” “aim” “fire” in order.

The Refined Schedule

by Jeff Carver on January 21, 2015.

After several years of Robojuice abiding by the principal that the schedule to get a web initiative done was something to be respected and held to, we found out that was not at all the normal client experience. It seemed strange, but so many prospects and clients we engaged mentioned missed deadlines as something they typically experience on their web initiatives.

Granted, 100% of all the necessary steps for any web initiative are not handled entirely by one group but if we really feel that driving the process for web falls on the web partner then the client should be aware of their role in the production schedule and have an understanding of the impact they have on the schedule. We are all human and things happen, items get missed or delayed, but everyone has to be in the know and be fine with a few days or a week added to the schedule due to content, IT issues, software or hardware challenges, sign offs, etc. not finalizing as clean as possible.

Just let the client know up front the schedule and then remind them along way of the key milestones – especially the handful of client responsibilities necessary to stay on course. Surprises at the conclusion of a project that extend the schedule are never fun for anyone.

 

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