How we make a web project. From the idea of the site to the support of the finished product
In this article, we will describe in detail the features of our approach to working on a web project. We always try to stick to the same scheme, which simplifies project management, reduces risks and gives an optimal result.
How to start developing a program or website
The project starts with an idea. And it is better to formalize the idea in the form of a project concept.
Why make out, if you can convey everything in words? Many people do this, and this is a bad approach.
First, the conversation misses a lot of details. At the same time, your opponent may also miss the nuances of your idea by ear.
Secondly, constantly telling the same thing to other people (partners, contractors, etc.) is a thankless job. It’s easier to describe it in a document and just pass it on for review.
Third, the document can be polished and further detailed. It is easier to see white spots in a document than when the idea is just in your head.
Create your own concept, polish it, clarify the details.
Based on the concept, you can get an initial commercial offer with an estimate of the budget and deadlines.
We usually offer the customer to create a concept independently or together in a call (free of charge for the customer).
Here you can download site concept template.
Lead’s qualification — I don’t want to work in the table
An important stage for the future success of the project is to evaluate the potential client. Will he be able to get his project up and running? How serious is he in his intentions? How much does he understand the complexity of the upcoming project?
At the beginning, we took on all the projects in a row, without thinking about this moment. As a result, this led to the fact that many projects simply do not reach the monetization stage. The project is technically done, but it is either frozen or closed. For the performer, this is not a very good story, because he did the work, but at the same time there is no case of a successful project.
Of course, even in the case of a strong customer, there may be problems (for example, 3–4 of our projects were frozen due to the 2020 pandemic). But still, a strong customer is +100 points in the karma of the project. And with a weak customer, the project has almost no chance (because the key decisions on the development of the project are made by this very customer).
What do we mean by a weak customer:
- does not understand its subject area;
- very superficially understands the process of creating and promoting a site (yes, the site needs to be promoted!);
- a small margin of safety in finance (making a decision only on the price, there is no possibility for a pivot-turn of the project);
- no managerial experience (in any case, the customer must be able to coordinate the overall movement of the project and interact with all partners).
In addition to the” strength “ of the customer, a personal factor is important for us: adequacy in communication, conflict, politeness.
It may seem that this is all nonsense, but working with a problematic customer in a large complex project is not only nerves, but also economic losses — more time has to be spent on coordinating simple points, the risk of losing a contractor on the project increases (no one wants to butt heads with a conflicting client).
In general, we evaluate each client according to these and some other criteria and decide whether to participate in this project or not.
Creating a comercial offer
On the basis of the concept, a preliminary commercial offer is made with an estimate of the terms and budget.
Why preliminary-while there are no technical specifications, there are no detailed requirements. The concept contains only a general description. Therefore, it is impossible to give a final estimate at this stage. The exact budget can only be given based on the terms of reference (technical specification — Stage 1).
At the same time, we assume that if there are no very large changes in the project boundaries, then this estimate in the comercial offer will be minimally different from the estimate after stage 1 (the stage of creating the technical spacification).
Commercial offer is an Excel file where we specify the details of the costs for each module, as well as give deadlines for implementation. Such detailing allows you to vary the cost and timing due to changes in the volume of work.
Agreements — on the process and our contract
If the commercial offer is suitable for the budget, terms and conditions of work, then we proceed to the next stage — agreement of the contract. Our contract form.
The key point is that we work only according to our contract form, with minimal edits only for specific parameters (for example, to change some deadlines).
The agreement is a framework agreement, because it describes the overall interaction. All specific works, deadlines, and amounts are described in the additional agreements to it.
The contract is exchanged by mail of the Russian Federation with preliminary sending of scans by e-mail to speed up the process.
1st stage — creating the technical specification and configuring the platform
The process of creating a technical specification is described in detail here. There you will also find a template for the technical specification.
If stage 1 includes the purchase of the box, then the initial configuration of the application on the test domain on our server also takes place.
The technical specification is written by our technical specialist. The technical specification implies the active participation of the client in the process in the format of answers to the questions of the author of the technical specification.
The time for writing the technical specifications is 5–15 working days, depending on the complexity and boundaries of the first version of the product.
Interaction on questions is via Whatsapp or Skype from the demo screen. All work is done remotely without the need for personal meetings on the details of the technical specifications..
Also, as part of creating a technical specification, we usually design the database structure.
On the basis of the technical specifications, a detailed assessment is made and the work is divided into stages. This assessment is the basis for further work on the project.
The next stage is determined and the estimate and terms for it are agreed upon. This approach allows you to flexibly change the requirements if necessary at a later stage. The key points should be implemented in stage 2, and all the minor ones are taken out in stage 3.
2nd stage — creating the project foundation
At this stage, a database is created, pages in the cabinets are implemented, tables, forms, and other components are configured.
Intermediate results can be viewed at any time on the test domain.
Informal partial acceptance takes place when we are executing the next block of work on the stage, (about 1 time per week) — it shows what we have done/implemented with the opportunity to feel it yourself and give feedback on what needs to be changed.This simplifies the final acceptance of the stage in the future, since the customer has already seen the implemented functionality, and most of his wishes have already been taken into account in the framework of the interim acceptance.
As part of the work on the stage, there are inevitably additional requirements-i.e. new requirements that were not taken into account earlier. If these are small additional payments, they are implemented within the current stage without additional payment. If these are medium and large aditional contract, then they are detailed and transferred to the next stage.
In some cases (when it is very necessary to implement the add-on immediately), we implement it as part of the stage and additionally issue an invoice (with prior approval).
Each stage ends with the registration of the acceptance certificate with the complete closure of all financial issues for the stage (if any).
3rd stage-grinding and implementation
This stage includes all minor improvements to the initial technical specification, as well as new additions that have arisen in the course of working on the project.
In general, it follows the same pattern as the 2nd stage: partial acceptance, work with add-ons, corrections, etc.
Also, at this stage, there may be a special type of work related to the implementation — edits for SEO, API, bulk loading via Excel, etc.
At this stage, there is a great temptation for the customer to constantly polish the product and add new features. It is necessary to adhere to the initial plan and not allow the product to grow until it is put into operation. It is much better to start a project with a basic set of functions as soon as possible and then gradually develop it based on feedback from the consumer.
4th+ stages-project support and development
After the project is put into operation, new development tasks arise: improving existing functions, adding new pages and cabinets.
All requests are recorded in a special magazine-a backlog. In it, all the work is detailed, priorities are set and approximate estimates of labor intensity are given, which allow us to determine what we will do in the next stage.
All such requests are made out in a package of improvements and the work is carried out within the next stage (an additional agreement with its own technical specification, estimate and deadline).
In terms of errors, the warranty is valid for 2 months from the date of the last stage. If the stages follow one another, then this period is constantly extended (sliding period).
We also have a system prevention service, which is periodically carried out to identify problem areas (error log analysis, slowdowns, data growth).
More detail about support, development and warranty.
Our area of responsibility in the web project
As part of a web project, we only deal with the technical part: we detail the requirements, describe them in the form of technical specifications, and implement them in the project.
We also configure our platform on a hosting or server.
What we don’t do:
- seo-promotion. Our platform has tools for SEO, but for specific work on search engine optimization, an seo specialist or a team of such specialists should be involved in the project.
- site design. If necessary, we can involve design and layout partners in the project.
- layout of the landing page for the main page. We implement the ready-made layout in the platform, adapt the layout to the business logic. Layout requirements-adaptive on Bootstrap 4.
- site content. Filling the catalog or writing text for static pages is not included in our range of services. We can help to adapt the content on the site, but the content creation itself is the responsibility of the customer.
In this article, we reviewed our development process. This approach allows you to put the basic product into operation relatively quickly, with the possibility of further refinement in the course of the web project.
If you still have questions about the process of working on the project, please write them in the chat at the bottom right.
See the article-guide to action Creating a complex website. Road map
Originally published at https://falconspace.site.