Getting Started
on Your Project

Creating a new website or a new IT solution can be daunting, even for the experienced.
Here are some tips to help you get prepared.

Know the usage

Know your users and how/when they use your site/application. For example, a data or computing intensive application will not work well for users with limited data quota on a low-end device.

Also, state your data size realistically. Your application will lag, hang and/or crash if you had told your developers you have only ten possible values, but in reality it came up to thousands. When that happens, it is usually not possible to fix the problem without a major overhaul to change the algorithms.

Define your scope

It is tempting to want everything that you had seen on other sites and you think you will need all of them to look as professional. However, it is very likely that all the functions were not implemented at the same time, but are a result of years of continual and gradual development, implemented as the needs and ROI were assessed.

Avoid implementing expensive functions that you are unable to justify for yet, especially if you have a budget constraint. It is not uncommon to see projects that have burnt out all their funds before reaching beta, either because the scope was not defined, or the goalpost kept shifting.

Always define your Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

Set a budget and timeline

A common scenario developers face are clients asking for a proposal or a quote without a scope and without a budget. (p.s. even a simple website can vary hugely in efforts.) With no parameters drawn, the proposals from the different developers are like oranges and apples.

Drawing up the scope boundary might be difficult, but the budget and timeline should be clearer.

Let the developer, or developers (if you are still asking around) know your budget ceiling, and how long you are willing to wait. This helps in the drafting of a better-suited proposal for you with less unnecessary back-and-forth. Your developer may even suggest better alternatives for you.

Think about the future

You should plan for the future. Every single visit to your site, every customer, every click and every interaction is valuable data for your operations. Think about what you can do with this data, even if you cannot afford to implement now.

Avoid wasting your data, your content, and implementations as much as possible.