The first step in your project is to answer the question of business goals and objectives.

I am a firm believer that it is very important to think and be able to define the needs and requirements for your Web projects in business terms.

Revisit your business plan and strategic plan and think how Web technologies can contribute to your business success.

When you are defining requirements it is critical to have all stakeholder actively participating. My experience is that when a project team doesn’t have adequate access to project stakeholders is a clear indication that your project does not have the internal support that it needs to succeed, therefore you should either address the problem or cancel your project to minimize your losses. Project stakeholders are solely responsible for prioritizing requirements, the Web application is being built for them therefore they are the ones that should set the priorities.

Best practice no 1: Analyse and define your requirements

What needs to be defined for this first step are:

  • Objectives and Goals = What do you want to achieve. The broad outcomes which will contribute to your business success in a measurable way
  • Strategies = How you plan to do it in bread terms. The approaches you will take

The tactics should usually be left for he developpers to decide. It is not usefull to decide about technologies at his point.

  • Tactics = the tools you will use

Example questions

  • What is the primary goal of your Website or application? Informing?  Selling? Information gathering?
  • How does this Web project align with your overall business strategy?
  • What are the target users of your Web application or site?
  • What to you want the users to be able to achieve using the system?
  • What financial resources are available for the project
  • What return on investment and other benefits do you expect?
  • What resources do ou dispose to manage and support the project?
  • What resources do ou dispose to administer the new system once online?

How can a Web IT consultant assist you?

Understand your needs and objectives and help you with finding appropriate Web solutions

  • Help you understand Web technologies and technology trends that are relevant to your business
  • Evaluate different strategies with respect of your existing systems, objectives, constraints and resources
  • Reccomend the best approach and solutions in order to achieve your objectives
  • Verify if your expectations are realistic and in accordance with your budget and milestones
  • Assist you in producing a specification or request for proposal document
  • Help you evaluate alternative suppliers or systems
  • Help you manage the project