Charting a Course
The importance of strategic planning cannot be overstated. DigiCoyote’s extensive experience in website and software design has lead us to develop a systematized needs assessment and analysis (using industry best practices and approaches) of project requirements – which is vital to providing the best possible solution, and in turn, the success of our clients’ projects.
The Strategic Planning Phase is designed to elucidate the client vision of the project, to thoroughly ascertain all the details, so that the design and development teams can best devise a structured and comprehensive execution plan. This phase greatly reduces the risk associated with the early stages of all new development projects – that of mismatched understanding and expectations.
Goals & Purpose
- Clarity: provides all stakeholders (developers and the client) with a clear, well-defined and unambiguous understanding of the project.
- Requirements Gathering: functionality, components and add-ons are defined: from e-commerce solutions to content management systems to interactive media components. Because many components can be interrelated, defining these at this stage is critical to saving time and effort.
- Risk mitigation: preventing scope creep and
How We Do It
The Discovery Phase will take place in the form of a number of meetings/workshops/sessions. It is important to note the items in the following list may or may not be one-off activities – feedback from one may require us to revisit other activities.
- Content Review – if there is pre-existing content
- Competitor Analysis (in-depth)
- User Scenarios + Site Architecture
- Business Requirements Review
- Technical Needs Review (based on client’s pre-existing documentation if available). This would include definition of functionality and interactive components such as CMS selection, e-commerce solution and so forth.
Outcome & Deliverables
Project Plan and Functional Specifications Document: The end result of the Strategic Planning Phase will be, among other things, a revised project plan with considerable detail explaining how DigiCoyote will proceed with the project given our better understanding. This will be a systematic plan to tackle each and every point raised, outlining key deliverables and milestones and putting these into a delivery schedule. These milestones and schedule will ensure visibility of progress and provide measurable value over the course of the project.
Without a Discovery Phase, providing a meaningful plan and schedule would not be possible – we would have to base our plan / schedule on a less than complete understanding of the “scope” of the project and this would be rife with risk.