The source of unexpected costs in a website project is scope creep: uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in a project’s scope.
To combat scope creep, we work in a three phase process: Discovery, Design, and Development. This approach allows us to define the user interaction, functional needs, and technical scope of your new site up front, focusing our design and development on the right solution.
The cost of a website project depends upon three primary factors:
- The number of page layouts that need to be built
- The design complexity, especially when it comes to adapting the site design for tablet and mobile
- The custom functionality that needs to be developed
These determinations are made in the Discovery phase through the use of sitemaps, menu structures, page wireframes, existing technology review, establishing a new development environment, and creating technical scope of work documentation. The purpose of this phase is to identify the number of pages required, the complexity of those pages, and the custom functionality needed.
Once the Discovery phase is complete, we will have precisely defined the level of effort required to complete the project and will be able to narrow down the range of the Design and Development phases to exact figures before any of the complex work begins. This helps avoid any unexpected increases due to scope creep and allows us to focus our design and development on providing the perfect solutions.
In my next post, I’ll discuss the level of involvement we require of our clients.
We avoid scope creep by properly researching, defining, and documenting the scope of website projects before we begin design and development.