Developers Corner

A Developer’s Approach to Planning a Drupal Project

Rob Montero
Senior Engineer

Have you ever been tasked with planning a Drupal project? Don’t you just love all the potential pitfalls and the unnecessary hassle of figuring out not only what the written requirements mean, but also what the client was really trying to say? That’s when the line between good Drupal developers and excellent Drupal developers is drawn.

I have been a Drupal developer for a little over 6 years now and I have yet to come across an easy web project. Granted I work for a company that only takes on the most challenging and exciting projects available out there, but still, trial by fire has made me pick up a set of skills that minimize the risk of having this dreamy new Drupal project turn into a terrible nightmare filled with missed deadlines, last minute requirements, unmet expectations and a lot of unhappy people.

The Problem?

Your client is a typical client with a dozen cryptic requirements and and a handful more you they are probably unaware of. We are builders, that is what we do. Give us a programming language and we will build you a tool. But that tool might not be exactly what your client needs or it may be a lot more complicated to use than what they really wanted.

The Solution

So how do we satisfy your client’s needs while harnessing the power of Drupal? Planning, planning and planning. Resisting that overpowering urge to dive right in and start building them a shiny new website and instead spending time drawing the blueprints to guarantee success. Plan you work, work your plan.

What to Include in the Planning Document?

In order to make informed decisions, we need information, and plenty of it ranging form technical information as well as non-technical facts such as business rules and anything in between. Can you answer the following questions about your client?:

  • What is their business?
  • Who is their audience?
  • What types of things will their audience need to be able to do on the new website?
  • Who is the main point of contact?
  • Who are the decision makers and stake holders involved in this project?
  • What is the timeframe for this project?

Communication and timing are key.
Plan ahead to communicate with your client often and effectively. Schedule demo meetings, establish the points of contact between your team and the client’s in house team.

If you need help planning and implementing your next Drupal Development project, Achieve can take your vision and turn in into a highly functional website, built to increase your business success.  



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