Lots of business owners prefer to do things rather than plan them, which makes sense with so much happening at once in the business world. However, when it comes to eCommerce development, it’s necessary to plan things ahead in order to get the most out of it. Choose a reliable eCommerce development company to make sure that your online store isn’t left behind.
In this article, we’ll talk about the significance of project planning and what are the main parts of this process. You’ll learn how to build a solid eCommerce website development project plan.
Importance of project planning
The web development team can do more work in less time with a clear and coherent project plan. Creating a plan and using proper project management tools allows you to carry out projects within the allocated time and budget.
It also allows setting adequate expectations regarding the timelines. However, it’s not only about the expectations and preparation. Proper planning allows one to stay on track throughout the whole process and get the most out of the available time and resources.
eCommerce project planning: step by step instructions
While planning for different eCommerce projects is quite different due to the specifics of each one, there are several major steps you’ll need to take, no matter the project. Let’s review them together:
First things first, you need to conduct an in-depth analysis of the current trends and tendencies in the market. Understanding the market, target audience, sales data, and so on will help you determine your website’s details and craft the features and functionality you need to gather.
For instance, going through the competitor’s websites will help you decide on your own website’s design. Review the features and functionality they offer, and choose the best details to incorporate into your own website.
Additionally, don’t neglect the budget part and determine how much you will spend on every part of the project.
Discussion with consultants
If you are overwhelmed with all the data and don’t know how to structure it properly, don’t be shy to ask for help from professionals. With the help of experts and consultants, you’ll be able to justify your decisions and make the most out of available resources.
Consulting with the right people will help you to figure out how to tackle the challenges and hit all the goals for your online store.
Drafting the work scope
There are two ways to approach the planning process: scope and timeline.
First things first, you’ll need to designate what will be included in the project’s plan. It involves all the documents and files that together make up the project. More specifically, content is divided into different areas, with different people in charge, schedules, and timeframes.
Meanwhile, the scope of work shifts the focus to the project’s purpose and its deliverables. It covers all the possible challenges and pitfalls that may endanger the fulfillment of the project.
Work with the deliverables in a work breakdown structure
Working with dozens of deliverables throughout the whole time, you will need to organize them with a work breakdown structure.
It helps the whole team understand what’s going on at every project stage. It’s a visual that highlights the actions that need to be taken and who is responsible for their fulfillment.
Project managers are usually responsible for creating work breakdown structures. They analyze the work scope, timelines, and project details and break them down into tasks and subtasks.
Reveal the dependencies
This is a step that you take to break down subtasks into smaller parts. More precisely, into the list of actions members of the team need to take to complete the task.
In this way, you’ll learn whether the subtask can be done independently or requires the completion of the previous tasks first. With this knowledge, you can organize people’s work more efficiently, making sure that no one is pressured to complete the tasks on unrealistic terms.
Establish project timelines
There are many approaches to setting the project’s timelines. Gantt charts are among the most widely used tools to set timelines when it comes to eCommerce projects. It’s particularly practical when there are loads of milestones and dependencies.
With a Gantt chart, you get to plan tasks and time without any limitations and boundaries. You can also see the status of each task and subtasks, having accurate visualization of the general progress of the project.
The most common way to create a Gantt chart is to use Excel, but you can use whatever method is the most convenient for you. The main thing to remember is to be as precise and specific as possible and not forget any dependencies while creating the chart.
Set budget boundaries
This step can also be performed in several ways, two more precisely. Each of them works best with a different set of data and approaches to project planning.
You can set specific resources for each major part of the project. Subsequently, you can make adjustments for each task and subtask. In this way, you can ensure that you don’t overspend money on some little things because you’ve decided the sum of money for that scope of work right from the start.
Another approach includes choosing the type of eCommerce development that suits you best. Many different options offer a wide range of services, from simple selling sites to unique stores with custom features. Most of them have estimated hours of work that you can use to figure out the budget. This approach allows having each subtask delivered at high quality.
The main goal of project planning is to avoid any pitfalls that may appear during the development process. The more prepared you are, the fewer chances of failing the project in terms of deadlines or resources.
The described steps are the most important ones during the project planning, but they may change due to the project’s needs.
In case you need a reliable development partner to guide you through the process, let our team of developers help. IT Delight has more than a decade of experience and hundreds of successful projects.