Surprises are only good for Birthdays and Christmas time. Okay, so that’s probably not entirely true, but in the business world, surprises, or things you’re not expecting to happen, are almost always a bad thing.
Just think about how much time and money your organization puts into creating strategic and formal business plans. The meetings and the brainstorming and more meetings…all trying to account for everything, just so you can avoid surprises. We all know it only takes one bad one and the entire plan can be shot.
You might not realize it, but planning for a web site or web application is much of the same exercise. The difference is we call it ‘Discovery’ instead of Strategic or Formal Planning. Discovery has many purposes, but none so important as trying to account for as much as possible to avoid surprises later in the development cycle.
The trick is to consider what is included in that stack of paper. It’s likely a compilation project requirements, risks to the project, and most importantly, plans to mitigate those risks. Identifying both requirements and risks brings awareness of the possible issues to all project stakeholders. In this way, you not only know what you’re building, but what is out there that might trip you up, and how you’ll deal with it if or when it does happen. In short….no surprises!
Think of it this way, you wouldn’t build a house with proper plans. Show me an architect that cuts corners on your house and I’ll show you an architect without a job. If you’re serious about the project, be serious about planning. It really is that simple.