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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member Colin Behr's Avatar
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    Planning a large project

    Hi guys,

    I'm curious about how everybody here goes about planning a larger, complex project which would go on over several months.

    How do you plan it out so that all of the small details don't get overlooked and so that the client doesn't surprise you halfway through with new requirements?

  2. #2
    Non-Member thewebhostingdir's Avatar
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    For the Project Management, you can use Microsoft Project Professional. However, you need to be using standard software engineering stages for that.

    You should prepare the necessary diagrams such as User diagram, activity diagrams, database schema, etc. You would get more idea about the 'when to do which task'

  3. #3
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I wouldn't use something like MS Project, it's expensive and not really for people who are doing the occasional long term project, what I tend to do is build up a complete checklist / todo list of everything that needs doing and mark off on the progress as I go, therefore everything is sitting there waiting to be done in order but you have control over keeping in control of everything needing to be achieved.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member Colin Behr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I wouldn't use something like MS Project, it's expensive and not really for people who are doing the occasional long term project, what I tend to do is build up a complete checklist / todo list of everything that needs doing and mark off on the progress as I go, therefore everything is sitting there waiting to be done in order but you have control over keeping in control of everything needing to be achieved.
    That certainly makes sense, but I find that when doing it this way it is easy to miss things. I mean where do you start, which things do you plan first and what sub items come out of that?

  5. #5
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Well you go over everything that the client will need, propegate a priority list of what needs to be done and just keep building up a list until the client is happy with what you intend to achieve within the project, from that you can follow through the steps you agreed on to achieve the final outcome.

  6. #6
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    I think the tools you use to determine sub-tasks and the like don't really matter as much as the understanding of what goes into project management. You can foul it up just as easily with Project as with a paper and pencil

    As long as you're diligent about determining what your client needs, as Alex mentions, you'll cover everything you need to do

    You could also avoid the big expense of using Project by choosing something different like Basecamp. Pricing is per month so you could just cancel when you're finished. Don't miss the little text about the free version on their pricing page.

    Or, if you're feeling a bit more DIY, I hear dotProject is not bad. It's web based and open source.
    "I'm Commander Shepard, and this is
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