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The 6 Principles of WordPress Productivity

It’s important for you to know right up front that the 6 Principles of WordPress Productivity are not entirely original.

History of the 6 Principles of WordPress Productivity

Back in the 1980’s, John Keane, the founder and CEO of a large, multi-national IT consulting firm called Keane, Inc. (where I used to work), had a study done as to why projects almost always run over time and over budget and from that, he created the 6 Principles of Productivity Management. These principles were built into ALL the software development methodologies we followed because they worked. The book that everyone received on their first day was our Bible and we were all zealots.

In truth, these principles are really just common sense methods for being productive when carrying out a task or set of tasks. The problem is, we often forget to apply them day-to-day and they can be equally effective for website development, a fund-raiser at church, or tiling your kitchen floor. It has been proven, many times over, that if you infuse these principles into your WordPress Project Management approach, you will indeed get better control over scope creep, thereby getting more projects done on time and within budget.Neon Sign cropped - this is the sign you have been looking for

Keane’s 6 Principles were written specifically for Keane consultants working primarily in software development in the 80’s and 90’s. Yet, they became so ingrained for me that I now apply these principles to any personal or professional project I might be working on, whether IT-related or not. So, as I started applying the principles to WordPress projects creating websites for others, I realized the principles need a little updating to be fully useful in that context. To that end, here is my version of The 6 Principles of WordPress Productivity.

The 6 Principles and Their Purpose

Although these principles play the largest part during the project definition activities, they also run like a thread through the rest of the project life cycle. They are evergreen and can be applied without regard to specific development or management methodologies.

  • Define the Job in Detail with a Content First Approach – if you get everything right regarding the client’s business requirements and get all the “pieces and parts” assembled on the front end, there will be fewer scope creep and project management problems on the back end.
  • Get the Right Resources Involved (People, Plugins, and Blocks) – having a standard list of plugins and blocks that is tailored for each project gives you a consistent process for identifying additional requirements. If you can’t get the “right” resources involved, consider trying to get the resources “rightly involved.”
  • Estimate the Time and Costs Often – estimating is not a one-time task. Acknowledging up front that you cannot estimate what you don’t know and setting re-estimation for regular intervals ensures you will always get paid for your work. Padding a quote to cover change does not allow you to accurately determine your ROI. More effective measurement comes from establishing a change budget and a strict process for using it.
  • Break the Job Down – breaking the job down into small chunks for approval makes it much easier to get signoff on the the larger deliverables that are comprised of those chunks.
  • Establish and Stick To a Change Procedure – Almost everyone HAS a change procedure but that doesn’t stop folks from “throwing it in” when the impact is perceived to be minor for a requested change. By educating your client and following your change control process for each and every change, without exception, regardless of size, you ensure you get paid for ALL the work you do and the client will be less likely to suggest unnecessary or frivolous changes.
  • Establish Interim and Final Acceptance Criteria – it is important to establish, in writing, at the beginning of the project, the acceptance criteria for each deliverable. This ensures that all parties are in agreement on what DONE means.

Later this year, I will be launching The Complete WordPress Project Management Roadmap that will cover EVERYTHING you need to know along with the tools you will need to incorporate these principles into your WordPress development and management methodologies. If you’d like to sign up to receive updates and be eligible for discounted pricing on the Roadmap and templates, please go to our home page and click on the “Yes, keep me informed” button. That will put you on the list.