Why We Need a WordPress Website Development Methodology
At first, I wasn’t sure if I should call this thing that I think we need a website development framework or a methodology so I looked up the terms.
As it turns out, technically, a methodology is a set of principles, tools and practices which can be used to guide processes to achieve a particular goal. A framework, on the other hand, is a loose but incomplete structure which leaves room for other practices and tools to be included but provides much of the process required.
This didn’t really help me because what we need is a methodology that leaves room for flexibility like a framework. I tried combining the words but neither “frameology” nor “methwork” seems appropriate <attempt at humor>. So, because the term framework is generally used for software coding, in the interest of clarity, I’m going to use the term methodology to describe what I think is needed for WordPress Practitioners.
Once upon a time, I worked for a large IT consulting firm based in Boston as part of the corporate division responsible for capturing best practices and lessons learned and using that information to create development methodologies for different types of projects. For example, the way you carry out an application development project is very different than carrying out an application management project which is very different than a packaged software selection project. But all projects have a common set of project management tasks, too. OK, we called them frameworks but they were like a roadmap for everything you needed, including activities, tasks, deliverables, tools, templates, and techniques for project success.
Lately, I’ve been attending quite a few WordCamps and I often hear the same discussions regarding the WordPress website development and project management challenges. I mean, for most practitioners, the WordPress platform is easy but managing the client and project are not. The funny thing is, based on my experience, most of the problems described by these folks could be addressed with a website development methodology that is tailored specifically for WordPress.
Reasons We Need a WordPress Website Development Methodology
- History tells us that developing without the guidance of a methodology or framework is one of the primary causes for projects being delivered late, over budget, and in many cases, that fail to meet customer or end-user expectations.
- Many WordPress practitioners are individual consultants/developers or small 1-2 person agencies without formal project management training.
- It can provide a method for consistently adhering to a repeatable process, thereby increasing efficiency and the likelihood of projects being completed on time and within budget.
- Following a methodology enables a project to provide better estimates, keep the customer informed, create a clear understanding of the task ahead, and identify pitfalls earlier, allowing for ample time to make adjustments.
- It can provide proven techniques and processes that can be re-assessed and improved upon over time, based on your own project experience.
If you’re also convinced the WordPress community could benefit from having a WordPress website development methodology available, then I have good news! I am in the process of developing what I am calling the Complete WordPress Project Management Roadmap that will include all of the things in a typical methodology PLUS some additional personal techniques that I’ve been using with my clients for controlling scope creep and getting paid for discovery activities, among other challenges.
Even though the Roadmap won’t be ready for several more weeks, here’s how you can determine NOW if it will be of value to you. Download my Tip Sheet on 6 Easy Ways to Prevent Scope Creep Using your WordPress Project Proposal from wordpress-797515-3322842.cloudwaysapps.com. That will put you on the list to receive updates about the release of the Roadmap and give you an idea of the kinds of things you may learn. Not for you? No problem, just unsubscribe to our emails.
I am very excited to be returning to something I love and creating this methodology for you. In the meantime, if you want to exchange ideas and tips with other WordPress project managers, click here to join our private Facebook Group, WordPress Project Management.