Can’t you just make a one-page checklist?

I was having coffee with my friend Bill Seaver one day (I do that a lot) and he asked me a question that I found interesting enough to answer here on the blog.

“Can’t you just put all of this into a one page checklist for any website project you want to build?”

Bill has this way of cutting through the crap of an idea to get to the heart.

The answer I gave him was “No”. Actually, it was an emphatic no; a “heck no” with a side order of looking at him like he’s crazy. The reason that so many projects turn into goat rodeos is that there are a lot of details to manage. The development is just one part of the whole. You have to manage the design, the functionality, the content strategy, the data entry, the hosting, the security and so many more details that the thought of a “one-size fits all” checklist is amusing.

In each website project, there are common elements but there are also details that are specific to that particular project. I’ve seen companies that have complex flow charts for their development process, even places that recognize that small projects need a different process than large ones. However, no flow chart or checklist is going to fit every situation. A single checklist to cover all the different scenarios would easily fill a book by itself, and would still be incomplete.

“Avoiding a Goat Rodeo” teaches you the things you need to think about, not the check boxes you need to check. A website is a complex beast, to manage a successful one you need to have the proper respect for it but most of all you need to have the proper mindset. You can’t get either of those onto a checklist.



Want more helpful advice?

Are you looking for more helpful advice? Check out our book, Avoiding a Goat Rodeo. It was written to help non-programmers understand website development. It shows you how to get the website you want.

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