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Chapter Checklist

  1. Dare to do less.

    It will be tempting to load up your project with every wonderful idea that occurs to you and your colleagues. Remember that your budget is small; you are better off if you scale back and do a few things well. Save the expensive ideas for a later phase of production.

  2. Write a short project goals document.

    If your project plan is vague, your small budget will be eaten up by indecision, rethinking, and patch-up work. Make sure that you start the job with a clear project goals document.

  3. Create a functional requirements document.

    It pays to be explicit about each of the functional requirements for the site. If you do not have a list of functional requirements in place, you will pay through the nose, wasting time and money on production work that you don't need.

  4. Craft a technical requirements document.

    Take the time to list technical requirements such as target browsers and system specifications, and use this list to test the site as you build it. If you wait until it's finished to test it against your technical benchmarks, your changes and bug fixes will cost far more than they have to. Never put yourself in a position where you have to pay for expensive post-production fixes to easily avoidable problems.

  5. Keep documentation nearby.

    It is important not only to write project goals and functional and technical requirements, but also to read them—and make sure your colleagues read them, too. I like to keep this documentation short and pin it to the bulletin board, where it serves as a constant reminder of what I'm trying to achieve.

Oh, I realize it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me: I've worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

—Groucho Marx in Monkey Business (1931)



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