Project Design is one of the most important first steps regarding a successful project. During this process, the strategy is to organize ideas, tools and processes in order to achieve a goal.
1/ What is it ?
During the Project Design phase, the ways to manage the project are defined.
A document is made, the « Design file », where for instance, description of the project, roles, goals and timing are described. A good design enable to avoid traps in the middle of the project by producing for example schedules and budgets.
An idea of project becomes a reality only when it is organize in concrete steps with a timeline.
This crucial stage has to answer the 4Ws of the project : What, Where, When, Who.
2/ The 4 Ws
This part defines the project itself. It answer several questions like :
– What ?
What’s the vision ?
The strategy here is to clarify his needs with the client and try to see how he see it.
What’s the problem ?
Basically, it is the definition of the various issues that can come out of the vision.
And other questions like and what’s the strategy ? What’s the budget ?
– Where ?
This is the definition of the internal and external environment and answering the questions like which ressources are going to be necessary ? where is it going to be done ?
– When ?
This is the timeline of the project that doesn’t have to be very specific. It is more like a quick way to display an overview of the planned steps by describing the chronological organization of the events that will be done during the project.
– Who ?
This describes the various stakeholders of the project like the client, the project manager, human ressources or the project team.
During our training course, we add to do for the first time the design project phase. The client was a fictional baking company that needed a software coded in JAVA to manage its suppliers, products, articles and orders with also a database.
The first thing I did was a technological watch to learn the very important steps to follow. We described the likes of schedule, use cases, data dictionary, mock-up, storyboard … .
Then, during the project realization, I really saw the importance of the design project phase. In fact, if this phase is botched, you are then confronted to some issues, especially with the database management if it’s no well-designed or if you missed something in your mock-up/storyboard.
In conclusion, in my opinion, the design project phase is the most important phase and has to be done in a conscientious way to avoid lots of issues and in the end gain some time.