Long Term Project Planning – Part 2

Step Two: Taking Your Ideas off Paper

When one works on a project it’s either unorganized or badly planned, not always because some people plan there projects ahead of time :). This can and will hurt the programmers because when someone develops a project and its not even planned out correctly, then they will lose time off their project.

Projects Need to be Like Recipe’s.

What is organization? Organization is basically putting something in a orderly fashion. In other words, To Organize or Keep Clean.

Develop Organization

Everyone has a different way of organizing, some work and some don’t. Many reasons why people don’t succeed in organizing their project’s is because they are unsure if they have all their ideas down.

^If this is you?

I’d advise you to go back to step one and follow it. If your unsure about if you have everything you want in your project, this is a sign that your not done planning. Before you go on with stage two, always make sure you have every idea that you could even think of. Don’t rush to this stage, because you will end up with a inconsistent project with half the features, if that, and you won’t be happy with the outcome at all.

Finding Your Starting Point

Everyone will have a different starting point when it comes down to organizing their data. I personally think about what is the hardest part of my project. Then finish and top off the rest of my project by coding the simple and easiest things.

When you write codes you have to think about three things. The Front End, Back End and the User Interface. The Front End is what everyone can see included registered members and/or guests viewing your project’s content. This can vary depending on what your project is about. It could be a website or a personal tool so the front end could be just what you see. The Back End is what the administration does behind the scenes. This could be a administration panel or something “High Power” can manage. Last but not least, the User Interface. This could vary to how the user interacts with the software you create. Like a user panel and user only features.

Thinking of how your project is setup

You need to know how exactly you want your project set up, page wise. Many projects have a home page, an administration page and some times even a control panel for users.

Giving your project pages

Looking at the ideas from your notebook, each idea might tie to the next, but all ideas won’t be connected to each other. This is when you give your project pages or categories someone else might say.

The Example Project

To make this much easier for the rest of this guide I’m going to use this project to help others understand how easy it is to plan and organize their project.

Now lets say we have a simple PHP project to display random quotes and users can add there own quotes. Sort of like bash.org.

Here are my project ideas that I created in step 1:

  1. submit quotes (admin/users)
  2. delete quotes (admin)
  3. edit quotes (admin)
  4. display quotes (visual)
  5. rate quotes (users)
  6. report quotes (users)
  7. manage reported quotes (users)
  8. user system (users)
  9. ban/unban user (admin)

As you can see all my ideas wouldn’t tie together. Why would you want the ban feature on the login page? Plain old silly if you ask me.

(Note::open up notepad or any text editor and jot these down, makes things much cleaner and readable)

So lets think based on my project description and ideas what pages we want to create to split up my ideas.

Home

  • display quotes
  • report quotes
  • navigation to access (admin, login/reg, and submit quotes pages)

Registration

  • Its own page to register users

Login

  • Its own page to login users

Control Panel

  • Its own pages to allow users to submit there quotes and view all their quotes they submitted

Admin Control Panel

  • Admin login
  • submit (quote submit feature for Admin’s if they are lazy)
  • edit quotes
  • delete quotes
  • ban/unban users

Now we’ve successfully organized our ideas to its own sections so we have a way of know how the project will be set up.

I think I got few more ideas

That’s perfectly fine, you have your main project set up, go back to step one and do that step over and add to your current list. Doing these steps over will make things much easier and you’ll have more features that could make your project more likable then any other competitive projects that might be out there.

Tip

There is never too many ideas. The more ideas the better. Just to note, if you have so many ideas you can’t code or do, thats alright. At least you’ll have those ideas down and when you learn how to program that idea you can add it as a new feature that people might go “wow” about when its integrated.

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