Lights, Camera, Action! Research and Planning for a Hollywood Client


One of my favorite things is working with a new client. I get to learn a lot, meet a lot of great people, and make sure their project starts out on the right track. This week we kicked off a new client of ours – a successful small business in the movie industry in Hollywood, California. Travis and I (that’s the two folks in the above photo, at right) and our client (the two people at left) spent two intense days of project discovery, research and planning work (and good lunches nearby – yum!).

By uncovering and planning all deliverables early on in projects like this one, we aim to avoid being surprised by new requirements in later phases – a phenomenon that unfortunately is all too common with large-scale web development projects.

Before meeting the client, we identified three major aspects of their future website that have a high level of complexity and needed to be planned in detail. During our meetings, we worked with the client to develop a workflow and technical strategy for each of these areas, along with other related functionality.

For example, data migration was a concern for us. This company has an existing website with a large base of active users, and they have a significant amount of data that will need to be transformed into a very different format on the new site. Furthermore, the new website needs to launch with little or no downtime, and existing users will need to access their accounts and data after the transition. To meet these requirements, we carefully mapped out every scenario which we’ll need to account for during the migration.

Copious notes were taken, and these will serve as the basis of the project specifications which our developers will refer to heavily during the development phase of our work. Having Travis, our lead architect, involved from the start will minimize the inevitable “lost in translation” problems that can derail projects.

Equally important to the specific notes is the fact that we now have a great working relationship with our client and understand their business in much greater detail. We always look to deliver a project that will help our client’s business grow into the future. Knowing their business means we can offer suggestions and guidance that can help bring their vision to life.

After two days of warm weather and productive meetings, we feel that these two days will yield big dividends down the road. We look forward to a smooth development phase and can’t wait to showcase our end result in a few months. Stay tuned!

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