Posted by: cnielsen on Jun 27, 2011
Joomla! CMS Project Mistake Number Two: Not staying focused on what is important or maintaining priorities
When a typical Joomla! CMS web project begins someone usually writes a big laundry list of all the features they want. Most often this has not yet been reviewed in depth by a developer whom can provide detailed specifications for the project tasking. At http://www.cnpintegrations.com/ and most consulting firms like ours, we call this the discovery phase of the project where we go through this list and map it to either business processes or available extensions for the Joomla! CMS.
In this discovery phase we try to bridge the gaps between what is already available or requires custom coding, how the client could alter their business processes to be more effective or reduce costs and to assess the training required for the client’s users and stakeholders to be effective.
With complex projects especially, you are going to find that because Joomla! CMS is so flexible and versatile and has over 7500+ extensions that often it is very difficult to separate the nice to haves from the core requirements of the site. Because there are so many options it is easy to get lost in cool features that you may like, but may rarely get used.
Keeping discipline not only keeps your costs down but it will also allow you to target the specific needs of your end users. It is always good to step back and take a breath while asking; “Is this really needed or will this distract the user from what I want them to do when they land on this page or navigate through the site?”
It is important to always remember the user experience. When someone lands on your site you want them to be able to find what they are looking for right away. Too many options or distracting features will prevent the intended experience and could confuse your visitors.
One thing I like to do as part of our consulting service at http://www.joomladesignservices.com/ is inspire folks to think about the many possibilities that are open to them using a Joomla! CMS as their content management platform. However, I also have to advise them to use caution since you have to be on target with the core requirements before you wander off in to all of the cool “nice to haves”. However, planning for the future is important as well so you would not have to take two steps back to take one forward.
If you have a lot of ideas that you want to implement at the same time, often you should consider having separate portals for groups of ideas or features. Every situation is different and even complex sites can have a simple point of entry if you plan them correctly.
One of the key teachings in most organized religions is to “stay on the path”. This makes perfect sense both in real life and in the universe of building a Joomla! CMS portal.