Functional subdivision: how to segment your web project?
Functional project subdivision is one of the baseline conditions for the success of a project. Providing a real roadmap for your project – and much more –subdivision will allow you to involve all available business expertise more effectively and to control your IT project over its entire duration.
Why use functional subdivision in an IT project?
The purpose of functional subdivision of a web, mobile or software project is to properly plan production, or more specifically – the development phases.
Subdividing an IT project involves defining large functional components of the application, such as:
- Management of access rights.
- Product catalogue
- Home page.
- Order process.
- Management of product customization.
These large functional components are called functional bundles. You will also use these bundles to define and procure your support throughout the project’s duration.
What are the advantages of an IT project subdivision?
As explained above, software project subdivision applies to any type of IT project: e-commerce sites, transactional sites, institutional sites, editorial sites, etc. The concept of project subdivision comes from strategic design and from IT project management.
1. Monitor end user needs
Strategic design is a concept that seeks to respond to the following issues:
- What is the purpose of this product?
- What are consumers’ expectations?
In-depth work on project subdivision can go a long way in answering these two questions. This is because project subdivision provides a way of piloting the project around large functional groups: the bundles.
In this way, the project becomes easier to manage and perceive. Indeed, in an e-commerce project, you probably already know the main components that will emerge:
- Product personalization
- The product drop
- The ordering process
- The payment process
- The customer area management
- Commercial events.
The product drop describes how a visitor to an e-commerce site views a product page from the home page of the store.
2. Manage the software project with mini-projects
The management of a software project with subdivision implies that you manage your project step-by-step through mini-projects.
For example, with an e-commerce site, you’ll need to manage the mini projects as follows:
- Mini project 1: define the tree structure of the product catalogue
- Mini project 2: design of the Home Page template
- Mini project 3: design of the template for the product sheet and the product listing
- Mini project 4: design of the ordering process
- Mini project 5: design of the customer area
Two important points need to be emphasized:
Interdependence of functionalities: group the functionalities that have strong interdependencies between them within the same bundle (of the same mini project). For example, process the product catalogue and the product sheet at the same time.
Consistency of batches: make sure that the bundles you create are sufficiently identical and homogeneous. By maintaining a good sense of software usage and user experience, you can’t go wrong with splitting the project into bundles.
What are the objectives of the IT project subdivision?
When you decide to subdivide a project, you’ll soon realize that subdivision will be one of the main levers for the smooth running of the project. Subdivision makes it possible to achieve a very detailed, granular view of management, and therefore allows you to avoid possible overflows and setbacks.
Objective 1: Subdivide to better manage the IT project
When you have defined your bundles, you can easily order them by retro-planning, and allocate to each bundle the necessary resources – as well as the corresponding budget. Large, complex projects that span months or even years definitely require subdivision. Without subdivision, a project will be difficult if not impossible to master.
In addition, subdivision gives a simplified overall view to all the stakeholders, who may be numerous. During project meetings, each actor will be able to easily view the progress of the project and understand whether a particular feature has been implemented or not.
Objective 2: Improve involvement of business experts
Specialists in each trade or segement can intervene more effectively on a subdivided project – designers, developers, marketers, sales representatives, etc. Each specialist will bring their own, refined vision of the objectives that need to be achieved. In this way, the analyses and proposed solutions will be of a higher quality and more nuanced, allowing for an optimized project outcome.
How to subdivide your IT project?
Subdivision must be adapted to the project type. Indeed, you are not going to divide a software creation project in the same way as you would for a project that involves the redesign of a web application.
When you create software from scratch to finish, you need establish a macro view where you list all the experiences that the user will have with your software. Conversely, when you are carrying out a website redesign project you will be focusing more on the micro aspects of the project. This is because most redesign projects will be focused on a few sections of the site, for example certain strategic pages.
The purpose of a redesign project will be to complete and improve an existing website, which will be more focused on evolution and improvement, or the addition of new functionalities. This is unlike a creative project where the whole will be designed and built from A to Z. The functional subdivision will therefore be very different.
1. Deal with the most strategic and complex functionalities at the beginning of the project
As a software development company, we strongly recommend that you prioritize batch/bundle processing in order of importance and complexity. Avoid keeping the biggest and most complex bundle for the end. Depending on the budget, the human resources required, the level of complexity and the degree of importance of its functionality in the overall project, properly prioritize the batch/bundle processing with common sense.
2. Make a retro-plan
With your bundles and a clear prioritization in mind, you will be able to establish a schedule using formatting, with a Gantt chart for example. The Gantt chart is a well-known tool that allows you to display bundles divided into tasks. It is a graphic display that helps build a clear vision of a project.
As you design your retro-plan frame your project around important milestones. These milestones represent steps to be reached in order to move the project forward in the right direction. They will represent clear and tangible progress markers for you. This will be of great use during complex projects where there are many stakeholders.
If you are looking for a functional project manager – a real conductor of your project subdivision, let’s talk about it together; we can present you with several profiles of project managers experienced in the management of complex projects.