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Drupal Website Process: Why You’re Losing the Best Web Development Talent

Nationally, we spend 250 billion dollars on software development. Yet 83% of these projects are canceled, late and/or over-budget. –James P. Lewis, “Fundamentals of Project Management”

We receive RFPs (requests for proposals) on a weekly basis. The majority are awful, and the tragedy is that a poor RFP creates confusion, clutter and cost.

A poor RFP also kills the desire for developers to work on a project. Most companies don’t realize the RFP process itself costs them the cream of web development talent because the best developers don’t need or want to spend hours bidding on projects. Especially if you are trying to hire a Drupal web developer.

Web folks are being courted, and enticed to work on web design projects. We don’t need to suffer through hours of determining a company’s needs, wants, politics, financing and decision makers. Developers are creators, they want to build code to an unmoving, unchanging spec. No scope creep, please!

There is an assumption developers or a development company are project managers and team leaders. For the most part, universally this is not the case. In the many hundreds of projects we’ve clocked and completed, roughly 30% of the project is actual development time. The rest is administrative, project management, usability, design, theming and testing.

However, companies need a process that allows for review and screening of a potential web design company. So even though no one (on either side of the proverbial fence) loves the RFP process, it appears to be a necessary evil. Personally, I wouldn’t enjoy the task of hiring a web company with so many unknowns and variables. Now that I know how the sausage is made… well, let’s just say the kitchen experience isn’t the same as the dining room results.

With web development project management all over the map, we’re developing a framework for an ideal Drupal Web Development RFP to create order into a chaotic process. Bad input leads to bad planning, implementation and product. By using fundamental project management language and procedures, the world of web design RFPs can be standardized to produce a document with the essential information, globally accessible to multiple bidding partners, and providing both sides a clear understanding of the requirements, and the scope and the process.

It will create an apple-to-apples comparison rather than apples-to-toaster bids. It will reduce the time to create an RFP and reduce the time to respond. All good things!

We’d love your feedback on these and any other points you’d like to make:

  • What information is always missing & leads to bad process/project mgmt?
  • What causes project headaches for you?
  • If you’ve managed a project, what do you wish you had done differently?
  • What structure, documentation, assets were missing?
  • What would it have taken to make your project succeed?
  • What drives you crazy?

If you respond, we’ll send you a sneak peek at the results of our new process!