Planning a dynamic site is hard work.
The first thing you need is an ability to help the client distinguish between a "want" and a "need." This will require some rather in-depth discussions between you and the client, but the time spent here will avoid serious problems at a later date when the client discovers what he wants isn't what you are creating.
A key document to prepare is an outline of the project scope. This document lays out the parameters of the project, including such items as budget, deadlines, a creative brief, and a technical specification. This document can be regarded as a "deliverable," and the client should sign off on it.
Using a variety of technologies can make for some interesting decisions and discussions that will have a profound impact upon the finished product. This is why we reviewed how we made the decision to use MySQL as the database for this book. We also explained the purpose of a creative brief, how it is developed, and supplied a sample brief for the Oakbridge Community Center.
The technical brief is another document that should be prepared. It is the document that gives the technical team its marching orders and the client a succinct overview of the technologies being used in the project.
Client/team communication is important, and we also reviewed the reasons behind creating a client site, how to work with timelines and deadlines, and the importance of communication between the members of the team.
This last point is facilitated through the use of a chat room that is constructed using a number of Flash MX 2004 Components.
With the broad issues of the project under control, the next chapter, "Planning the Data for a Dynamic Site," shows you how to plan and organize the raw material for the Oakbridge Community Center site.