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Building Adobe WorkflowLab, Part 3: Planning for Development

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In part 3 of this series, Aaron Pedersen, James Polanco, and Doug Winnie, the authors of Adobe Flash Platform from Start to Finish: Working Collaboratively Using Adobe Creative Suite 5, continue discussing the creation of WorkflowLab. After capturing the concept in a high-level goal with an approved prototype, use cases, and wireframes, it was time to analyze the technologies involved and how they would affect the architecture of the application.
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In part 1 of this series, we determined the high-level vision for our WorkflowLab project (originally codenamed Cascade), ending in a single-sentence goal: "Build a consistent communication vehicle for workflow, disciplines, tasks, users, products, and technologies that constitute a complete workflow for a project type." We built a prototype of the user interface, showed it to management and got approval, and began developing use cases to narrow our huge list of desired features into a practical first release.

Once the business planning was complete, we focused on planning for design. Our designer created a full set of accurate low-fidelity wireframes and user workflows to match the feature set and use cases (discussed in part 2 of this series). As planning for design was executed, the development team began working in parallel on the planning task for development.

The planning phase of development can begin early in the project lifecycle. As the project team fleshed out use cases and features, technical questions began to arise. Such questions must be answered in order to solve specific scenarios that help to define features. As more details are realized, certain types of technologies become apparent.

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