We built this website in one day
We built this website in one day
Why do it in one day?
The last few times we decided to refresh our website, migrate it to a new platform, or update the layout, it took between a few weeks and a few months, and that what was painful. The typical project was to decide what needed to change, starting the work, looking at the results, then having new ideas. On top of that, because it is internal work, the infamous cobbler’s son never gets the best pair of shoes, i.e., the highest priority. We did not want that to happen this time, because:
- nobody likes the stretching deadline of a project forever at 99% completion,
- we want to be more agile,
- it is way easier to book all the resources for a single day, then spread the work in time,
- having everybody working in the same room, in one day, will remove most of the communication,
- misunderstanding, and forgetfulness of an extended project,
- most importantly, it was fun, created good energy,
How we did it?
We first choose the technology: hugo . It was essential to agree on which technology could best support our requirement: publish content as fast as possible. We also selected a website generation tool to increase the security of our website. Finally, the clear separation of content and layout guarantees that the website look & feel will be consistent. With technology came a few existing templates. As expected, we found things we liked in several of them and decided to merge them to get to the structure we wanted. We assemble all the content, text, pictures, logos. Last but not least, we assembled the team and booked a date to work together on our new website.
How was the day organized?
We organized the day in 1h sprints:
- 40 minutes to work on each part of the website,
- 10 minutes to aggregate and deploy,
- 10 minutes to review, analyze, and generate tasks for the next sprint.
Above is a series of screenshots of the website at different stage of the day (not strictly at the end of each sprint). We followed the 1h rule for the first few sprints, but as time went by, we became more flexible and adapted to the natural pace of the team.
The website changed little in the first few hours. It changed a lot between 17h and 19h, as everything got assemble.The big question we started to ask ourselves at 18h was: is it good enough to go live? By 20h the answer was almost, as we identify the last 4 items to iron out. So we completed the challenge to put the website live by the end of the day, after 11h13 of intense work.
Did we cheat?
You may think that we cheated by preparing the content before the actual building. And you can argue that all the preparation is part of the project. But on the contrary, doing it upfront should be the norm for projects, web, or other. When a project plan assumes that content preparation in parallel, there is a high risk of delay. Starting the project only after everything is ready is the best way to concentrate the work in a short time.
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