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Reality: Most people have a general idea of what they want their site to accomplish, but that’s not the same as knowing how to do it. You would never buy a couple of 2x4s and a hammer and start building a house without an engineering blueprint to define the technical specifications, layout, materials needed, and budget. The same should be true for your website. Planning should always precede production.
Well planned projects are less expensive and achieve better results because all of the details – technologies, functionality, features, business rules, layout and other nuances – are worked out and documented before production. Without a good plan, you can easily double your budget as you find out that the pieces don’t fit, aren’t what you thought they’d be or simply don’t work.
Planning ensures that you’re not disappointed by a result that you didn’t expect or overwhelmed by budget overruns that you didn’t anticipate.