Here's the final results of the Project Scoping Questionnaire I put together with input from co-workers and friends. It's massive. I wouldn't expect anyone to ask all of these question directly. I see it much more as guide or checklist when scoping a web development project.
- Please describe your business, including your products and/or services.
- What is your company’s mission/positioning statement?
- Do your prospects have problems that your business solves?
- In particular, what sets your business apart from your competitors?
- Why do you want to have a new or redesigned website?
- Do you believe not having a new or redesigned website will have a negative impact on your business?
- Describe why you are dissatisfied with your existing website.
- What is the overall objective for your website? Are there any secondary objectives?
- Do you have plans to expand how you drive prospects to your site?
- What offline methods are you using to convert prospects to customers, and would you like to replicate or move them online?
- Where is the sales cycle do you want your site to be positioned (awareness, interest, decision or action)?
- Are there future objectives you want to implement in a second phase of development?
- How are you tracking and measuring the success of your current website? Visits? Conversions? Revenue?
- Will you track the success of the new website by the same methods, or do you wish to employ additional methods?
- How do you define a conversion? Sales? Leads? Other?
- How do you plan to encourage repeat visits? Referrals? Conversions?
- What is your deadline for completing the website?
- What is driving the deadline for completing the website? New product launch? New marketing campaign? Branding redesign? Optimization?
- Once the website is completed, what are your expectations for bringing in significant business from the website?
- Do you need help with organic or paid search?
- Do you need consulting on social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, etc.)?
- What is your budget for this project?
- Please describe your customers.
- Who is the primary audience you want to visit your website?
- Are there secondary or tertiary audiences for this website?
- Have you conducted any focus group studies of your customers?
- Are your customers segmented into specific groups, type or profiles?
- Of these segments, are any more important in terms of value or profitability?
- Is there a new set of customers you are trying to reach with your website?
- Describe the primary needs, concerns or desires that your website can help customers fulfill.
- What are the desired actions you would like a customer to take on the website?
- Describe your customer’s expectations for the website.
- By what methods do customers find your website? Advertising? Search? Affiliates?
- Please describe your main competitors.
- Why should customers do business with you rather than with a competitor?
- What competitive websites are your customers visiting?
- Based on your online competition, do you have an idea of how you want your website to look?
- Please describe the types of content on your website.
- Is there a website map, user flows, or scenarios for your current website?
- How many pages of content exist on the current website?
- On the current website pages, which content must be preserved? Will any of the preserved content need to be reworked?
- Please describe any new content needed for the website.
- Where will the content come from? Who is responsible for updating it? Is it ready for use on your website?
- Is copy writing required, or will you be providing the copy?
- Can you provide contacts or subject matter experts for the writer to interview?
- Are there existing materials from which the writer can gain insight and background?
- Do you have a specific writing style or tone that you prefer?
- Will you be optimizing it for natural search? Will you provide all meta data? In what format will you provide it?
- Please list the names of five other websites that you admire and why they are attractive to you.
- How much of your existing look and feel do you want to retain?
- Are you changing any of your key branding components? If so, who will be creating/designing these?
- Do you have any Web or corporate design standards or style guides that need to be followed?
- Will any original photography or artwork be required?
- Are there existing graphics that can be leveraged?
- Describe each of the main functional areas of your website.
- What percentage of the website is static versus dynamic driven?
- Describe any tools or applications (e.g. calculators, forums, ratings) that are used within the website.
- Are any multimedia (e.g. photo gallery, video/audio streaming, and Flash games) components used on your website?
- Is any website search (e.g. Endeca, Google, and Omniture) technology used on your website?
- Does your website integrate with any social media websites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace and Bebo) or blog platforms (e.g. Blogger, Wordpress and TypePad)?
- Do you follow any search engine optimization guidelines for developing your website?
- Is international support needed for your website? If so, which countries?
- Is Web accessibility needed for your website?
- Is mobile device (e.g. Android, Blackberry, and iPhone) accessibility needed for your website?
- Describe the technical architecture of your website.
- Do you have any existing diagrams, technical specifications, or other documents that detail your technical architecture?
- Is there a pre-existing environment for this website?
- Does the website use a content management system?
- Is an ecommerce system used?
- What platform are you using for your database (e.g. MS SQL, MySQL, and Oracle)?
- Name the programming languages used in your current website. (e.g. ASP.Net, Java, PHP)
- Which Web server operating systems are used in your current website (e.g. Microsoft IIS, Apache)?
- What is your Web hosting environment for your current website?
- What platform are you using for your Web analytics (e.g. Google Analytics, Omniture, and WebTrends)?
- Is middleware used to connect with your back-end systems?
- Do you consume any Web services within your website?
- Does your website support any Web API services?
- Are there specific Web development standards or procedures that we need to follow?
- Is there existing data, content or feeds that will need to be imported into the new website?
- Are any security guidelines or restrictions employed around the website operations?
Review & Approval
- Which individuals in your company will be involved with the consideration and approval of the website design and development?
- Does your legal/compliance department need to review the website? If so, what is their typical approval timeframe?
- Will the same individuals be involved in the client acceptance testing?
- Are there any third party vendors or agencies who will be involved in this project?
- Who will maintain the website after it is launched? Will there be a dedicated team?
- How much time and resources do you spend online, responding to inquiries, leads, feedback, etc. that come in via your website?