Project Specifications

After the Web firm has been contracted to build a Web site, the best way to identify very specific content and functionality, and to allocate resources for the completion of these tasks is to write a project specification. This specification, in effect, becomes the "Project Bible," as it is one document used to solidify agreement between the client and the contractor on Web site specifics.

The following documents should be included in the project specification:

  • Web Site Hierarchy (Other names include: Flow Chart and Information Architecture
  • Detailed Project Description
  • Budget and Schedule

It's much easier for the Web firm to catch differing project goals between client and contractor, while remaining profitable, by identifying them at the project specification stage than when work is completed and doesn't meet with the client's expectations.

You will also be introduced to a Web site that will be used throughout this book as a case study, Disability News is a clearinghouse for information related to mental health and disabilities. It is targeted toward mental health professionals, students and educators, families of disabled individuals, and people with disabilities.

The following is a project specification, written and compiled by Charlie Bleau, the Web Development Director for Disability News. In retrospect, Charlie emphasizes that not only was the project specification used to identify the project details, it was also used as a business plan for the entire Web site venture. Disability News was created under the direction of Greater Lynn Mental Heath and Rehabilitation, a leading non-profit organization supporting people with disabilities and their families in the Boston area. However, the best way to learn about this project and its objectives is to read the project specification:

SERVICE OVERVIEW: is a comprehensive on-line service for healthcare professionals, families, students, people with disabilities and advocates with a focus on the mental retardation and mental health fields. is a division of Greater Lynn Mental Health & Retardation Association, Inc. (GLMHRA). The service will leverage GLMHRA's expertise with the dually diagnosed population, specifically the Robert D. Sovner Behavioral Health Resource Center in Danvers MA.

The key components of web site will be:

On-line Publishing Service

On-line Communications Service (on-line chat)

Training Service

The service will be Electronic Commerce enabled for on-line purchases and membership fees-the primary means for revenue. Additionally, advertising and sponsorships will be a secondary means for revenue. will be built in 2 Phases to ensure proper technical implementation. The following is a project description for the key components in each phase.

Phase 1:To be completed by July 15, 1999


Launch On-line Publishing Service

Launch Training Service

Market Survey to determine feasibility of Phase 2

On-line Publishing Service:

Users will have the opportunity to purchase journal articles and books on, very similar to the services provided by and Harvard Business Review ( Currently, is in negotiations with Psych-Media for permission to publish the Mental Health Aspects in Developmental Disabilities Journal. If negotiations are successful, this will give access to over 20 years of journal articles from the most reputable professionals from the dually diagnosed field. A fee structure will be negotiated with Psych-Media. Biographies and contact information for all authors will be provided.

Additionally, will provide book sales via the site. We propose to partner with through their Associates Program. If our application is approved, visitors to will have the opportunity to purchase books specific to their area of interest from the vast libraries of In return, will receive between a 5 and 15% royalty on all sales as a result from the link from Associates with are given the right to promote this relationship on their site and in any sales literature and advertising. There is no cost to become an Associate and coordinates fulfillment and shipping. It is our hope to eventually expand upon the book sales portion of the Publishing Service from other sources.

Other Resources will be provided to users such as: community services, support groups, government agencies, other contact information and links on the Web. This material will be searchable by geography or keywords.

The backbone of the On-line Publishing Service is a large database containing the title of articles, subjects, summaries, geographic regions, pricing and the actual articles. In addition, this database will have the added benefit of being tied into the database for book sales. The e-commerce portion of will play a key role in the database. Once a user has successfully purchased an article through e-commerce, they will be able to download a copy of the journal article, in Adobe Acrobat (*.pdf) file format, onto their computer. This file will be readable in Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 or higher (a free shareware program). E-commerce for books purchased on will be handled by

Launch Training Service:

Online registration and other information regarding the 2nd Annual Training Institute on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (sponsored by GLMHRA and the Sovner Center) will be available via We hope to involve other trade organizations in both the Training and Publishing Services to expand our service offerings.

Market Research:

The Sovner Center Research & Development Department will develop a comprehensive survey to determine the feasibility of launching the On-line Communications Service and to make adjustments in the services provided in the Phase 1 web site.

Phase 2:To be completed by October 1, 1999


Launch On-line Communications Service (Membership Services) Evaluate successes of On-line Publishing Service-make adjustments

Launch On-line Communications Service:

An additional database will be created to manage the On-line Communications Service for Members. If Phase 2 is implemented, will recruit Members via the existing Web site who are interested in gaining additional, fee based services from the Web site. Some examples include on-line discussion groups, on-line support groups, and 1:1 professional consultations. A key component of this service will be the ability to recruit "Professional Members." Professional Members will be doctors, therapists, licensed social workers, and other health care professionals interested in participating in, either by being an on-line consultant or submitting a research paper or journal article to

Different levels of Membership will be provided at a certain fee paid via the e-commerce portion of Basic membership plans will include a distinct number of hours of "public chat." "Private chat" time (including 1:1 consultations) will be provided to members for an additional fee.

Other areas of interest, such as real estate and property renovations for people with disabilities, may be included based upon the feedback from the Phase 1 Market Survey.


Overall, the Internet and World Wide Web community has been expanding significantly since 1995. According to market research giants Forrester and International Data Corporation, the number of Internet users reached an estimated 100 Million North Americans by the end of 1998. By 2002, forecasters predict that 20 million Internet users will make on-line purchases totaling $400 billion (source: Hoffacker, Claudia; "The World Wide Mall," The Manager,Fall 1998: page 23). This number is expected to grow considerably over the next decade.

As the general demographics of Web users shift to representing the demographics of the general public (result of price decline of computers and Internet access), more opportunities will become available for more demographic groups. The current average user of the Web is a male 35 years old, college educated. 80% of Web users are men-but these numbers have been changing rapidly.


The following is an analysis of potential large competitors of Each of these Web sites offer similar services as are proposed by"The Online Site for Professionals in Psychiatry & Psychology"

Psychwatch provides a comprehensive list of resources specifically for professionals in the mental health field. Much of this information has been gathered through linkages with professionals and organizations participating in Psychwatch. Psychwatch provides the following services: training information, job postings, journal articles, listings of doctors, an on-line newsletter, and bulletin boards. The service is not fee based (other than Banner Advertising) and is free for users to access. Graphically the site is very basic and is formatted with frames for easy site navigation. Overall, a very effective site and providing useful information to its target audience of mental health care professionals. No e-commerce. Arc of the United States is a informational site for a general audience of people interested in mental retardation. The site provides a wide array of resources for free or for sale via the site (site is not e-commerce enabled). Examples include listings of books, government information, bulletin boards, a newsletter, and contact information for member chapters (The Arc is a national trade association). The site also has an affiliation with Barnes and Noble, so there is a means to purchase books on-line through the Barnes and Noble Web site. For a national trade association, the site is not very graphically appealing but it does provide access to a wide variety of information for users. The site provides straightforward navigation through the use of tables. The target audience is (1) human services/health care professionals, and (2) families and advocates.

Another model site, but not a direct competitor, is the HivInsite Web site sponsored by the University of California at This site provides an excellent outline for arranging resources for a particular disability. The site is well organized and is attractively presented given that it is a nonprofit site. It also shows a great example of utilizing sponsorships, should decide to go this route also with site advertising.

POSITIONING: will be the preeminent resource for disability-related information and resources on the Web, both free and for-fee services. The Target Audience will be comprised of (1) health care professionals, (2) families and advocates, (3) people with disabilities, and (4) students and educators from higher education. will provide customers with the following:

Access to the latest, most current information and resources for disabilities (particularly developmental disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, and physical disabilities)

Convenient and timely access to information

Excellent customer service and response times

Expertise from the most reputable professionals


The Communications Strategy and Web design of will reflect the needs and interests of our Target Audience of (1) health care professionals, (2) students and educators, (3) families and advocates of people with disabilities, and (4) people with disabilities.

A key component of the site will be its ability to present a unique offering of products and services customized for each target audience. This will also include the content and copywriting. Products and Services will be further refined with the analysis of the Market Surveys, which will be distributed to a sample of each Target Audience (currently in process).

The primary means of the Marketing and Communications strategy of is the graphical presentation of the web site itself. It is important, not only for the site to be attractive, but also to have easy functionality and navigation for users. The site will provide a wide variety of information with many different categories and subcategories, so it is vital for it to present much more organized and straightforward for users.

TaskCompletion Date
Completion of Phase 1 Technical Development. Including: Database construction, embedding graphics, and site layout.5/10/99
Commence Phase 1 Content Development. Including: Scanning, Indexing of articles for database, and Misc. materials for site.5/10/99
Complete Preliminary Market Survey for AAMR Conference in New Orleans5/17/99
AAMR (American Association for Mental Retardation) Annual Conference in New Orleans. Have all presentation materials for booth.5/25-28/99
Beta Test Web site with adjustments based on preliminary survey and focus group feedback (use Target Audience sample)7/1/99
Implement launch Public Relations7/1/99
Official Launch Date of Phase 1 Web Site7/15/99
Commence Phase 2 Development with inclusion of final Survey Data8/1/99
Troubleshoot and make refinements8/1-27/99
Post-Launch Direct Mailing to Target Audience promoting site7/30/99
Commence Post-Launch Advertising Campaign8/15/99
Commence Post-Launch Public Relations Campaign8/30/99
Official Launch Date of Phase 2 Web Site10/1/99
National Association for the Dually Diagnosed Annual Meeting at Niagara Falls, Ontario11/10-13/99
TASH Conference in Chicago12/99

Advertising Plan:

The core advertising will be done in a major roll-out campaign during the months of July and August 1999. The following media will be utilized:

Print Advertising: selected trade newsletters, magazines and journals. These include:

Mental Health Aspects in Developmental Disabilities Journal

American Association for Mental Retardation Newsletter

YAI Newsletter

American Association on Mental Retardation Newsletter

TASH Newsletter

These selections will be ideal for building brand awareness for with health care professionals.

On-line Advertising: banner advertising, affinity groups, and cross-marketing/banner exchanges will be utilized, including:

Banner Advertising on health care-related and search engine Web sites. Specific sites to be determined.

Banner Exchanges with Web sites marketing to same target audience(s). Examples may include AAMR, McLean Hospital, NADD, Healthcare Providers, and other health care/advocacy sites for people with disabilities.

Advertising in the above areas will allow to reach each of the four Target Audience groups on the Web. Further research will be done to identify additional sites for on-line advertising.

A total of $4000 has been allocated in budget for the Phase 1 launch Advertising Plan. Therefore, cost-effective means for both print and on-line advertising will need to be identified.

3. Public Relations Plan:

Public Relations will be an ongoing process for A combination of trade shows, conferences, and traditional press placements will be utilized both to announce the launch and build ongoing awareness.

Areas will include

Local/Regional Newspapers in Massachusetts

State and National Trade Association literature

National/International Health Care Magazines

National/International Web/Internet publications

State/national University/college newsletters

Tradeshow/ Conference involvement will also be utilized to further build awareness and interest in the service. Some preliminary locations identified, include:

MCHP Annual Meeting in Boston-Fall 1999

NADD Annual Meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario-11/10-13/99

TASH Annual Meeting in Chicago-12/99

AAMR Annual Meeting in Washington-5/00

Additional Tradeshow/conference involvement will be identified as information becomes available.

Estimated Public Relations budget for Phase 1 Public Relations (tradeshows/conferences): $8,000

Other Promotion:

Direct Marketing: a comprehensive direct marketing campaign will be conducted to promote to 1) Healthcare Professionals in Massachusetts and nationally, 2) Community Healthcare Providers both locally and nationally, 3) Selected educators in psychology and psychiatry nationally, 4) Special Education directors and teachers in Massachusetts.

This direct mailing will be sent to the above groups the end of July, beginning of August 1999. The mailing will most likely be a postcard or other cost-effective mailing piece to go out 3rd class bulk rate. Mailing lists will be acquired from both existing mailing lists and fee-based list services. The estimated number of units to be mailed will be between 15,000 and 20,000.

An additional direct mailing will be sent upon completion of the Phase 2 web site in November. We will define this campaign at a later date.

Total budget for Phase 1 Direct Marketing: $5000.

Sales Strategy:

A major component to the success of will be the recruitment of advertisers and companies who are interested in selling their products and services on Based upon feedback received at the AAMR Conference in May, future involvement in trade shows as well as contacting potential participants in this service personally will be key to the future growth and success of

It is proposed that a position be made available that will solely focus on developing relationships, networking, and essentially "selling" to other companies. Additionally, this position will be responsible for assisting in promoting the service at trade shows and conferences.

Once Phase 2 is underway, this Sales/Marketing Consultant will assist in coordinating the On-line Communications (Chat) service and recruit Professional Members.


The primary means of generating revenue through the Phase 1 Web site will be through the sale of Journal articles and other publications on-line.

An average article fee of $7 has been established for purposes of this marketing plan. For journal publishers, we will mark up journal articles by 100% for on-line sale-50% of the revenue to the publisher and 50% for (currently in negotiation with Psych-Media). Buyers will purchase each article at a premium in exchange for receiving the article of their choice on demand (i.e., a convenience premium). Essentially, will operate as a Value Added Reseller (VAR) in the distribution channel. Additionally, if approved, we would also receive royalties from being an Associate-as mentioned earlier.

E-commerce will be the primary means for processing all transactions.

The following is the proposed Pricing Plan for the Phase 2 web site:

Membership Fees: 4 membership packages have been established for, all with different offerings:

Membership Plan 1 (Basic Plan):This includes 5 hours of Public Chat, access to additional resources, email monthly newsletter w/updates and other links not offered to non-members. Additionally, web site customization at login based upon past purchases, and areas of interest indicated in membership application. This membership plan has a 6 month duration. Planned cost: $50. Renewal cost: $40.

Membership Plan 2 (Family Plan):This includes 10 hours of Public Chat, access to additional resources, email monthly newsletter w/ updates and other links not offered to non-members. Additionally, web site customization at login based upon past purchases, and areas of interest indicated in membership application. This membership plan has a 1 year duration. Planned cost: $80. Renewal cost: $60.

Membership Plan 3 (Corporate Plan):This includes 30 hours of Public Chat, access to additional resources, email monthly newsletter w/ updates and other links not offered to non-members. Web site customization based upon type of business/organization with more of a business emphasis in presentation. This membership plan has a 6 month duration. Planned cost: $200. Renewal cost: $200.

Membership Plan (Non-profit Plan):This limited membership allows access to additional resources, email monthly newsletter w/updates and other links not offered to non-members. No public chat and web site customization. In order to be eligible, non-profit must present a valid Federal Non-profit Identification code-need 24 hours for varification. This membership plan has an indefinite duration and does not cost anything for a valid non-profit organization.

2. Private Chat: Private Chat will be a unique service offered by Pricing for this is based upon a "sliding scale" depending on the number of participants-1 to 5 people and the credentials of the professional facilitating the Private Chat session. Each professional has been designated an average hourly rate for services. Individual rates may need to be established depending on the reputation and credentials of the professional.


Web Development Director-20 hrs/wk:

Provide management oversight of the service during and after project development phases.

Web development and Web site administration

Manage contractors

Scan existing journal articles

Meet with CEO for approvals and input in project development

Senior Editor-8 hrs/wk:

Manage the organization of editorial content, including content creation for Web site

Editor/R&D Consultant-4 hrs/wk:

Assist in organizing editorial content

Scan journal articles

Editor/R&D Consultant

Recruit sponsors and other trade publications

Provide editorial consultation

Develop market survey and statistical analysis

Sales Consultant

Network with providers, trade associations, and educational institutions to recruit advertising and product offerings

Attendance and representation at conferences and trade shows

Marketing Consultant

Network with providers, trade associations, and educational institutions to recruit advertising and product offerings

Coordinate Professional Membership and On-line Communications Service

The site should be very functional, yet it needs to be eye-catching for the target audience. Please refer to Attachment 3 for a hard copy of the HIV/Aids Web site sponsored by the University of California at San Francisco. This Web site is very functional yet has a professional, eye-catching representation. Additionally, the HIV/Aids Web site has some similarities to the proposed DisabilityNews web site- i.e., the way information is organized and presented.

Graphics to be created include

Large Logo bar for home page

Small Logo bar for subsequent pages with page identifier

Navigational Bar (to be used on all pages)

Buttons/bullets and horizontal separators

Background graphic

Additional graphics may be needed as the project progresses.

After development of a "demo site" depicting the overall theme and presentation of the Web site, input will be requested from a cross section of the users of the Web site.

Based on this feedback as well as internal feedback from GLMHRA and other contractors, creative work on DisabilityNews will be finalized.

Content Development

All content relating to the marketing and purpose of DisabilityNews will need to be developed from scratch. In other words, content on the home page and other pages will need to be written-most likely the Web Developer.

Clinical content and papers will need to be organized by someone designated as "Editor." This person will have the responsibility of locating information, and getting any necessary permission waivers, to be reprinted on DisabilityNews. Administrative supports may be needed to retype information in hard-copy format. Additionally, the Editor will be responsible for locating directories and other information sources to be included in the "Links" section.

All papers and resources will then need to be integrated into a comprehensive back-end database-Based on "type of disability" as a search criteria. Additionally, the database will need to be searchable by geographic location, specific words and phrases, title of papers, etc. An RFP will be sent to various database contractors detailing this information and asking for a bid on the project.

Information presented on the web site and in the database will need to be updated regularly. It is suggested that the database contractor develop an easily accessible, password protected access area where information can be updated on the database on a regular basis.

Technical Development

DisabilityNews will be built utilizing HTML, Perl, back-end database (type to be determined by database contractor), and JavaScript.

The web server will be a virtual host with a local Internet Service Provider. The server will need to be an UNIX and/or NT platform supporting Perl scripting, a back-end database, Front Page Server Extensions and Microsoft Site Server Commerce Edition (needs WinNT).

The hosting company will provide comprehensive e-commerce capabilities through Microsoft Site Server Commerce. Will establish a new account for DisabilityNews with them.

The "Chat Room" will be built using currently available off-the-shelf software-any necessary software licensing will be purchased.

Further information about Technical requirements will be finalized based on input from Database Contractor.

Site Map/Navigation

Please see Attachment 5 for an outline of the proposed Site Map.

Section 1: Home Page:

Current News and information from Professional Members-specifically highlighted and promoted

Other news and information printed w/permission from major news sources

Links to: 1) Resources (searchable by disability, author, other keyword); and 2) Membership Registration.

Section 2: Resources


Database searchable by disability, author, or other keyword

Links to available papers, links and other resources pertaining to specific disability. User can purchase papers/pubs individually-the e-commerce software will provide a "Shopping Cart" option.

Private/Members-only (username and password protected)

If user clicks on one of the following "members-only" links, user will be prompted to become a member … will link to "Membership Registration"

Training and Conference Info (specific to disability)

Public Chat section (specific to disability/guest speaker??)

Private Chat section-set up an appointment with physician, clinician or other professional in the field relating to the specific disability.

Directory of Professional Members

Other Resources and Links to Service Providers

Section 3: Membership Registration

Offers Membership options with separate pages for General Members and Professional Members.

New members will need to fill out a form with 2 payment options- by mail or via e-commerce. General membership options will be available for different "a la carte" items (i.e., 2 hours of chat, 4 hours of chat plus a free training, etc.)

Once members have submitted payment option, will then receive an email back with registration confirmation. Professional Members will be provided with an email address for them to send in papers or other information they would like posted on DisabilityNews.

Maintenance Schedule (i.e., Service & Support)

The Web Development Director will maintain DisabilityNews daily. The Editor will provide new information to be posted on a weekly basis (or as new information comes in).

Milestones (how will we measure success?)

Success of the DisabilityNews proposal will be based upon the following criteria:

Successful coordination of all necessary resources needed to complete this project (as outlined in this Business Plan)

Successful completion of project on schedule

Successful use of Beta testing of web site-receive input from a cross-section of the various user groups.

Successful launch of web site and necessary post-launch marketing activities

Successful acquisition of both general members and professional members. Will evaluate effectiveness 6 months after launch.

The success of this project depends heavily on the ability to recruit Professional Members for DisabilityNews. Professional Members will provide their papers and research to be displayed on DisabilityNews. Because we won't have the linkages with Professional Members outside of GLMHRA and the Sovner Center, heavy marketing and recruitment with these professionals from across the country needs to be undertaken before and after the launch of the web site. Hopefully, the success of DisabilityNews will promote the site itself in professional and academic circles. Only time will tell if this assumption is overly optimistic-it will be evaluated on an ongoing basis during and after launch.


Establish Web Site Hierarchy

a)If you were to ask a graphic designer to develop buttons to define main areas, what would they be?




b)Create a flow chart for events described in the project specification for




Write a Project Description

a)Which topics do you feel need to be covered in a project specification? Are there any points here that you feel need to be covered in more detail? What do you feel is detailed particularly well in this specification?




b)Write a sample project description for your favorite Web site.




Identify a Project Budget and Schedule

a)The budget is intentionally missing from the project specification for However, there is a defined schedule. Research salaries on the Web (don't forget database development) for the resources listed in's project specification. Plan on an additional administrative cost of $500/week to cover administrative and office expenses. Then estimate the cost of this project.




b)Develop a schedule for your favorite Web site (use the project description from Lab 10.3.2b).









Exercise Answers

This section gives you some suggested answers to the questions in Lab 10.3 with discussion related to those answers. Please post any alternative answers to these questions at the companion Web site for this book, located at


a)If you were to ask a graphic designer to develop buttons to define main areas, what would they be?




Answer:Check outhttp://www.disabilitynews.netand see how close your vision came to the final product.
b)Create a flow chart for events described in the project specification for




Answer:Again, visithttp://www.disabilitynews.netand see how close your vision came to the final product.


a)Which topics do you feel need to be covered in a project specification? Are there any points here that you feel need to be covered in more detail? What do you feel is detailed particularly well in this specification?




Answer:When it comes to a project spec, I want to see plans for analysis, design, coding, testing, implementation, and marketing.

A few years ago, having only been working for myself a short time, I took on a subcontracting project for a local Web marketing company to build part of a Web site. The client had a very sound business plan, and he was well prepared with financialresources to back up the project. He made a significant investment in this project and made himself available for the project team.

Unfortunately, a project specification was never drafted between the client and the Web firm. Thus, the client had developed certain expectations, which were at odds with the scope of work expected by the project team. The project manager was at wit's end trying to balance these expectations against the requirements of the subcontractors, leaving everyone with this open-ended project that had no end in sight. Given this scenario, there was no way the project manager or the project could succeed.

The disgruntled and disappointed client ended up going to another Web firm, and the subcontractors were left with such a bad taste in their mouths that it was highly unlikely that they would take on additional projects through this firm.

Taking two weeks to develop a well-defined project specification would have most likely ensured this project's success. The client would have had realistic expectations. The subcontractors, who flat bid the project, would have had a defined scope of work. Most important, the Web firm would have made a good profit on this project, solidi-fied relations with subcontractors, and probably garnered a great deal of business based on this Web site. It was obvious to me, as one of the subcontractors, that the Web firm had devoted a great deal of effort to managing this Web site and in the end lost time and money. It was very unfortunate for everyone involved.

The project specification covers the marketing aspect of the site particularly well. Plans for marketing a Web site are just as important as the build, if it's to be a high-profile entity on the Web. Charlie Bleau, the author of the project specification, having a very strong marketing background, out-lines a logical flow of events.

b)Write a sample project description for your favorite Web site.




Answer:My favorite Web site is usually the one that I'm currently involved with building. I guess that's what makes Web architecture more than just a occupation for me.

This specification is one that I wrote quite some time ago and use as an example for the students in my Web Project Management class. This spec definitely falls short on discussing the detailed scheduling and marketing plans covered by Charlie's project spec. However, it does have a good technical summary, clearly defining the Web site's functionality. Thus, I do believe it to be a more than accurate description of the scope of work. (The names of both the Web firm and the personnel firm have been changed to protect the confidentiality of both firms.)

Acme Personnel, Inc. 888 Internet Avenue,

Anytown, MA 00000

Phone: Fax:


Project Mission Statement: To establish Acme Personnel, a permanent placement firm with a Web presence that attracts both hiring companies and qualified applicants. Acme Personnel specializes in permanent placement for software professionals with local high-tech companies. Providing clients with the assurance that the firm is searching on their behalf to place the right person today in the right position, Acme Personnel helps companies better serve their customers in the future and software professionals reach their career goals.

Site Overview: Acme Personnel will provide a facility for its contracted companies to post job opportunities on its site. An additional feature will present job seekers' resumes. Marketing information about Acme Personnel will be included, as well as a possible page that offers links to on-line education, town information, and day-care facilities.

Audience: Human Resources managers from local software companies and upwardly mobile software engineers.

Creative Development: Cyber Warrior Web Design will begin addressing Acme's need for an effective graphical presentation by developing a logo, a button (which will be embedded with text for the various sections of the site), and a background.

Acme Personnel specializes in placing software professionals. Thus, a professional look and feel, which might appeal to this segment of job seekers, would be appropriate. Computer industry related images and an enthusiastic upwardly mobile message should be incorporated into the site. The site,, was mentioned as having a desirable look and feel.

Cyber Warriors will develop three sets of buttons, logos, and back-grounds and present them to Acme by August 5.

After developing the overall look and feel of the site, Cyber Warrior Web Design will consult with Acme to develop secondary graphics, which enforce the message in the various sections of the site. Graphics should be used judiciously, having a distinct purpose, as they slow page-loading time. All graphics will be saved in a low-resolution format.

Content Development: Cyber Warrior Web Design will consult with Acme Personnel to either repurpose existing content or to develop new material expressly for the Web site. Possible suggestions include helpful hints to job seekers, links to information regarding reloca-tion and education, marketing information about Acme Personnel, and forms that both job seekers and hiring companies can submit for review containing resumes and job postings, allowing Acme to review this information for possible inclusion into its database.

Two database tables (their functionality will be detailed under Technical Development) will present resume and job posting information. These databases will be searchable by position, skills, geography, and salary requirements. The resumes should reside in an area that is password protected, so that only authorized companies can access this information. The job postings can be publicly accessible.

An administrative back room will be built (see Technical Development). This area will be password protected and will allow Acme to add, modify, and delete job posting and job-seeker information, as well as searching under specified categories.

Technical Development

This site will be built utilizing HTML, Perl, a mySQL database back-end, and possibly Java and JavaScript. Server requirements include UNIX platform, Perl 5.0, mySQL. Front Page extentions are notnecessary. Plans at this time are to install the site on the server owned by We Host 'Em, a local hosting company. Another future option includes Host.Net, located in Anytown, MA.

A UNIX platform provides for greater functionality and security than the NT platform and is the appropriate choice for a site of this type. HTML will be used to code the standard Web pages. Perl will be utilized in conjunction with the mySQL database back-end to build the Acme database and for CGI interactive functions. JavaScript and Java applets may be used to create a more interactive graphical presentation.

This site will be best viewed in Netscape Navigator 2.0 and Internet Explorer 3.0 and above.

Database Functionality

Two database tables will track job-seeker and job-posting information. Both tables will need to be searchable with with an AND interface (i.e., Position AND Salary Requirements) or by a singular criterion (i.e., Geography). Links will be provided to more detailed resume and complete job posting information. These files will be uploaded to the server as text files and coded with a number that mirrors the Access database numbers assigned interoffice.

A separate database table will track authorized company names with their user names and passwords.

Job Seeker Table

This table will be password protected. Distinct user names and passwords will be assigned to authorized companies, allowing them to view its contents.


id, name, contact_person, current-company, skills, salary, location-desired, desired_position

The id number will link to a separate file, "id.html", which will be a text file containing the candidate's text-based resume. Administrators at Acme will need to blank out the name and current company information from the resumes before uploading them.

Name will be a "hidden" field not shown to the user. This will be included as an administrative back-up alternative, in case the interoffice numbering scheme fails due to misfiling, etc.

This table will be searchable by skills, salary, location-desired, and desired-position by the user. It will be searchable by name, id, skills, salary, location-desired, and desired-position through the administrative back room.

"Hits" that bring up candidates who currently work at the company that is searching the database will be dropped and not shown.

Job Posting Table


id, company, contact_person, skills, salary, geographical-location, position, date

The id number will link to a separate file, "id.html", which will be a text file containing the company's detailed text based job posting. Administrators at Acme will need to blank out company information from the job postings before uploading them.

Company will be a "hidden" field not shown to the user. This will be included as an administrative back-up alternative, in case the interoffice numbering scheme fails due to misfiling, etc.

This table will be searchable by skills, salary, geographical-location, and position by the user. It will be searchable by company, id, skills, salary, geographical_location, and position through the administrative back room.

Records should be automatically deleted from the system after resid-ing there for over thirty days.

User Name/Password Table


user_name, password, company

This table will be searchable by user_name and company.

An administrative back room will be created for all tables with an add, modify, delete, and the aforementioned searching capability.


Two forms will reside on the site that allow the user to input either job-seeker or job-posting information. This information will be e-mailed to Acme Personnel, giving Acme the option to follow-up with the prospective candidate or company.

The candidate form will first present questions regarding desired position, current role, skills, current company, and then contact information. Name, address, city, state, zip, day-time phone, evening phone, and e-mail will be required fields.

The job posting form will include company name, contact name, address, city, state, zip, phone, position, skills required, and salary range.

Training Requirements:

There will be an extremely simple user interface used to maintain the database. Still, Cyber Warriors will provide two hours of on-site training. This should be adequate to bring staffers up to speed.

Marketing and Launch Plans:

Acme Personnel should plan to include the URL address,, in any marketing materials, advertising, and/or business cards.

The site will be submitted to the major search engines, Excite, Webcrawler, Infoseek, Lycos, Hot Bot, Open Text, and Alta Vista, as well as the Yahoo directory. Keywords will be devised that include all of the categories under which this site should be listed, as well as names of possible industry competitors. Some search engines take up to 4-6 weeks to update.

Optional additional marketing work can be done after the site is operational 5-6 weeks. Research will be done to determine where the site resides in the search engines, and it will be determined whether further marketing strategies should be implemented and whether these strategies would be cost effective.


Authorized Cyber Warriors Representative


Authorized Acme Personnel Representative


a)The budget is intentionally missing from the project specification for However, there is a defined schedule. Research salaries on the Web (don't forget database development) for the resources listed in's project specification. Plan on an additional administrative cost of $500/week to cover administrative and office expenses. Then estimate the cost of this project.




Answer:Phase One of this project lasts approximately 10 weeks from analysis to implementation. The marketing phase then begins and takes place intensely over a three month period. The site will need to be continually marketed. However, this initial period is the most intense, as the success of various marketing initiatives is analyzed. Phase Two will last roughly eight weeks.

Administrative costs (1/2 time) over 18 weeks:$4500
Database Programmer-80 hours @ $75/hour:$6000
Graphic Design-60 hours @ $40/hour$2400
Project Manager (1/2 time) over 18 weeks:$9000
Content Editors and Providers-80 hours @ $40/hour$2400
Marketing Analyst-40 @ $40/hour$1600
Cost of Domain Name$70
Hosting and Setup fees over 18 weeks e-commerce hosting $100/mo avg.$500

Cost of Marketing Initiatives to be determined by Marketing Analyst

TOTAL PROJECT ESTIMATE (w/o Marketing)$26,470
b)Develop a schedule for your favorite Web site (use the project description from Lab 10.3.2b).









Project analysis1.5 weeks
Graphic design (taking place as database is being built)2 weeks
Database and HTML programming2 weeks
Embedding graphics into site.5 week
Testing1 week
Initial population of database1 week

Self-Review Questions

In order to test your progress, you should be able to answer the following questions:

1)(True/False) A project specification

  1. _____ can double as a business plan
  2. _____ defines the scope of work
  3. _____ defines the billing schedule
2)(True/False) A significant hidden cost that many project managers can tend to forget about is

  1. _____ Bringing the clients out to lunch
  2. _____ Administrative costs
  3. _____ Their own salary (project management costs)

Exploring Web Marketing and Project Management
Exploring Web Marketing and Project Management
ISBN: 0130163961
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2000
Pages: 87 © 2008-2017.
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