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Rule #4: Develop iteratively, testing and refining between iterations

It's sort of like that environmental slogan: "think globally, act locally". It is important to keep your vision expanded, but implement it a little at a time: incrementally. That's called an iterative approach.

With your goals defined and prioritized, figure out what it will take to deliver the first set of goals—those with the number 1 beside them. That should be the ideal for the first iteration of your web site. Now you will have to consider how much of the ideal is practical to implement and how much will have to wait for future releases. A good rule of thumb is that iterations should not take over three months to develop. Now is the time to decide on the implementation compromises you can live with and how they will avoid stepping on the long-term vision.

Go ahead and set up a schedule for Release #1 by detailing the tasks to complete. Set milestones and decision-points within that timetable for detailing the following 30-90 day period. Then proceed to develop Release #1, your first iteration. Testing and publication of your first release will reveal changes and improvements that can then be built into future releases.

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