09 March 2017

3 things to consider before starting a new web project

Tags:Strategy, CMS, Digital Transformation

Are you thinking about embarking on a new web project? Maybe you have a strategy in place, but are you certain you’re covering all your bases?

Businesses need to be doing some initial legwork to ensure their project runs smoothly. “Organisations often have very complex needs,” says Elizabeth Wyatt, technical consultant and team lead at Squiz. “At the beginning of a project, if you haven’t properly planned and communicated your expectations, you’re not going to end up with what you want.”

Also, when you’re investing large amounts of time and money for a large-scale implementation, you want to make sure you’re getting what you pay for.

According to Elizabeth, there are three main areas that organisations should focus on if they want a successful web project that fulfils their expectations.

1. Clearly identify your business requirements

It’s vital for organisations to clearly map out their business requirements. “I’ve worked with organisations in which the majority of people we were talking with didn’t agree,” Elizabeth says. “It’s my job to help develop technical solutions that meet the needs of our clients, so it can be a real challenge when these business requirements aren’t clear and fully understood.”

Through workshops, organisations can begin to establish their requirements by role-playing different business scenarios, discussing pain points, and then evaluating the best ways to address these issues.

By identifying and clarifying your requirements, you’ll be well-positioned to communicate your expectations for what the project should achieve for your business.

This generally leads to a more efficient and well-received project for all involved. “The solutions we build for our clients can often be complex,” Elizabeth says. ”So, the more explicit their requirements are, the greater our capabilities of piecing together an effective solution for them.”

2. Understand the technology and its capabilities

Although organisations usually have a general idea of the technology they need, they often don’t have great knowledge of the tools available. What’s more, they don’t know the capabilities of these tools, and – perhaps most important – they don’t have the skills to effectively implement them.

Commissioning a digital-transformation agency, such as Squiz, can help bridge the gaps in your knowledge. “Having people that use these products every day is really beneficial when workshopping digital solutions,” Elizabeth says. “They’ll be better equipped to develop innovative solutions that will actually be able to be implemented and also work well.”

Digital agencies can also provide advice based on their expertise and experience in the marketplace. “If our tools can’t meet the specific needs of our clients, we can review and suggest third-party products that can augment ours to provide a more holistic solution,” says Elizabeth.

3. Be involved every step of the way

“Some clients I’ve worked with have preferred to step back and not be involved in the implementation process,” Elizabeth says. “But this can often cause issues down the track.”

When a business isn’t involved at every stage, it’s easy for the organisation’s requirements to be misunderstood, and ultimately, for the end product to not meet expectations. This, in turn, can lead to lengthy delays and additional costs. By staying involved in a project and receiving regular updates, it’s easier to catch these issues and identify gaps in communication.

“A ticket-management tool, such as JIRA, can go a long way towards keeping everyone in the loop,” says Elizabeth. “By ensuring that we’re constantly communicating our progress to our clients using these kinds of tools, they can provide direct feedback on any task or issue we’re working on.”

Transform your business with a supported and successful web project

The scope of work involved on a large-scale web project can be intimidating and difficult to manage. Working with a digital-transformation agency can help minimise the risk to your business.

“At the beginning of an implementation project, it’s all about understanding the needs of your business,” Elizabeth says. “At Squiz, we work with a variety of clients, and we use that experience to provide insight and guidance on what organisations should focus on to be successful.”

Start defining your business requirements today. Learn how Squiz can support your web project and transform your organisation.

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