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Webinar: How marketers can manage successful web build projects

5 minutes to read
Webinar: How marketers can manage successful web build projects

Building a website can be a daunting task. So, how do you keep a web project on the right track?

For this exclusive webinar, our Head of Technical, Oliver Picton, joined the expert Go! Network panel to discuss the common challenges marketers face when undertaking a website rebuild, and what you need to know before you invest.

The speakers:

  • ‍‍Oliver Picton, Head of Technical, Enjoy Digital‍
  • Adam Davey, Director of Technology, Candyspace‍
  • ‍Nadine Clarke, Strategy Partner, Tangent
  • ‍Scott Lenik, CEO, Neverbland®
  • Pree Bissessur, Senior Digital Project Manager, Digit

Watch the 1 hour webinar below, or, if you’re short on time, quickly catch-up with our 7 top takeaways

1. Stay laser-focused on the overall project vision to avoid scope creep

Pree Bissessur proposes that scope creep is often the overarching reason for project drift.

“We tend to find that clients try to achieve all of their goals in one hit, instead of thinking about a more phased approach. During the build process, that lack of  focus on the overall vision tends to lead to drift because what you end up doing is focusing on the minutiae, introducing little bits of scope here and there.

You forget what the overall vision is, why you're doing this in the first place, and what it is that you need to achieve as soon as you launch. Turn back to that and you’ll realise that you don't have to have everything solved. You can launch and then continuously improve.”

2. Never overlook the content population process. Ensure realistic project timelines

Oliver Picton cites content population as one of the most commonly overlooked challenges in web build projects.

“One issue that we see is underestimating the content development piece. So although modern CMS systems are really easy to use — we love Umbraco at Enjoy — it's often the case that teams won't plan for how long it takes to actually populate the content on the website. And obviously, content is king."

Scott Lenik adds “I think one of the first things I would say, and that we see time and time again — we understand businesses are under a lot of pressure — but it's not providing sufficient time.

"Digital projects are reliant on multi-disciplinary teams working together and sharing the same perspective, while often coming from different areas of focus. In my experience you can have the best brief in the world, but that won't compensate for rushed implementation.”

3. Consider project accountability from the outset. Factor in flex for agile decision-making

“Delays will inevitably happen, even with the best intentions in the world, with everybody working together towards the same goal”, suggests Nadine Clark.

“Inevitably people will get ill or a decision that was meant to be really easy to make will push you back to the drawing board.

“Consider, what does internal team look like? Who is your main point of contact when you're working with an agency? And do they have the authority to make quick decisions and really understand, within your timeline, where you need to bring in other stakeholders to get sign off?

"If you've got those milestones established, those decisions should be easier to make. Factoring in a bit of a flex within that timeline isn't complacent. It's realistic. And that way you can manage everybody's expectations.”

4. Present the problem and allow the agency to find the solution. Make time for the discovery phase

What does a great web build brief look like? And why should you always make time for the discovery phase? 

“I think, whenever you're writing a brief, present the problem and allow the team that’s working on it to come up with the solution for you. That can be within the framework of budgets and so on, but at least they're coming up with the solution to the problem that you've presented rather than you suggesting certain functionality that you might not need” shares Pree Bissessur.

“Never underestimate the power of discovery phases. It's so key, and underutilised in so many projects. The most successful projects I've ever worked on have had a very, very decent chunk of discovery time at the very beginning, which provide valuable insights around the required tech stack and more.”

5. Map out project requirements. Open networks of communication

Nadine Clark highlights the importance of project management best practice, such as de-constructing project requirements and opening up regular channels of communication.

“By mapping the project out in as much detail as possible, from the strategy and discovery phase, all the way through to deployment and the go live, you're giving yourself a much better chance of understanding exactly what the project entails.

“Set-up weekly calls to run through how things are progressing. What's happening next? What are the blockers? Maintain that transparency and those open networks of communication, and you should be able to overcome any key challenges.”

Oliver Picton follows this up, agreeing that “close collaboration is key”, before moving on to discuss how to maintain stakeholder buy-in.

6. Create user stories, offer live demos and consider a Minimum Marketable Product (MMP) approach to maintain stakeholder buy-in

Oliver Picton continues “We've found a lot of success, certainly in the fintech sector, by collaboratively writing user stories, so that you’re familiar with the requirements and you have a repeatable process for testing as well, which is an important aspect of maintaining buy-in on the project.

I would also emphasise the point of functionality demos from the team that are actually building the product. This way you can see something tangible and know that the project is progressing well. It's much better than a status update when you've got something in your hand that you can actually see.

And I would say release early and often. Consider the project management concept of Minimum Marketable Product (MMP). This is the idea that you build half a project rather than a half-assed project. It’s very easy with long term projects to over or under-engineer. But what we’ve found that works really well is to produce user stories and get to this MMP solution as fast as possible. This allows you to test your solution with users early, while internally, keeps enthusiasm for the project live.”

7. Consider the business opportunity against customer demand. Explore if the agency is best positioned to solve the problem

If you’re going to market with a web build project, what should that first conversation with an agency look like? What can in-house marketers expect? Adam Davey provides some expert guidance.

“What is the business opportunity? What is the customer demand? If you're not thinking about both sides of that coin, you're not going to build a complete and holistic product. It's really important that both of those priorities are taken into account, right?”

Scott Lednik adds “If I was a client, what I'd be wanting to really understand from the agency is their process, and that workflow, and the experience they have with the problem they’re looking to solve. Are they tech agnostic?

“Because ultimately if they're only providing one solution, that may or may not be right for the problem that you're trying to solve. That’s really important in identifying whether or not they’re going to be the right long-term partner for you.”

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