For example... take a typical new website and WCM (web content management) implementation, this is how the story typically goes…
"Our website looks dated and doesn't come up when I search for our product line on Google. We need an easy way for marketing and product management to update the website with information, the IT guys are a nightmare to work with and take too long, why do we need developers for updating text??"
At this point, typically, someone is assigned the task of comparing WCM products, feature lists, pricing, hosted, non-hosted etc and given the task of "implementing" a new system. Now, some companies (and people) do a better job at the task when compared to others but the *vast* majority end up in 6 – 12 months saying "it isn't working, we should re-evaluate". And *typically* it's not the system but how it's configured that's the issue.
That's why I recommend starting with the end in mind.
What will be different when you have this system in place?
Generally if folks start talking about what will be different or what they want out of a system, it is fairly easy to draw out the high level business requirements that are really wanted, versus, a new WCM system.
Just like buying anything, websites come in all shapes and sizes, people can spend nothing to $1M + dollars on a website.
It's important on any project to carefully consider what you need your website to do for your business or organization.
What are you planning on achieving with your website?
- Drive new sales?
- Service existing members?
- Provide information for niche customers?
- Co-ordinate existing offline marketing activities with the website?
If you feel like your designer, WCM provider, or VP of Marketing is talking a foreign language and failing to translate. You can do something very simple… start with the end in mind.
What should your website be doing for your business? How will it be different?
Make sure you make those goals the goals of the project and don't allow anyone to tell you the project is complete until those goals have been achieved. It isn't the implementation of a new technology that "completes" the project. The completion of the project comes when the business goals have been met.
Reprinted from http://www.jackiereid.ca/