For many executives and managers, the website project can be a load of dread. Most of the reasons for the dread that they feel is due to the challenge of working on a project that is outside of their normal daily work. Most of the time, they don’t take a whole lot of time thinking about content, design, function, speed, and structure of their websites.
That’s totally understandable. The dread, however, can be avoided.
The way we avoid the dread is to take control of the project. Here are five strategic steps you can meet your website goals with a great experience:
Write out the wants and needs that you will accomplish with your website project.
One of the causes that creates eventual problems for a website project is undefined and unclear expectations. It’s okay for you to be unclear on how something will be done, but you will get into trouble if you don’t know what or why something will be done for your website project.
Find what it is that you want and need for your project, and list those goals and objectives together in one document. Share it with those who are currently involved with the project with you, and share it with those who will be under consideration to be involved.
Define what you will provide, what you will delegate, and what you find outside of your organization.
When you know your wants and needs, you need to start the discovery process to find and define who will work with you and what they will be expected to provide within the project. Similar to running a professional sports team, you need to take the role of the general manager and determine where everyone will fit within your plans.
Make it a point to avoid accepting less than the best in key roles.
As you determine roles and responsibilities, make it a point to avoid accepting less than the best in key roles. Find talented, skilled and responsible people to fill roles that are critical to the project. There is nothing worse than to depend on someone who is not able to provide you what you need – so avoid those situations at all costs. Mobilize “all-stars” and you will find that everyone else will rise to the occasion.
Be committed to maintain an even, balanced pace throughout the process.
When a project starts, everyone tends to get excited and motivated. Once the project is moving forward and some time has passed, the excitement and motivation tends to wane. The tedious work that may have been avoided is now the work that needs to be done – and it may take a little bit of motivation to get it completed.
When you’re working with your team, make sure that you get expectations in front of them. Put dates on the calendar for when critical milestones will be done. Specify what will be done by those dates. When you start to see how the work will be done, make sure that your expectations are balanced and that you keep everyone working at a steady pace. If at all possible, try to avoid delays and intense times. We all realize that things can happen, but a good plan will avoid a lot of the challenges.
Plan for the challenges and the contingencies.
As with any big and important project, challenges, mistakes, and delays can and will happen, We realize that it’s part of the process. There are strategies and plans that can reduce those challenges to a minimum, which we need to implement in the planning process.
As much as we will do our work to avoid challenges, we also need to plan for the management strategy when they will happen. How will you handle those situations? When you know what you will do, and how you will implement plans to deal with them, it will be a whole lot easier when they happen. Also, you will be able to get back on schedule much quicker with fewer delays.
Celebrate the completed milestones and the finished project!
This is a long process with lots of challenges and a lot of time involved. Your team is going to be putting in a lot of work and attention to this project. There will be some long days in the process. When you’re dealing with people who have all kinds of skills, abilities and personalities, it creates dynamics which you need to monitor and manage.
One universal principle is this one: recognition for a job well done. Make sure that you recognize your team and their accomplishments. Let them know when they are doing a great job. When you complete a key milestone, celebrate it. When you complete the website project, make that celebration the biggest one – and enjoy it with your team!
Make this whole process a team event.
One last point of emphasis: make this whole process a team event. Bring together the best team you can build. Empower them to do the excellent work that they can accomplish. Provide the best resources and information you can give them, and then watch the magic happen.
You can make your website dreams come true. Be intentional and plan for success!