Small businesses and nonprofits are in the unusual position of being executive staff, mail room clerk and chief technologist all at the same time. Everyone can lick an envelope, but not everyone feels comfortable taking the role of CTO with no tech background. Yet that’s just what happens when you embark on a website project. Here are a few things you can do make sure the development of your website goes smoothly.
- Decide what you need. This is a good time to start polling the people you work with, because people at your organization may have different ideas about how the site should work than you do. Start with a needs assessment, and put all the feedback and ideas into a big list.
- Prioritize. The needs assessment will help you compile a wish list of what you want on your website, but now prioritize. If you don’t define scope, your project could go on forever and cost more than you have. Divide your list into three sections: Must Have, Will Need, Nice to Have. Be prepared to take out a clean sheet of paper for any additional items you think of during the project. We advise our clients to set aside an additional 15% of the budget for these unforeseen issues. Anything else you can get to these items during round two. Six months from launch is a good time to think of scheduling this round two.
- Appoint a traffic cop. During your project development, you need someone to be the central command between your organization and the development team. This traffic cop doesn’t need to know about technology, but they should be organized, good at delivering information and have the ability to call the shots when needed.
- Create a feedback forum for employees. It’s nice to have a web form or survey somewhere where people can drop comments and ideas during development and beyond. Websites should always be in motion, so use feedback as way to make sure your site does what you want it to as your organization evolves.