Bread and Butter: BAU Basics

You’re at a Michelin starred restaurant and the food is top quality, the cocktails are flowing and the view is amazing. You booked months in advance – it’s impossible to get a table here. All your friends will hear about it the next day and you might even ‘check-in’ on Facebook.

Imagine though, that aside from this headline meal all you exclusively consumed was fast food and fizzy drinks for the rest of the month. You’d be one unhealthy human.

This isn’t a health blog, bear with me.

The point I’m trying to make is that while every breakfast and lunch may not get posted on Instagram, they are just as important as the big meals out. The same applies to websites – the regular maintenance and optimisation carried out on a day to day basis is essential in shaping the brand’s offering and digital performance. Though often lacking the kudos of a website launch or a campaign piece, when in full force this vital background activity should not be overlooked.

Managing a large digital BAU workstream is no mean feat – for agency or client. You need smart decision makers, thorough processes and of course a generous dash of flexibility. Often high pressure and requiring fast action, keeping a large website running smoothly is all about creative and technical problem solving on the spot. And sure, whether or not to change the colour or placement of a CTA may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but this very enhancement could dramatically impact customer acquisition.  With several decisions like this occurring on a daily basis, it’s crucial to get it right.

So how do you get it right? Here are some of the key ingredients:

Make the rules
Implementing robust processes and sticking to them is crucial. Ensuring that these process are communicated to all stakeholders - even more so. Whether that’s release process, incident management or regular support flows.  

Break the rules
Having said that, you also need to be prepared to be flexible enough to react to unforeseen developments, changes or issues as they arise. This can mean safely bypassing process in a controlled way.

Don’t get lost in translation
Tech talk can get confusing to the mere mortal, so make sure there’s someone dedicated to deciphering the ins and outs of each request and getting everyone on the same page.

Be visible
BAU and project workstreams need to be aligned as they will likely impact each other. New functionality added to the site via project streams will be maintained and enhanced in the future via regular maintenance, so communication between the BAU and project teams is crucial. 

And last but not least, consider the funding 
Surprisingly, this is often overlooked at the outset and can have a big impact on how the workstream runs. Often it’s a fine balancing act between the levels of support required and the budget available. Do you need dedicated resource waiting on standby? Or are you happy to run on a pay as you go basis and only pay for what you use? 

Here at Realise one thing is for sure, the bread’s organic and the butter is full fat.