Delivering at Scale
Six months on from the successful delivery of 58 EFL club websites, and as we approach our 20th year having delivered hundreds of content managed websites, I find myself reflecting on some of the key principles for delivering at scale.
Don't try and do it all at once
We ask our clients to think product, and not just website.
Most projects come with a fixed deadline and a defined budget, so while it is important not to curtail ambition, it’s equally important to understand that your initial delivery is the first step on a longer journey, during which what you produce should be continuously optimised and enhanced.
This mindset allows you to focus on delivering the core functionality that will add the most value from day one. As part of our discovery phase we define what we term the MLP (Minimum Lovable Product), that is the definition of not what you can do, but what you should do, and what your customers will love.
By creating a MLP, combined with a roadmap of ongoing developments, you can ensure you are delivering value quickly, minimising risk and exciting all stakeholders for the road ahead.
Integration is always on the critical path
Every large build will generally involve multiple suppliers and platforms with moving targets and bespoke interfaces. It is imperative at the beginning of each project to map the integration roadmap and identify vendor dependencies. Engage partners early, plan collaboratively and over communicate. As difficult as it may seem always bite off the hardest issues first, deliver frequently, test early and often.
Don't forget about content
We all know content is king and the success of any web project is dependent on having great content, so why is it so often ignored or pushed to the end of a project? Create your content strategy up front which will allow you to define what content needs created, updated, curated, migrated or deleted. Kick this workstream off early and continue to finesse up to the finish line. Define what success looks like for you, how content will help you succeed and you will be able to critically assess every piece of content you produce.
People are the key
The best projects are built on strong relationships. Work to create an environment in which everyone has a shared vision of success. Value honesty and pragmatism and feel comfortable to challenge and debate decisions. A communication plan to keep all stakeholders in the loop is critical. Remembering that we are all in it together, and creating an environment of respect and trust will ensure you lay foundation for a successful project.