Life is pretty crazy working at an agency that is growing like crazy. So when a new client is signed, we want to be off to the races getting to work as quickly as we can. However, we have learned that when it comes to starting off a project right, slow is fast.
We always aim to be on the cutting edge, but some things will always remain the same, no matter how much trends change. That's why we always take our time understanding the job to be done and the client's expectations before we dive in to new projects. Here are a few steps to take to make sure you start a website redesign project strong and quickly earn the trust of your team by showing them you know your stuff and have taken the time to learn what is needed to make their new website successful:
Identify The Stakeholders and Understand Their Needs
It doesn't matter if you think your project is successful if all of the key stakeholders don't agree. Take time at the very beginning to identify what success will look like to each of them and understand how they expect to benefit from the new website. Reassure them that you are there to support them and to address feedback from additional team members that may have reservations or differing opinions.
Analyze Current Website Performance
To create something better, you need to understand what is working and what isn't working with the current website. We use tools like Lucky Orange and Google Analytics to track how users are consuming the current site to see what is working and what isn't. We then take what we have learned in this process and start to create the strategy for the website redesign.
Create a Strategy
To put the best strategy together, you should:
- Take what you learned in your analysis of the existing website
- Make sure you understand the buyer personas and their buyer's journey
- Know what conversions are needed to make sure no one gets left out
- Map out your strategy - we use a spreadsheet to show each page and the buyer's journey we have created for the page.
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Hold a Kickoff Meeting
Use this time to review the newly created strategy with your stakeholders to gather their thoughts and approval. If you put the work in to preparing your strategy, you should have no issues with them agreeing with it. Be confident in your presentation.
This is also your chance to build rapport with your stakeholders, set expectations and clarify any questions you may have. Don't forget to be prepared with an agenda.
Make an Action Plan
Developing your project plan/timeline might be the most critical step. This will allow you to estimate timing and clearly define the goals and objectives of the project. Taking the time upfront to carefully plan each deliverable and assign a person and a date to the task will greatly increase your chance of success. Without a timeline in place, there is a lack of knowing what tasks should be worked on when. This often affects a teams’ productivity and does not build trust with your stakeholders.
Using a project management software like Teamwork, will provide the visibility to the entire team that will help keep them accountable. Add your key milestones so that you can track progress and be sure to complete tasks as you go.
When it comes down to it, the more you put into the planning of your website redesign project, the smoother the entire timeline will go. You will save time, resources and money throughout the duration of the project along with saving yourself and your team a lot of frustration. There is no better way to quickly earn your client's trust. I'd say it's worth it, no?