Posted on 11/2/2017 in Business and Strategy

By John MacCurtain

Scope Creep, unexpected or necessary, can be a project killer. There are many ways that scope creep can become a problem for a project, so let’s review a few ways that we can mitigate scope creep when it’s time to redesign your site.

1. A Clearly Defined Future State:

You can’t plan your route if you don’t know where you are going! Understanding what the end result looks like (conceptually speaking) for your website will pay dividends during the project. Taking the time to properly plan will save you time and budget (and headaches) later on.

Determine the following:

  • Required Functionality
  • Desired Functionality
  • 3rd Party Integrations
  • Admired Design Elements
  • Define Internal Roles
  • Define Agency Roles
  • Communication Protocols

Having a firm grasp of the above items will help set the foundation for a successful Redesign Project. (Don’t forget to share them!)

2. Consensus from Internal Teams (ex: Sales / IT / Accounting):

Discuss the project internally with other teams that interact with the site or will touch the project. Gain an understanding of their needs and wants and most importantly, their concerns. Consensus internally will streamline the timeline, prioritize functionality and set expectations on their involvement along the way. Internal consensus will allow the site to be an invaluable tool for the entire company and not a pariah for some.

3. The budget is not a four letter word:

When the budget question comes up it typically causes anxiety and discomfort. The assumption being that if the Agency knows what your budget is then you’ve somehow weakened your position when it’s time to negotiate. WHY? Having an upfront and transparent conversation regarding budget is one of the best things you can do for the project. Setting expectations around the realities of resources available to the project will allow your agency partner to offer realistic solutions, possible alternatives, even raise a red flag if you have Champagne Dreams on a Beer Budget.

4. The Functional Specification Document:

This is the singularly most important part of any project. This will be your Rosetta Stone for internal project alignment, expected Agency Deliverables and act as your QA checklist. All efforts in support of this document is time well spent. This should be detailed and painfully specific so that anyone can determine what the end result should be. Include Brand Guidelines and Business Logic so to remove any ambiguity that could cause assumptions. This IS the “Paint by Numbers” map to your new website. If you update this document as the site evolves post go-live, when the next redesign takes place, it becomes the perfect jumping off point for next evolution of your web presence.

In reality, we could spend days discussing the ways in which we try and at least minimize scope creep.  Just remember, just because you think that there is 100% clarity and alignment on the project, doesn’t mean everyone else thinks so too.

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