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How to ensure your web project is a complete failure
 

How to ensure your web project is a complete failure

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Set unrealistic deadlines! Don’t define your intended audience! Refuse to make decisions! Many of the ways you can mess up your new website or redesign are identical to the ways people fumble any ...

Set unrealistic deadlines! Don’t define your intended audience! Refuse to make decisions! Many of the ways you can mess up your new website or redesign are identical to the ways people fumble any endeavor.

After years of working with a diverse range of organizations and campaigns we’re here to enthusiastically report on the classic mistakes even the best organizers and communicators make when overseeing major website development (or redevelopment). We’ll hold your sweaty, fearful hand as we walk you through the entire life cycle of website development, ensuring that the end result is as expensive and ineffective as possible.

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  • Disclaimer – this presentation is meant to poke fun of the things that we have seen clients do over the years that seem to boggle the mind, and appear almost meant to intentionally throw their projects off track. Obviously, vendors are just as on the hook for making mistakes and doing things that put projects at risk, but hopefully this will help clients be better clients while we strive to be better vendors on our end.
  • Many projects, despite the best efforts of the stakeholders, vendors and various parties involved manage to eventually get off the ground. To be a complete and total failure requires dedication, and following some simple rules that will ensure utter disaster. All of these things have happened at one point or another on various projects over the years at Advomatic. Hopefully by sharing these stories with you, they will help ensure that your web project is a complete and total failure also.
  • A lot of time this is not the reality, and orgs don't have the resources internally for this – regardless, they should be realistic about the time and energy required on their end to make the project a success

How to ensure your web project is a complete failure How to ensure your web project is a complete failure Presentation Transcript

  • How to Ensure Your Web Project is a Complete and Total Failure brought to you by Aaron Welch and
  • Warning: the following presentation is ironicIt is intended to help you avoid repeating the mistakes that wehave seen clients make over the years. Obviously, vendorsare also on the hook for making mistakes and doing thingsthat put projects at risk. Hopefully this presentation will helpclients be better clients while we all strive to be better vendorson our end. How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 1: DeadlinesRule #1: Set your launch date before determining scope, budget or production schedule(bonus! Plan and announce a high profile event that coincides with this date - a gala for example, anything that will be sureto embarrass you and waste a lot of money if the launch slips) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 1: DeadlinesRule #2: Start late. For example, for a 6-8 month project timeline, dont start looking for a vendor until a few months out from launch(Be sure to lead with this information, vendors *love* working under pressure and will generally give you a price break.) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 1: DeadlinesRule #3: Once youve set the launch date and anyother important milestones related to the project, DO NOT COMMUNICATE THEM TO OTHERS! (Wait until a week or so beforehand and then send an all- caps email to everyone working on the project about the looming deadline, sure to make heads explode. Perfect!) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 1: DeadlinesRule #4: If all else fails, move the launch deadline in the last few weeks of a project.(If the vendor points out something in your agreement to thecontrary, tell them you remember discussing this early on on a phone call and are not sure why they dont remember.) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 2: The Budget Rule #1: Do not get help doing requirements gathering to get a budget range. Instead, guess! (Even better, do all the technical planning yourself, decidehow much it is worth, then send out an RFP with a fixed cost.) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 2: The Budget Rule #2: Lowest bidder wins. Always.(Seriously, all vendors basically outsource to India anyhow.) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 2: The Budget Rule #3: DO NOT SHARE YOUR BUDGET(If vendors know how much you have to spend, then theyll be able to make recommendations that fit that range!) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 2: The BudgetRule #4: Do not set aside a budget for additional features, post-launch support, or training.(These services should always be included, but not explicitly outlined in any contract. Vendors assume this is part of any scope of work, its like tipping – rude to discuss outright.) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 2: The BudgetRule #5: Hosting is cheap, the cheaper the better! ($30/mo is more than enough for pretty much any site. Bonus: just ignore hosting until a few days before launch!) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 3: Project ManagementRule #1: Do not select a project lead internally (Even better, select one who has no experience running similar projects. Bonus: ensure they have another, totallyunrelated full-time job – this project should be a side thing) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 3: Project Management Rule #2: Do not get sign-off from internal stakeholders as decisions are made(They are super busy, just show them everything at the end when its all done and get feedback then.) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 3: Project Management Rule #3: Rely on your vendor to handle internal communications and decision making(Thats why you are paying for all that “project management” time, which is sort of b.s. anyway. Get your moneys worth!) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 3: Project Management Rule #4: Do not read anything(Contracts, technical plans, meeting minutes – all busy work designed to pass the buck along to you, dont stand for it!) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 4: Vendor RelationsRule #1: Pay late and demand the unreasonable (See how long it takes your vendor to bring up the invoicesthat are due, and when they do ask about pushing the project team to work weekends and evenings – just see if they will!) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 4: Vendor Relations Rule #2: Talk about your ex (Any time you can work into the conversation how much cheaper and/or better the other vendors you talked to werewill ensure the one you have works hard to keep you happy!) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 4: Vendor Relations Rule #3: Divide and conquer(Play team members and management against each other by sending email directly to them and not keeping everyone onthe team in the loop. Eventually, you will get free work out of it as they eat each other alive!) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Section 4: Vendor Relations Rule #4: Communications(Do not read any email, there will be too many, and they are too technical anyway. If you need an update, send an ALLCAPS EMAIL TO EVERYONE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK) How to ensure your web project is a complete and total failure Aaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com
  • Comments or Questions? Yay! There is: www.advomatic.com twitter.com/advomaticHow to ensure your web project is a completeand total failureAaron Welch – welch@advomatic.com