We technologists are often being asked to deliver things that are impossible given the constraints within which we must deliver them. Delivery of web solutions is one such area. The problem begins with business people who have some ideas about what they want, but who do not understand the technical domain sufficiently to understand how expensive or complex those wants are to fulfil. Some of the issues that we face in building software for business people include: understanding their real requirements; finding effective ways to listen to the needs of business owners; helping business people understand trade-off options to meet client and end-user needs; how to move beyond egos and agendas to the real issues; and how to clarify business requirements to meet expectations. Another important thing we need to achieve is how to explain the advantages and disadvantages of requested web projects. In the short time available I will attempt to address these issues. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Australia license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/au/
Listening To The Needs Of Business Owners
Kate Carruthers Ark Group Conference Communicating Web Capabilities & Limitations 16 May 2008, Sydney
<ul><li>Know the purpose of the website: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business viewpoint </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumer viewpoint </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clearly identify your target audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Set S.M.A.R.T. goals, e.g. audience reach, level of engagement, dwell time on site </li></ul><ul><li>Define metrics for success </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure you write great content specifically for web </li></ul>Example I use this as a simple introduction for the business so that they understand some of the things I will ask them to contribute to the success of the web project. It leads nicely into the engagement model and project team charter.
<ul><li>Marketing manager writes web brief </li></ul><ul><li>Web team reviews brief </li></ul><ul><li>Joint requirements workshops </li></ul><ul><li>Agree scope & budget, appoint project manager </li></ul><ul><li>Create Information Architecture, wireframes, web design </li></ul><ul><li>Build & unit test website </li></ul><ul><li>User acceptance testing </li></ul><ul><li>Launch </li></ul>Example