Aligning Your Web Initiative with Your Business
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Aligning Your Web Initiative with Your Business

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This presentation will provide tips on how to keep your Web Teams activities aligned with what is most important to the business or department.

This presentation will provide tips on how to keep your Web Teams activities aligned with what is most important to the business or department.

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  • This presentation is possibly the most conceptual presentation during these 2-1/2 days of boot camp. I will talk about relationships within an organization – not only the ones defined by dotted lines, but ones that span across departments, built on trust, meaningful contributions and goodwill. We will dip our toes into some of the key elements of Information Architecture as a device for defining and maintaining alignment. To take some of the key points from this presentation back home and make them work may require you to think differently about your responsibilities and how you interface with the organization. And as always, this is an interactive session – it will make the presentation so much better to hear your thoughts, questions and challenges as I go through the presentation.I don’t know where the starting point is for people in this room. Some of you may have a very well defined, well oiled process established that keeps you plugged into your various academic departments, marketing, BUs or management. Others may have informal or possibly no processes in place. This presentation starts from the assumption that there is no or little in place.Like all of us in this room, I do a bunch of things – partnerships, sales, participate in discussions about new products and services, some marketing. I guess what makes me qualified to speak about alignment is that I have been responsible for web teams in my two past jobs – one with a 75 person company and one with a 700 person company. I have seen mis-alignment and quite possibly had been the one that created it.
  • Like different business units or colleges within a university, schooling Tuna have a separate but distinctly unified mission – to hunt as a pack. They use coordinated actions to surround, stun and kill their prey. They can exist alone but are forced to cooperate in order to thrive. You will notice in the picture that not all fish in this school are moving in exactly the same direction – but, their actions are coordinated in such a way as to make the pack stronger than the sum of its parts. This is how well-aligned organizations work. There is often a combination of a centralized and decentralized processes that keep a university or non-profit growing and prospering. Above all there is great communication between the various departments that help avoid duplication. The same holds true for the relationship between a business unit and its web team – the actions of a business unit are that much more effective due to the presence of an integrated web infrastructure that supports or even creates good hunting opportunities for the business unit.
  • Where does the responsibility for alignment sit within your organization? In most small to medium sized organizations, responsibility is not explicit. Chances are that once the sites is built, people forget about it. Folks in academic departments or business units likely don’t think about alignment – their minds may not be thinking about the digital representation of their business needs. It is my guess that in most organizations it is assumed that alignment is the responsibility of the web team – even if content responsibility does not reside within the Web Team.
  • I guess the starting point for any we initiative is defining what role you want your site to play. Is it as a lead gen engine? An area to authenticate or validate your being? There is no better place to understand the alignment between a business and a web initiative than on the home page.Here are some examples of sites that have such focus you can’t help but believe there is alignment between the business and the web site. You begin to see how business needs are expressed through content, applications and information architecture
  • Not a bad site – just one that is not as focused as others. Could still represent alignment between the business and the online expression of the business.
  • Offline is driving prospects to agents, with the promise that agents will provide a deeper discount than online
  • However, clearly the online team wants prospects to get a quote online – and not through an agent. Poor online/offline alignment.
  • In your organization, this may well be the responsibility of someone outside of your team. And I am not advocating that you march down the hall and tell the owner of alignment that it is now your job. But in many organizations the reality is that your management – whether it be a provost, VP of Communications or someone else – really doesn’t care who owns it. They care that the organization operates like a sewing machine. Everyone communicates, participates fully and the most is made of every opportunity. If you step in when you see something mis-aligned, you will be a hero.
  • This is what usually happens. An organization gets very excited about a new site. Everyone rushes to evaluate a slew of CMSs, vast armies are recruited to knock out code, write copy, integrate and build applications. The sites go live and they all go away because the mountain has been built. The fervor dies down. And our mental state returns to Maintenance mode. What should happen is the opposite – everything should build up to the point of launch, and the organizational adrenaline should maintain itself at a high level.
  • In your organization, this may well be the responsibility of someone outside of your team. And I am not advocating that you march down the hall and tell the owner of alignment that it is now your job. But in many organizations the reality is that your management – whether it be a provost, VP of Communications or someone else – really doesn’t care who owns it. They care that the organization operates like a sewing machine. Everyone communicates, participates fully and the most is made of every opportunity. If you step in when you see something mis-aligned, you will be a hero.
  • The various steps included in creating compelling information architecture are hugely important to not only kicking off a successful implementation, but also maintaining a post implementation laser like focus on what is most important to the business. The legacy product of an IA process is the design document. In it you will find all of the information required to maintain alignment with the business unit including goals, how those goals are expressed online, level of application integration and so much more. So go back to this document. If you don’t have such a document in house, I strongly prompt you to build one – even if it does nothing more than state the business goals and how those goals will be expressed online.
  • Bring them unsolicited ideas
  • Set regular, recurring meetings to meet with the BU owners. Even if it is for only 15 mins over coffee, the gesture will go a long way in openning communication between the two organizations.
  • Communication from the departments or Bus must be a requirement – notifications on key operational or strategic changes need to be part of all SLAs
  • This is possibly the most important slide of the presentation. Web Ops is the glue between the business and the tactical execution of the web team. If you don’t have your team aligned to these functions and responsibilities, maintaining alignment with the BUs or departments will be difficult.
  • If you have something as sophisticated as WebTrends (or another upper end analytics package) you can get some pretty nifty information. This assumes that your site is a key driver of sales.
  • Here is what we do at dotCMS. Traffic, origin or page views is less important to us. A key leading indicator of our lead flow are the number of downloads we receive on a weekly basis. This is a good example of a web metric that is tied to our business.

Aligning Your Web Initiative with Your Business Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Aligning Your Web Initiative with Your Business
    dotCMS Boot Camp
    14 April 2010
  • 2. Today
    What is Alignment?
    Why should you be Involved?
    Some Examples – Good and Bad
    The Steps to (re) Alignment
  • 3. What is Alignment?
  • 4. Why Should You Be Involved?
    If you own the Web or even a part of it…
    You may be responsible for alignment
    Even if no one told you
    Ownership has its rewards
  • 5. What Role Does Your Site Play?
    Generate
    Leads
  • 6. What Role Does Your Site Play?
    Education and Time Sensitive Information
  • 7. What Role Does Your Site Play?
    Drive Sales through Ease of Planning
  • 8. What Role Does Your Site Play?
    General Info.
    Portal
  • 9. How to Identify It
    Poor Online/Offline Alignment
  • 10. How to Identify It
    Poor Online/Offline Alignment
  • 11. How to Identify It
    • Call Center training budget cut 30%
    • 12. Hold times increase
    • 13. Pushes more folks to website for answers
    • 14. But IA, Applications and Content have not been changed to cope with new reality
    Poor Operations Alignment
  • 15. How to Identify It
    • Online event registration not integrated with Call Center event registration
    • 16. Poor brand experience
    • 17. Missed opportunities to up-sell, cross-sell
    Poor Operations Alignment
  • 18. What creates Mis-Alignment?
    1. Poor Communication that Results in…
    Online zigging and Offline zagging
    Arriving Late the the Party
    2. A Toxic Perception
  • 19. Mt. Implementation(our Toxic Perception)
    D’oh!
    Plan
    Implement
    Maintain
  • 20. What creates Mis-Alignment?
    1. Poor Communication that Results in…
    Online zigging and Offline zagging
    Arriving Late the the Party
    2. A Toxic Perception
    3. The Realities of a Budget
  • 21. The Steps to (re) Alignment
    1. Gaining BU Input
    2. Assembling a Team Structure
    3. Link Web and Business Metrics
  • 22. The Steps to (re) Alignment
    Gaining BU Input
    Review or create a Design Document
    BU goals, audiences, functional reqs., content reqs., blueprint, wireframes
    http://www.webmonkey.com/2010/02/information_architecture_tutorial/
  • 23. The Steps to (re) Alignment
    Gaining BU Input (cont’d)
    Treat BU as Customer and Strategy Partner
  • 24. The Steps to (re) Alignment
    Gaining BU Input (cont’d)
    Treat BU as Customer and Strategy Partner
  • 25. The Steps to (re) Alignment
    Gaining BU Input (cont’d)
    Integrate Your Agreements into SLAs
    Including client expectations
  • 26. The Steps to (re) Alignment
    2. Assembling a Web Team Structure
    W-OPS
    Web Operations
    Ensures that the tactics of Web site development align with overall organizational mission.
    WEM
    Web Execution Management
    Day to day execution by the Web Team; the Web Team carries out plans developed by Web Ops.
    WPM
    Web Performance Measurement
    Web analytics that are connected to business goals
  • 27. The Steps to (re) Alignment
    3. Link Web and Business Metrics
  • 28. The Steps to (re) Alignment
    3. Link Web and Business Metrics (cont’d)
    # of downloads:exe:DevPrev.
    Leads
  • 29. When you unpack…
    Do you have a document that guides alignment between college/dept. and your site?
    Who is responsible? Who should be?
    How to course-correct (if you need to)
  • 30. Thank You!
    bill@dotcms.com
    +1-786-594-5288