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THE ESSENTIALS OF 
A DIGITAL PROJECT 
DANNY BLUESTONE, NOV 2014
TODAY 
1. About Danny 
2. Strategy 
3. Approach 
4. The Brief 
5. Technology 
6. Execution 
7. Recap
ABOUT ME
WHAT IS A STRATEGY? 
Image: https://www.pehub.com/2013/10/want-some-time-with-reid-hoffman-just-ask-him/
A HIGH LEVEL PLAN TO ACHIEVE 
ONE OR MORE GOALS UNDER 
CONDITIONS OF UNCERTAINTY 
Image: http://blog.codinghorror.com/ches...
A DIGITAL BUSINESS NEEDS 
THE FOLLOWING INNOVATIONS 
Image: https://www.pehub.com/2013/10/want-some-time-with-reid-hoffman...
THE PRODUCT HAS TO BE 
UNIQUE
‘SHAREABILITY’ IS KEY
DISTRIBUTION SHOULD BE 
BUILT-IN
INNOVATIVE BUT ADAPTIVE 
Image:http://beta.robocast.com/roboshows/1233-eric-ries-the-pivot
THERE ARE 4 TYPES OF 
DIGITAL PROJECTS 
Image: http://blog.codinghorror.com/chess-computer-v-human/
DIFFERENT PROJECTS NEED DIFFERENT 
STRATEGIES: 
1. Branding and marketing projects 
2. Information and content rich projec...
APPROACH
HEROES ONLY 
LIVE IN MOVIES… 
Image: https://wherebadmovieslive.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/macgyver-monday-ugly-duckling/
BUT HELP IS HERE. HERE ARE APPROACHES 
TO HELP DELIVER AND EXECUTE YOUR 
STRATEGY: 
1. Agile and Scrum - Geared towards (2...
THE PROJECT TRIANGLE TO THE RESCUE 
FEATURES 
QUALITY 
BUDGET TIMELINE 
Image: http://gs4securitywallpaper.blogspot.co.uk/...
SPRINT 01 
PLANNING PLANNING PLANNING PLANNING 
Release login 
SPRINT 02 
and registration screens 
Release shopping 
cart...
WATERFALL 
Requirements 
User Experience 
(UX) & Design 
Development 
& QA 
Deployment 
Continued 
Support
LEAN 
Ideas 
LEARN BUILD 
Data Code 
MEASURE 
Split tests 
Customer interviews 
Five Whys root cause analysis 
Cross-funct...
SUMMARISING THE APPROACHES 
Using the agile manifesto as a base 
Agile Waterfall Lean 
Individuals and interactions Proces...
THE BRIEF
KEEP IT 
BRIEF 
Image: https://wherebadmovieslive.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/macgyver-monday-ugly-duckling/
THINGS TO INCLUDE IN A BRIEF: 
1. Outline strategy - Reference to your original strategy, your 
hypothesis and goals for b...
TECHNOLOGY
I CHOOSE A LAZY PERSON TO DO 
A HARD JOB BECAUSE A LAZY 
PERSON WILL FIND AN EASY WAY 
TO DO IT. 
Image: http://billgatess...
TECHNOLOGY CONSIDERATIONS: 
1. Touch-points - Based on the touch points and channels you are 
designing for, carefully sel...
EXECUTION
DESIGN DRIVES INNOVATION; 
INNOVATION POWERS BRAND; 
BRAND BUILDS LOYALTY; AND 
LOYALTY SUSTAINS PROFITS. 
Image: http://w...
FINALLY, EXECUTE: 
1. User centred design (UCD) - Regardless of your approach, 
incorporate UCD so decisions are made base...
RECAP
A QUICK RECAP: 
1. Strategy - Stick to your strategy but ensure it’s lean and adaptable. 
2. Approach - Feel free to pick ...
THANK YOU 
@DANNY_BLUESTONE 
@CYBERDUCK_UK
The essentials of a digital project
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The essentials of a digital project

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This presentation covers how organisations should approach a new digital project such as a web portal, system or mobile app (or combination of all) while considering the brand strategy, marketing or growth hacking approach and technology. The keynote examines the principles of a strategy and different methodologies for the product/project production such as agile, sashimi waterfall, lean and user centred design (UCD). The deck then delves into how to write a concise brief, how to go about resourcing and pick a technology platform or framework (such as Laravel or Ruby on Rails). The presentation covers how great design and project management is fundamental to success and why the design heuristics are so important. Finally the presentation also mentions why PM tools like JIRA, basecamp and Trello are important.

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The essentials of a digital project

  1. 1. THE ESSENTIALS OF A DIGITAL PROJECT DANNY BLUESTONE, NOV 2014
  2. 2. TODAY 1. About Danny 2. Strategy 3. Approach 4. The Brief 5. Technology 6. Execution 7. Recap
  3. 3. ABOUT ME
  4. 4. WHAT IS A STRATEGY? Image: https://www.pehub.com/2013/10/want-some-time-with-reid-hoffman-just-ask-him/
  5. 5. A HIGH LEVEL PLAN TO ACHIEVE ONE OR MORE GOALS UNDER CONDITIONS OF UNCERTAINTY Image: http://blog.codinghorror.com/chess-computer-v-human/
  6. 6. A DIGITAL BUSINESS NEEDS THE FOLLOWING INNOVATIONS Image: https://www.pehub.com/2013/10/want-some-time-with-reid-hoffman-just-ask-him/
  7. 7. THE PRODUCT HAS TO BE UNIQUE
  8. 8. ‘SHAREABILITY’ IS KEY
  9. 9. DISTRIBUTION SHOULD BE BUILT-IN
  10. 10. INNOVATIVE BUT ADAPTIVE Image:http://beta.robocast.com/roboshows/1233-eric-ries-the-pivot
  11. 11. THERE ARE 4 TYPES OF DIGITAL PROJECTS Image: http://blog.codinghorror.com/chess-computer-v-human/
  12. 12. DIFFERENT PROJECTS NEED DIFFERENT STRATEGIES: 1. Branding and marketing projects 2. Information and content rich projects 3. Functional, system and IoT driven applications 4. Combos, as most projects combine at least two of the above. When going ‘cross-channel’ further consideration is required. Image: http://blog.codinghorror.com/chess-computer-v-human/
  13. 13. APPROACH
  14. 14. HEROES ONLY LIVE IN MOVIES… Image: https://wherebadmovieslive.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/macgyver-monday-ugly-duckling/
  15. 15. BUT HELP IS HERE. HERE ARE APPROACHES TO HELP DELIVER AND EXECUTE YOUR STRATEGY: 1. Agile and Scrum - Geared towards (2-3 weekly) sprint releases that include QA, little to no documentation, a self managing team with a ‘product owner’. Planning is done within each sprint via user stories. 2. Waterfall - Normally a phased approach with upfront planning and specifications followed by design. Development is normally done in the middle with user acceptance testing (UAT) at the end. 3. Lean - More of a set of principles and philosophy, encouraging experiments and pivots via MVPs, learning, iterating and improving. Lean propagates avoiding development waste at all costs.
  16. 16. THE PROJECT TRIANGLE TO THE RESCUE FEATURES QUALITY BUDGET TIMELINE Image: http://gs4securitywallpaper.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/escher-triangle.html
  17. 17. SPRINT 01 PLANNING PLANNING PLANNING PLANNING Release login SPRINT 02 and registration screens Release shopping cart experience SPRINT 03 Release data import and blog SPRINT 04 Release indexing, search and UAT fixes SCRUM
  18. 18. WATERFALL Requirements User Experience (UX) & Design Development & QA Deployment Continued Support
  19. 19. LEAN Ideas LEARN BUILD Data Code MEASURE Split tests Customer interviews Five Whys root cause analysis Cross-functional teams Unit tests Usability tests Continuous integration Open source components Product owner accountability Cohort analysis Real-time alerting Innovation accounting Eliminate waste Net promoter score
  20. 20. SUMMARISING THE APPROACHES Using the agile manifesto as a base Agile Waterfall Lean Individuals and interactions Processes and tools Proven and people focused processes Working software Software and documentation Validated software and wikis Customer colloboration Contracts and negotiations Smart, flexible and challenged proposals Responding to change Following a plan The build, measure, learn loop
  21. 21. THE BRIEF
  22. 22. KEEP IT BRIEF Image: https://wherebadmovieslive.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/macgyver-monday-ugly-duckling/
  23. 23. THINGS TO INCLUDE IN A BRIEF: 1. Outline strategy - Reference to your original strategy, your hypothesis and goals for both the launch (MVP) and beyond! 2. Approach - What type of methodology do you want to take? 3. Resources - Who’s going to do what and when? It should be clear what you expect from each partner and stakeholder. 4. Content strategy - This requires careful thought. 5. Marketing - How will marketing be built-in to your new project and what happens when the project launches? 6. Branding - Your brief should refer to brand guidelines which are important and will expedite the production if done properly. 7. Technology - It’s always worth outlining what you need in the brief.
  24. 24. TECHNOLOGY
  25. 25. I CHOOSE A LAZY PERSON TO DO A HARD JOB BECAUSE A LAZY PERSON WILL FIND AN EASY WAY TO DO IT. Image: http://billgatesstrategies.com/
  26. 26. TECHNOLOGY CONSIDERATIONS: 1. Touch-points - Based on the touch points and channels you are designing for, carefully select proven and scalable technology. 2. MVC Framework - For the backend use a model-view-controller (MVC) framework. The model manages the data and business logic. 3. Platform - Sometimes it’s worth using a platform if all you need is a basic CMS-powered or e-commerce website. 4. TDD - Test driven development (TDD) entails writing test scripts and unit tests upfront to constantly test functionality. 5. Bundled releases - Schedule software releases every two weeks on a staged server so all resources work in tandem.
  27. 27. EXECUTION
  28. 28. DESIGN DRIVES INNOVATION; INNOVATION POWERS BRAND; BRAND BUILDS LOYALTY; AND LOYALTY SUSTAINS PROFITS. Image: http://www.brandingbricks.com/2014/06/20/post-199-a-brand-interview-with-marty-neumeier-part-1/
  29. 29. FINALLY, EXECUTE: 1. User centred design (UCD) - Regardless of your approach, incorporate UCD so decisions are made based on real user input. 2. Design heuristics - Make sure that both the creative and technical teams adhere to IA and IxD heuristics. 3. Interdisciplinary teams - Make sure the team is cross-disciplinary and works closely together, challenging each other all the time. 4. Presentations and walk throughs - Use ‘show and tells’ to regularly present weekly progress. 5. Use good PM tools - Use tools like JIRA to manage issues, Basecamp for communication and Trello as a lean board.
  30. 30. RECAP
  31. 31. A QUICK RECAP: 1. Strategy - Stick to your strategy but ensure it’s lean and adaptable. 2. Approach - Feel free to pick and choose a methodology that suits your type of project and organisational setup. 3. Brief - Make sure the brief clearly articulates your goals and KPIs. 4. Experience design - Remember that your ‘experience’ needs to be thoroughly tested with real people before you go to market. Use UCD to help you really focus on your customers. 5. Putting it all together - Your project consists of branding, technology and marketing elements. Your job is to ‘gel’ it together.
  32. 32. THANK YOU @DANNY_BLUESTONE @CYBERDUCK_UK

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