Web strategic planning, an organizational solution
Monday morning, client meeting for the launch of a Web strategic planning project. We explain our vision, we talk about its Web strategy , its team, its site. The client expresses the same desolation that I often hear: his site is outdated, he presents their service offer badly because nobody manages it and, finally, all the units want to be on the home page. Unfortunately, poor web strategies are direct consequences of poor work organization.
Western structures are based on the principle of specialization initiated by Taylor (geography, division, product, business function), where each unit has a defined role and tasks to perform. The consequence is the famous management in a vacuum which affects the management of the site : the lack of collaboration between the units on the content or the functionalities to be developed or the exacerbated power games. It is the most influential who arbitrarily chooses what should be put forward on the site, and the absence of a common vision is obviously felt. The webmaster receives unexpected and urgent orders that break his production rhythm. The information architecture is more often than not a layer of the organization chart. Take the test: take a large company's website and look at its organization chart; the corollary is often striking.
Seeing the problem, the manager decides to plan a redesign of his website. He mandates operational people to carry out the project with their favorite web advice box. He expects to be presented with the best practices for his site, to have the best CMS which will ensure the decentralization of powers, which will solve all past problems. Everyone will be able to create their sections, their pages. All this will reduce the workload of the webmaster in command of the units. By giving the keys to the management of the site to the different business units, it is believed that they will respect the information architecture and the planned strategy. It's beautiful and simple in theory, but in practice, we are far from wishful thinking. Some resources have been designated by their unit to manage the content of the site, but given the current context, their work overload prevents them from carrying out their new tasks. Human resources managers had not been consulted in order to redefine their position. The additional workload is therefore set aside or evaded, not for lack of will, but for lack of room for manoeuvre. The return of the vicious circle.
WHAT TO DO NOW?
IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM AT THE SOURCE
A strategic web planning is not just a website redesign , it is a redesign of the organizational processes in place.. By knowing the impact of your web strategy on your business, you will know the resources available and the degree of input required for content production. For example, you want to better advise your customers online through a chat function from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., 7 days a week. The chat requires the availability of one or more resources to ensure the service quality. Do you have resources who know how to express themselves in writing and who are able to adequately understand the technology? Should the people in place be trained? Can/should you commit new resources? These considerations must be taken into account before the production of the site, otherwise it will be doomed to live only a short time before becoming obsolete.
When the common vision is defined and the structure is more collaborative, the Web strategy can be put in place. Subsequently, the processes for planning and updating the content must be defined in addition to training the people responsible for each unit. They will see to autonomy and respect for the strategy put in place.
LEGITIMIZE THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE WEB TEAM
The Web, for many SMEs, has recently been considered as a link in the value chain rather than an element added to the marketing plan. The web team, often made up of just one person – a webmaster or the IT guy in the box – needs to move from a centralized drop-off point for all web requests to a holistic view of the company's service offering. company. This is a challenge in itself and I will expose, in a future article, the 5 types of work organizations to manage your Web strategy .