You’re looking at redesigning your website and a myriad of questions begin to pop into your head:
- Do we really need a website redesign?
- What is the goal of the site?
- Who would we get to do it?
- How much would it cost?
- Who all should be involved?
There are a lot of steps in the process to consider, and it can become overwhelming. Assuming you need to hire an agency to design and program your site, there are still website roles and responsibilities that need to be filled within your team.
Who Should Be Involved?
In our post outlining 3 essential tips for project management, we mention how large teams can sometimes lead to inefficiencies. Remember the pizza method described by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon? Fundamentally, your team should be no larger than can be fed with two pizzas. When you start to look at building the team that will be writing the creative brief, making decisions on design and content, and providing the final sign off, take a step back and think about how large your team is getting.
Key roles for website development can be filled by the agency you hire to do the work, so you don’t necessarily need to fill every roll with your in-house team. You should focus on how to have the website project run through the proper channels and processes within your organization. Consider the following team members/roles—and remember, you don’t need to have people with these exact titles, just team members who will be responsible for the tasks identified for each role:
Project manager / day-to-day decision maker – Depending on the size of your team this could be two different team members, or just one. The project manager is responsible for making sure everyone involved with a redesign project is keeping to their deadlines. As an example, if you’re writing copy for your website in-house, this person is going to need to push to make sure the copy is completed on time. Further, if your final decision maker hasn’t reviewed a mock up or other key element and you need their approval before moving forward, the project manager should have the authority to push them to provide feedback. Additionally, if you have someone in both roles, a project manager will often work hand-in-hand with the day-to-day decision maker.
The day-to-day decision maker is the person who keeps the ball rolling. There may be decisions that need to be made on the spot (be it making the final call on the organization of a page, colors used, image selection, etc.). This role has some responsibility tied to it to ensure the designs and/or content being provided by your agency are meeting your goals (and your agency is equally responsible for this as well).
As you can see, these roles can be fluid and could also be handled by the same individual if that’s what works best for your organization. If they are held by two different people, it’s important they have close collaboration throughout the project.
Reviewers – Having some team members who are not involved in the day-to-day of the website redesign, but are familiar with the goals of the project are key. Bringing them in to review proposed navigation and user flow, design prototypes and a final QA check of the programmed site is an important step. These individuals can look at it objectively and provide an “outsider’s” point of view.
Final decision maker – Inevitably, this role typically falls to a VP or C-level executive at your company. This is the person who will be able to make very strategic decisions about the project and budget. Traditionally, the final decision maker is brought in at “stopping” points during a redesign, such as final decisions on the user flow (site map), design layouts, and final review of the website before go-live. Their sign-off can be critical, and sometimes show stopping, and is a necessary step.
This makes up your 5-7-person team. Nothing is fool proof, but keeping these website roles and responsibilities in mind during a redesign is critical to the overall success of the project. If you’re looking for an agency to partner with to get your website going, we’d love to hear about it!