So you are about to embark on a brand new project. A new project means a new vision, new ideas and a whole different ball game when it comes to your client as; after all, everybody is different. Remember that quote ‘one size fits all’? Well ignore it! When it comes to business, this is rarely the case.
The key to the success of any project (a website-related project in our case) is to plan, plan and oh yes, plan. By planning you stay motivated, you identify your goals, you know your limits and you know your focus, making it easier to stay on track.
The following provides five areas which you should consider before starting a new project.
- Define your goals. Make sure you have identified a big visionary goal for your company (also known as a Big Hairy Audacious Goal – BHAG). This goal is one which may be considered audacious to those outside of the company, but is believed to be achievable by those working within the company.
For example, Apple’s BHAG is to “to democratize technology by providing products everyone will want to use.”
- Know your clients. Look at your typical clients. Who are they? What type of person are they? What is their typical spend? Where are they coming from? Finding out this information will enable you to target the type of clients you want to attract to your company. The more information you can obtain on a client, the easier it will be to identify what product or service they require.
For example, ideal clients for Apple iPod could be music enthusiasts and fans aged between 12-35 years.
- Identify your differentiators. What makes you different from your competitors? This could be something about your team, the service or product you offer, or even the way you approach business.
What makes Apple different from its competitors is its use of design, imagination and innovation.
- How will you achieve your goals? Make a list of ways in which you can achieve your goals so that you know how you are going to reach that main target. You can use the information you have gathered about your ideal client and your differentiators to work out the key messages, functionality and information you want to include in the final outcome of the project.
When developing the iPod, Apple may have decided that one of the ways in which they were going to achieve their goal was by giving out clear messages relating to their differentiators.
- What will you not do? By defining a list of what you are NOT going to do throughout the project, you will give yourself a set of ground rules that will enable you to avoid going off-track, making mistakes and wasting time.
For example Apple may have decided they would not take the same approach as their competitors.
Once you’ve completed the exercise above, make sure you record the information on one side of A4 paper (if possible). Then print the document and put it somewhere SAFE on or near your desk. It is important to go back to this on a regular basis and ask ‘Does this satisfy or help achieve my goals?’ to keep you on-track with your project.
Do your current projects satisfy the goals you initially set out for them? Do you find planning helps your project flow better? Please share your thoughts below; we’d love to hear from you.