Knowing what things you absolutely must have for your business to work correctly is as important as everything else we have covered so far.
Unless you have an unlimited budget for your next web project (note: if you do, please call we'd love to help), the result you get will most likely have some forms of compromise from your ideal wish list.
Compromises can take several forms including purely budgetary considerations as well as the level of work required or naturally it seemed like a good idea at the time but on reflection doesn't make sense.
What you mustn’t compromise on is the things your business MUST HAVE.
In setting your primary and secondary goals for your site, you should have a very clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve and what success looks like.
Often though there are business MUST-HAVES that don’t necessarily figure into the primary goal directly but which are important to your business long term.
These MUST-HAVES are something you need to outline in your scope and make sure everyone involved in the project fully understands their importance.
Your primary goal for this web build might be to increase Leads and Sales. These invariably will have some other marketing sub-goals attached which might include email address collection via newsletter sign ups or other forms which fit into your marketing channel.
Your customer service team may also need a robust and healthy FAQ / Q&A area supported by a ticketing system for support requests. While important to them this may not get listed or scoped until very late in the process when important decisions have already been made.
These MUST-HAVES can often highlight back of house functions that are critical to business processes flowing smoothly.
You might need integration with a 3rd party Inventory management system for your e-commerce store or a particular multi-step email notification pathway including integration with your shipping provider. If these remain as after-thoughts, then the wrong choices in the scope can be made, and not enough questions will be asked early enough to see them fit nicely into the overall site.
Initially, it is all the highest pages and the shiniest elements that get the first attention and as the budget gets consumed and the energy for the project dwindles items last in the development list get generic implementations or left until stage 2/3.
Use our MUST-HAVEs list builder to gather the essential items your business must have in this website development. This list will become a critical part of the introduction to your scope, and as you work through the next sections, you will see how you can introduce them into the scope.
Don't be worried if you do an initial draft to get started so you can keep moving through the process. While you work on the later stages, share the Must-haves list with other team members to get their additions or comments, and then implement that back into the other work you have done.
Don’t forget heads of departments for areas you mightn’t consider as part of the web build. You will often learn how they would appreciate the site to do X early enough in the process that you can solve their biggest headaches
When the Must-Haves list has been filled in move to the next chapter.