Join Kelly Goto for an in-depth discussion in this video Initiative planner, part of Web ReDesign: Strategies for Success.
So, we've talked about why iterative planning and working out specific initiatives using the core process is very important as part of this long term plan we want to put together. So, how do we actually figure out what we want to do? What are the steps that you can take in your organization? Or if you have a client, you can lead them through a process that's going to outline not only what they need to do immediately, but what they need to do in the next 3-6 months, 9-12 months and what they can envision for two years out. The Current & Future State Analysis or Initiative Planner is a document that takes you through in 8-12 steps how effective your website is, what you like about it, what you don't like about it, what things that you change today, what things that you might change tomorrow.
And it allows you to brainstorm, conceptualize, and envision how you can organize this information into initiatives in the end. So we're going to take a look at the Initiatives Planner, which is available in the Exercise Files folder if you're a lynda.com premium member or if you're watching this on your discs. So, here we have the Initiatives Planner, it's a Word document that's again located in the Exercise Files folder. So what I encourage you to do is print this out, sit down, spend a few minutes, 10-15, even half an hour filling this out, and get a good sense of what your take is before presenting it to a team.
As a team exercise, it's a great way to take an afternoon, sit everyone down, have them brainstorm on what things they'd change on the site, what things that they like, what things they don't like, how this factors into the sites strategy as a whole. So let's take a look at some of the questions. The first ones are pretty straight forward talking about, what do you think about your website, how is it usable, how important is it, how well does your customer understand it, is it meeting your customer's needs. We want to get a sense from 1-10 what you think about that experience, and understanding how you solve your customer's problems through the website, how do you bring value to their daily experience.
That's the first part. Moving into the second part, we start to take a look at what is the value proposition, or what do you hope to solve in the future with your website, how is this different from what it is currently. This is the fun question, list three to five things you'd change in your website today if you could. So many times you look at your website, you hear from customer service and you have some things that you just know, gosh! If I could only change that. Write them down; get them off your chest. Think about what obstacles you're facing that limits your team from making these changes.
Is it budget, resources, or is it vision from the highest level? Then think about what are the factors that make up the gap between where you're today and where you want to be in the future. Take a guess, if you're not sure. Brainstorming, put a lot of lines in here just for you to write down as many things as you can. And in true brainstorm fashion please don't edit yourself, just write down everything that you can think of. Start off with five things, try and write down ten things. If you get to 20, you're doing fantastically.
So, here you would take a look at both websites and applications, both marketing initiatives and user experience, path flows, things like that through the site; what would you change if you could on every aspect of your site or your presence? So now think about, okay of this list, what are the top three things that are going to most possibly affect the user experience, your customer's experience in your opinion. Not from the business side, not from the technical side, but from the user experience side.
Then I want you to think next of what are the three things that are going to most positively affect your business initiatives, your company's bottom line, what's going to make you money. Then finally, I want you to write down, what are the three items that you can immediately implement if you have the budget and resources. What can you do in the next 6-12 months, what could you attempt in the next 12-24 months. And when you wrap it altogether, I want you to think about 3-5 initiatives from a user experience business and a doable factor that you can start with today.
Now, we get into the prioritization and we can start looking at, okay, here's the actual initiative what we've outlined, maybe it's a homepage refresh, maybe it's looking at a path flow through a registration form or some other sign up document. We want to talk about the immediate goals that it's going to solve and some of the long term goals when you can start, how many days you think it's going to take to complete per resource, when do you really want this to be live and what are the factors behind that. Think about your internal resources versus external, is this something that you're going to be able to do internally or do you have to hire an outside company or a series or contractors to bring in the work in time.
We're going to be putting it into a strategic roadmap in the movie that's to follow. If you don't have access to this document, feel free to pause the movie, copy some of this information down. The most important thing is to realize is that you can break down everything that you have on your plate into very doable chunks that can be executed short, medium and long term. Let's take a look at in real world scenario where we took this plan and put it into action in a group atmosphere.