We Built the Wrong Website!
Peter and Charlie review the case of Mike and Taylor, entrepreneurs with the idea that business owners don't always have the resources to develop their online presence. Their business connects website developers to business owners. This is how they built the wrong website for themselves.
Mike and Matt were successful by getting out and selling. In 7 months they sold 43 projects and "duct taped" together some software to manage their projects.
The gaps in their internal system began showing as they took on more projects. Sales growth gave them a six figure turnover within 15 months but growth made their internal systems fall apart.
Their systems problem became so great that they brought in a software developer, Matt, and he developed a new website for them in 4 weeks. They were so excited that they could build their own and invited new customers to use it. Their amazing business website would solve everything.
But it didn't work. Client's feedback included:
"What am I supposed to do here?"
"Can't I just send you an email?"
It was a customer experience failure, a business process failure, a "Wow, we can develop our own" failure and 4 weeks of lost development time.
What went wrong?
The new system was based on some great ideas they had and that underscored the failure. The lesson learned was to analyse their customers, contractors and business operations.
They had to analyse away from the technology.
Don't assume that a developer has an innate knowledge of your unique business. They don't all possess that skill. Their skill is to be amazing programmers.
Right Peter. The person writing software code knows coding. You shouldn't expect them to know all about your business processes, how that flows to staff, contractors and affects the customer experience from a few discussions. Many business people are no more skilled than Mike and Taylor were in giving the right information.
Appropriate analysis to the right depth is the key to this one.
Many successful developers have an expert analyse, plan and document and then review it with them, providing a detailed scope. I have met fantastic analyst/programmers but they are the exception, not the rule.
Mike and Taylor now analyse away from the technology before handing to Matt. Their business system is now coming together well.