What is Your Interactive Services Firm Thinking?

You have issued an RFP, scored the responses, had the on-site meetings with the finalists and, eventually, signed a contract. You have designated an extremely competent Project Manager to ride herd on your team, and your selected firm has designated an Interactive Producer/Project Manager to run the project. But what is it that your interactive services company is thinking?

Specifically, what are they thinking when they are working on your project?

  • the Schedule (theirs or yours)
  • the Budget
  • their Design
  • Cool Technology
  • an Award
  • Customer Conversion
  • User Engagement
  • Messaging
  • Revenue
  • Billable Hours
  • New Sector Penetration (for them)
  • Staff Utilization
  • Cash Flow
  • A Test Bed (for them to learn a new technology)
  • Scalability
  • SEO Visibility
  • Use Case Scenarios

What do you want them to be thinking about?

What of the great ironies of interactive web development is the enormous influence – for better or worse – that a truly well executed project can have whether measured in customer conversions, sales increases,  customer retention, marketplace acceptance of your offering or some other critical business metric, and yet too often more attention is given to the more mundane execution oriented schedule issues.  This is not to minimize schedule issues, they are important and should be managed aggressively, but an on-schedule project that doesn’t resonate with your audience or an award winning design that is offensive to your target audience isn’t successful by any measure that should matter.  But it might be viewed very differently by each of the key parties involved in your project.

Align your vendor and internal teams before you start and revisit your initial project presumptions periodically.  They are likely to change if your project is of any significant scale and more often than not, both teams are reluctant to go to their management to explain why the project won’t hit the initially agreed upon timeline, budget commitments or communications goals.  If you don’t revisit your initial presumptions and validate them at some point during your project, presume that your project will miss the mark on some points or you’re lucky.  Do you feel lucky?

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