With the widespread use of the internet, it has become a necessity for many companies to have an online presence in order to improve their business objectives. Having opened a new consulting firm that offers advice on technology expansions for small to medium sized businesses, it is important to launch a website that would assist in promoting the company and the services it offers. However, before creating the web project, it important to have an idea of the end result, methods to use to evaluate progress, and what the process entails. A formal plan for a new web project will increase efficiency, reduce obstacles, and prevent miscommunication during the process.
A strategic plan is one of the major things that will allow for the overall success of an organization. Jack and Suzie Welch, in their book Winning: The Answers, declare that strategy can provide any company a general direction that will allow it to have a durable competitive advantage (Welch & Welch, 2009). The book further goes on to declare that a successful strategy lies in asking the right questions contrary to the belief of most people of having all the right answers without consideration to the questions. Asking the right questions and providing the right answers ensures that the strategic plan of the company will lead to its continued success.
In the video Overview of the Strategic Planning Process, Erica Olsen illustrates the key steps to apply in the formal planning process. First, the company needs to have a good mission statement which clarifies the purpose of the organization (Olsen, 2012). When creating the website, potential clients may need to know the mission of the company so as to know its purpose and activities. After articulating the mission statement, the next step is to look at both internal and external data to determine the current position of the company (Olsen, 2012). The company then needs to synthesize the data to obtain information to carry out a SWOT analysis. At this point, it would be possible to articulate the vision of the company which should be clear to everyone.
The mission and vision statements are important in determining the strategic goals and objectives of the company. It would now be possible to find the clearest path from the current position of the company to where it needs to be in the future (Olsen, 2012). To do this, there needs to be a clear articulation of the companys long-term strategic objectives which provide a high-level view on such issues as financial, customer, and operational excellence. There should also be short-term goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound (Olsen, 2012). Everyone needs to have a clear, actionable plan to achieve the companys goals. A meeting once in a while that allows everyone to air their views about the strategy will result in better tracking of the progress and making of necessary improvements.
Having an overview of the strategic planning process, it becomes easier to design the formal plan for the website. The first step is the learning process. The more the company knows what it needs to accomplish and the state of the competition in the market, the higher the chances that the web project will be successful. The next step is to plan for the implementation of the project while keeping in mind the vision of the company (Whitt, 2013). The learning phase would have provided the necessary information such as the needs of the clients, the target audience, and the time frames which are needed for the implementation phase. The project plan should lay out all the processes so that the stakeholders can know how they can meet the deliverables of the project in a synchronized and timely manner.
After planning, the next step is to formulate the strategy of the web project. One of the things to take into consideration during this phase is the current competition in the market. With this kind of project, it is possible to obtain vital information by visiting the websites of competing companies, knowing their online ranks, and how they reached that position. The company can then differentiate itself from the competitors to increase their online presence. During this phase, it is also important to break down the project deliverables so that there is effective collaboration from everyone (Whitt, 2013). Another important activity is to determine the dependencies, the risks, the available resources, and timeline issues among other things. There should be a clear timeline for the project as well as the determination of the personnel available for specific project tasks (Whitt, 2013). This would allow everyone to get assigned to specific resources which would eventually improve the success of the project.
In todays world, it is important for most companies to have an online presence so as to meet a wider target audience and in the process increase the level of achieving their business goals and objectives. Some companies may decide to carry out a web project without taking into consideration the factors that would make the project successful. Having a formal plan to guide the process of creating a web project will ensure efficiency, timeliness, and eventual success of the venture. The key factors to take into consideration in designing the formal plan include the mission statement of the company, internal and external data, SWOT analysis, and vision of the company which will lead to the formation of a successful strategy.
Welch, J., & Welch, S. (2009). Winning: The Answers: Confirming 75 of the Toughest Questions. Harper Collins.
Olsen, E. [virtualstrategist]. (2012, September 5). Overview of the Strategic Planning Process [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU3FLxnDv_A
Whitt, J. [Project Management Videos]. (2013, February 11). Project Planning Process: 5 Steps to Project Management Planning [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do8iykQKMfU
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