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And... done! Your project launched, the website is live, the brand is in market and all of your stakeholders feel accomplished. Nice job team!
A flywheel is a simple solution for generating constant energy — it’s the spinning wheel whose powerful momentum is at the heart of most generators. Acting as a flywheel, integration provides consistent, constant energy to support the on-going operation of your business. Shane talked to us about integration being a state of mind. It is important to remember that it should not just be the state of mind during your big development projects. That state of mind needs to endure.
We all know that the work doesn't stop at launch. Let's dig into the analytics! What are the numbers telling us about the execution of our strategy? And of course, we've all been told that content is king. We need to keep an eye on that content plan and stay on top of "feeding the beast".
Analytics will show you how your visitors and your customers are behaving. Look close enough and you'll see patterns, trends and influencing factors that lead to conversions, purchases and other measures of growth. Insights from your analytics will help direct your content plan and other aspects of your business strategy. In all likelihood you'll be frequently reviewing performance reports against your goals. It's easy (and fun) to be engrossed by the numbers.
The data will allow you to refine your tactics and it is important to react quickly. Keep that feedback cycle going, but organizations that get stuck just reacting will get clobbered. Expect that you will need to adapt your strategy and learn how to accommodate that need. Often just acknowledging that need is enough to add value to the business.
In the process of reviewing the analytics, how often do you go back and review status with the entire stakeholder group that launched your project? Do you incorporate some sort of performance validation with a representative sample of the key stakeholders? This kind of integration is an easy step to miss and there's lots of reasons that it gets neglected. Of course, you won't succeed here if you haven't started with built-in accountability. You need a plan that involves keeping the whole business connected to the project (perhaps simply with regular team status meetings).
At the beginning, your accountability plan will have momentum, positive support and good team participation. Yet, we all know that before too long people will likely get busy and other priorities will compete for time. But, don't abandon the plan. Instead of letting the importance of strong integration wain, be flexible and adapt. For example, try changing team meetings into a series of 1-on-1 check-ins, or send status updates with a survey soliciting simple feedback.
The value of continuing to champion a mindset of integration will be realized with business growth. Dom talked to us about people being critical to the design process and that successful collaboration comes from genuine curiosity. On-going integration provides more opportunity for more people to be inquisitive. Within your project and within your business this approach will provide better insights, more clarity around your goals and objectives and overall you'll build a stronger brand.
Author: Scott SnowdenBusiness & Technology Strategy