So, you’ve determined what you need from your eCommerce site and how you will measure success, and you’ve selected a partner and a platform. All that’s left now is to, well, do the project.
In order to make sure you and your consulting partner create the perfect site for your organization, it is important to adhere to a project management methodology that allows you to course correct throughout the process. While it may seem like you have everything laid out flawlessly at the beginning, things will inevitably go wrong throughout the implementation process. Using a methodology that accounts for those speedbumps keeps the project on track.
Here at Briteskies, we break an implementation down into the following phases: Define, Design, Develop, Deploy, and Support.
In the Define Phase, your team will clearly define the project to your consulting team in order to make sure that everyone is on the same page from the get go. Scope and features will be established, and your company’s objectives will be integrated into the overall solution.
By setting a high-level strategy, both teams will be prepared to create a detailed project design in the next phase.
Throughout this phase, your consulting team’s designer will create a visual representation of the online solution you defined in the previous phase. Functional requirements and technical architecture should also be discussed and finalized.
While specific designs will be created, it’s important to remember that these are guidelines, not letters of the law. As things change throughout the implementation, so too will these designs. Remember to stay flexible; both teams are working towards the same goal: your dream site.
So much about the Develop Phase can seem final, as the online solution is created, tested, and prepared for the outside world. But change is the only constant in a tech project like this, so we recommend utilizing the Agile method of project methodology.
Agile was created to manage and react to change. It works by creating stories out of business process requirements, and then prioritizing those stories into sprints to deliver functionality on an ongoing basis throughout the project.
Each aspect of a sprint is weighted by an estimated level of effort by the consulting team (you can read about how our team estimates effort for a project here) in order to keep a close watch over the many moving parts of the implementation. This allows the team to develop, test, and account for errors or changes in a flexible environment that, coupled with frequent status reports, keeps the project on track despite any unexpected occurrences.
During this final stage of the implementation, the eCommerce site will go live and be accessible by the public. Using your previously-determined success metrics, you can measure the site’s success over time. But remember, (say it with me now) things change, so if you need to recalibrate your metrics, that’s alright. What’s important here is that the new site is operating according to the goals of the project.
Finally, the ongoing support and improvement of your platform. Here, your consulting partner will pass the reins over to you for everyday maintenance of the site, but remains available should any issues or new features or goals arise.
So, as your consulting team fades into a support role, take a deep breath. You did it! Your dream eCommerce site is finally a reality.