Your Digital Investment Checklist: Create One Before the Project Begins

By May 16, 2016Blog
Digital Checklist - Leafcutter Creative Digital

If you’re about to embark on the exciting journey of creating a new website, custom web app or mobile app, then this article is for you. This checklist sums up the crucial pillars of how to make your digital project a winner. When we say winner, this is obviously measured against the business goals, long after the project timeline has been met. Because at Leafcutter Digital Agency, we pride ourselves on making your project a success.

Ticking all boxes of our checklist prior to your project commencing will not only ensure a smooth process for any party involved but will also set your project on the right track within the bigger picture of your digital strategy.

In some of our recent Insight Articles (for a full list see the links at the bottom of this article) we outlined why significant thought should be given to content and also why content falling short presents an actual risk to your digital investment quality and success.

Besides content, what other key aspects decide about the long term success of your digital project? Let’s assume you have already identified a specific need, have conducted the scoping (for further tips on this feel free to visit our article The Importance of Thorough Upfront Scoping) and have already selected an agency. So what’s next?

One may think that it is now time to lean back and let the agency master the task and take care of the final results. This common assumption might lead to unpleasant surprises, bottlenecks, squeezed timelines and compromises in quality.

Before you hand the ball over to your trusted digital agency, make sure you have the points below covered. This will enable your digital partner to run at warp speed, deliver a product of the highest quality which will allow your digital investments to sustain great value over time.

Your 9-Part Digital Investment Checklist

1. Use a Business Case to Identify Your Need

  • Great you have an idea! Now let’s make sure this idea is mapped out to address and solve key needs.

2. Know Your Strengths & Scope

  • Know your strengths:
    • If not done yet, perform a SWOT Analysis to find out about your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  • Scope your solution:
    • Be sure to understand any technical, functional or visual requirements or mandatories you might need to adhere to, be it due to industry landscape, corporate governance or legal constraints.
    • Do you have a desired solution set up or are you looking for a partner to develop the optimal solution to a specific problem?

3. Understand Your Audience

  • Ask questions such as:
    • Do you have full understanding of your target audience’s online behaviour?
    • What are the user personas?
    • Who are your competitors?

4. Prepare Your Content

  • Take inventory of the content available (e.g. volume, relevance for the target audience, type and output format/media)
  • Create a content plan, how frequent do you update the content and what content needs to be created additionally or edited prior to project launch?
  • We generally recommend clients think of how they can achieve the maintenance of a website. A new website using a lot of visual and imagery space for example looks great but won’t be of use if the content will not be maintained regularly. This is were a lot of project quality can fall short – we build and deliver the tools that enables your brand and content to come to life.

5. Know the True Costs

  • Are you aware of the true costs including all internal and external cost drivers of your digital investment?

6. Know Your Budget

  • Ensure costs and efforts are fully uncovered beforehand, nothing worse than sacrificing must-haves because of unidentified cost driver’s eating up budgets.
  • Make sure sufficient funding and resources are available to maintain your Digital Investment.
  • Do you need external maintenance support?

7. Measure Your Success

  • Identify how you measure the success of your digital investment and set the respective KPIs.

8. Find a Perfect Fit

  • Allow enough time to find the partner that is right for you.
  • Formulate a clear brief, this will help you sort through the vast offering that’s available. It will also help your possible partner understand you, your needs, any limitations and flexibilities – enabling them to propose the best solution.
  • Understand the value, not only the costs of your possible partner.
  • The digital agency landscape offers competitive pricing and whereas costs are a key factor, often times solutions that look like the more expensive option at first glance might turn out to be the better fit offering unique value by bringing extensive services and knowledge to the table.

9. Roadmap Where You’re Heading

  • Do you have a digital strategy to sustain your investment? It’s not unusual for businesses making the mistake of investing without a clear strategy. Digital Investments are hardly a one-off cost. Half-life is short.
  • New trends, technologies and needs evolve almost daily. Be sure to close the GAP and once closed, keep it up. Closing Gaps is often more expensive than staying up to date and dedicating budgets on an ongoing basis.

All of the above covered? Let’s chat!

To gain in-depth insights into the importance of content, scoping and how digital investments evolve from an idea/concept to successful products – please consider our insight articles below: