PracticeByte - Who Should Set Business Objectives
Posted 2010-06-24 03:23:44 by admin
Analyst: Steve Telleen
Who to include in the initial Web team to kick-off a Web project.
The first question in setting explicit web site objectives
is: who should be involved? Clearly, the process needs to include all
the stakeholders who have an interest in the outcome. Even if you are
the owner of only one of the business functions supported by your web
site, you will benefit by knowing, and if necessary championing
cooperation from all the business areas in setting business objectives
for your web site.
Depending on the size
and complexity of the web site, and the scope of the design project, the
participants may represent the entire web site, or they may represent
the organizations responsible for a specific web site destination.
complex web sites may need tiered sets of objectives: one set for the
overall web site and a set for each of the major destinations and their
respective business owners.
The main point to take away is that all the affected business
stakeholders need to be included in the setting of the web site
objectives. Casting the net too narrowly will cause problems later.
The following are some questions that will help you identify
who should be involved in setting the business objectives for your web
- Who is in charge of overall
web strategy, direction and results?
- Who are the members of your
company's web oversight or planning group?
- Who is the executive sponsor
for the web site?
- Which business functions does
your web site support, or could it support?
- Extend or support marketing
(allow customers to research details, benefits, compare models or
brands, find stores, hours, directions, etc.)
- Provide self-service account
status information or account management capabilities
- Provide self-service support
(trouble shooting help, user instructions, updates, etc.)
- Sell goods or services
directly online (self-service sales)
- Provide information to
- Provide information to the
- Obtain feedback, suggestions,
etc. from customers
- Support corporate image
(showcase corporate history and standing, community involvement and
responsibility activities, industry development and leadership
- Provide brokering services
(auction sites - e.g. eBay; public portal sites - e.g. Yahoo, Google;
matchmaking, dating, class reunion sites; etc.)
- Provide independent
information (news, library sites, research - e.g. Edmunds.com, Consumer
- Provide entertainment for its
own sake (gaming sites, network sites, movie sites, etc.)
- What is the primary
business reason for providing each function?
Increase market size or share
Increase customer satisfaction
As a public service
- How do you measure
the success of each function?
- Which departments in your
organization control or strongly influence the design and content of
Construct a list of
individuals based on the departments responsible for the business
In some cases you already may know the
In others you may need to talk to the
department executive. The important part is to be honest about what you
know and what you assume.
Otherwise you are likely to overlook
important players in the process.
If you are interested in conducting this exercise on your
site you can request our
free self-assessment form that will help you document your answers
in a structured format. This is particularly useful if you plan to have
individuals from different departments answer the questions
independently then compare the results.
Now that you have identified the business owners, how do you
set business objectives for the site? The PracticeByte, Business
Value: The touchstone of web site improvement, discuss different
aspects of this topic.