Who should lead a web development project?

Sep 26, 2013
Alexandra Barcelona

When it comes to a web development project, who should lead - IT or Business Users? At our "Tech Mornings: Content Management" event held in Los Angeles, our panel of experts discuss this question and give advice based on their experience with digital projects. Sitecore's Alyssa Murphy, Filter's Kristine Stebbins, and Oshyn's own Christian Burne all weigh in on who from your organization should lead a web project.


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Video Transcript:

Audience member: “Hi, my name is Jerome. I heard in the last, since the beginning, a lot of your were mentioning that you primarily deal with the IT people.”

Kristine Stebbins, Filter: “We don’t.”

Audience member: “Oh, ok. That was the impression I got from the introductions, that a lot of these projects are being lead or implemented by IT people.”

Kristine Stebbins, Filter: “That’s true that they’re typically lead by IT. What we do is we actually work with the business users. So we act as kind of a bridge between...but we don’t, IT folks are typically not our primary clients. Our primary clients are the business and the creative users who are actually going to use these tools.”

Christian Burne, Oshyn: “And I’m seeing, there’s definitely been a shift. Maybe five years ago, it used to be that website redesign was purchased out of the IT budget, but now that’s happening less and less. I’d say probably more than half the time, website redesigns are coming out of the marketing budget and they’re driven by marketing. But really, one of the best advices I can give to anybody...the content people, when you’re doing a website reimplementation, WCM, if the content people, the business people can take control - because what will happen is if they  don’t, if you have the business people, the marketing people who are timid and stepping back and not really taking the reins, then the IT people will just kind of have to do it because they have 10 things on their checklist, this is one of them, they’ve got to get it done and they want it out the door so they can move onto the next one. And then after they’re done, it’s the business people who are going to be left with this system. So from the beginning those business people,  if they can, you know, the best projects, the most successful projects are the ones that have the most amount of marketing and business people who are engaged and involved, not just engaged like attending the meetings, but driving and owning the system because they are going to be owning it after it’s build.”

Jose Caballer, The Skool: “What’s the problem you see most between CMOs, you know, marketing and IT?”

Alyssa Murphy, Sitecore: “Right, I was just thinking as you were talking and asked that question - in a perfect world, but definitely in a world where you’re going to see a successful implementation: Marketing is IT’s customer. And that’s where it works. So clearly the best one is everyone singing kumbaya and working together, but I get involved very early in the sales cycle. So I work with prospects who come to Sitecore and say ‘Hey, I’m looking at evaluating different platforms’ and we start to engage with them and you can tell right away if it’s all marketing - we can’t go down that path, we have to have a blend of both. So if that’s an issue in the department or if that’s an issue in the organization you’re in, that is something that I think we’ve all said that is really important because at the end of the day, the project will just stop. It will just stop or they will make the decision that will get you the least amount of servers because that’s where they’re going to save money and marketing doesn’t get their ROI they aren’t able to implement the process and the programs that they want to do and the biggest problem I see when we’re talking about this is just that. CMO, CTO all on the same page. At least having buy-in. You don’t have to have them in every single meeting but you need to make sure that you have buy-in from both sides of the house so that when it moves into the implementation phase it’s successful. That’s the goal, is to have a successful implementation, a successful campaign moving forward.”