Too many of digital projects do not work well, are delivered late, over budget or not fit to purpose. To increase the success rate of these projects, there is the need of a new approach.
1. Put users’ needs first
The products and services you deliver should be driven by the needs of your users, not what suits you as providers. This means you need to invest time and effort to regularly engage with users and the contexts in which they interact with what you produce.
2. Make decisions based on data
Simply stating a user’s needs is insufficient, you need to counsel these needs with sound qualitative and quantitative data, and use that data to make objective decisions about what to deliver and when. Data is not making choices easier, but it will help you to take better decisions.
3. Release iteratively and often
Stop doing ‘big’ releases, these tend to frustrate users and put at risk the organisation. Work Agile, start small with the minimum viable product, test it and release it as soon as possible on a timescale of days and weeks, rather than months or years. Repeat the process many times over, adding to your products and services based on feedback, tests and changes to technology.
4. Keep it simple and consistent
You will do the hard work not to over-think or over-complicate things. Whether a user is new or experienced, task-driven or browsing, they will able to get started quickly, flow through the process with ease and trust the integrity of the results. Keep always usability in mind.
5. Do the hard work behind the scenes
Great digital product or service doesn’t rest entirely on what appears on-screen. Your work doesn’t stop when you send something live. Care about the running of products and services, from their discovery, development and throughout the time they are operational.
If you want to know what other organisations are doing, the U.S. Digital Services Playbook is a fantastic read.