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  • JUN 21, 2021

    Iteration vs Grand Slam

    Mark Burrier

    Making incremental changes to your digital projects can avoid the big flop when budgets are tight.

    The short-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on operating budgets makes now the ideal time for your association to adopt Design Thinking principles, specifically “iteration.” Iterative development is a way of breaking down the software development of a large application into smaller chunks.

    This seems like a logical step, right? So why can it feel difficult among the Association community?

    • Direction from leadership and boards of directors can apply pressure to provide a “big bang” to members.
    • The technical infrastructure of your web presence—how many vendors you work with and are they integrated—can make small projects feel large.
    • Website improvements can be additional work for your staff to guide so there can be a desire to let your team back to their work and calling a job done.

    All of these reasons have validity and there can be shades of gray in all directions. Let’s take a look at some benefits to an iterative approach.

    • Show continuous improvements and forward motion to members
      Whether your planned improvements are user-facing or behind-the-scenes, all can be disclosed to membership with positivity. Identify digital pain points between your users and your website and work to address them.
    • Organize and prioritize
      If your home needs fixes, how likely are you to tear down your existing house to build a new one? You prioritize based on budget. The same applies to your web presence. Create a master list of improvements and additions your stakeholders would like to your digital products. Then break that list down into priority: “Immediate” (eg. we are losing money or we are in danger of a security issue), “Candidate for release” and “Nice to have.” This exercise can aid you in conversations with stakeholders around priorities and budget needs.
    • Save money
      No matter your website vendor, a small project takes less resources and will cost less than a large project. Smaller projects can more easily adhere to tight schedules.
    • Lesson staff burden
      It’s common for Association teams to assemble an in-house team to work with the website vendor and project manager. This can be an additional responsibility for your staff. By lessening the scope and schedule, your team members can avoid big project burnout.

    Enforme is the website vendor and strategic partner to many associations. We help membership organizations optimize their digital products, generate revenue and increase membership value. Contact us to learn how we can help.