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Online Services Review

Aim

To produce a report reviewing the online services of an organisation.

So what are the challenges?

The online services are a smaller part of a very large organisation. They might be for one particular business arm or a specific online tool.

In a scenario like this there are many stakeholders: a lot of people with variously vested interests in the product. They all have valid concerns but those concerns might not be well communicated.

The online service has been added to over years while never having a clear strategy to align itself with. It is regarded by stakeholders as something of a Frankenstein’s monster.

There’s no clear understanding of how successful the online service is. There are analytics services attached to it but nothing to put the metrics in context.

The organisation has strict rules around its use of web-servers and the manipulation of content. Sometimes the organisation is committed to a third party to provide hosting and management.

How do we overcome the challenges?

Speaking to stakeholders and asking the right questions is the first step to assessing the existing online services. The needs of the organisation need to be defined and then applied to the purpose of the website.

This first step is about helping the people involved in that part of the business better communicate what it is they need and expect.

We developed a series of investigative steps that lead to us understanding exactly where an online service sits within an organisation. These steps include interviews and an analysis of the usability, accessibility and content of the existing service.

Lastly we look at how the effectiveness of the website is measured and how those metrics are used for improvements.

How does it all come together?

Our final report clearly outlines our findings in these areas and accurately explains the gaps between what the organisation needs and what the organisation has.

We develop a series of recommendations based on our findings and processes that will help the organisation provide a more appropriate online service. These recommendations are ranked from opportunities to be taken advantage of immediately, through to long-term projects.

Sometimes these opportunities are improvements to internal processes and others are, more obviously, changes to the online service itself.

Stakeholders directly see how their input leads to the recommendations and reasons are always tied back to the identified needs.