Web project part VII - Success

Image: OCRA winners at SWYG 2017 photo - PPA-UK
What makes a project a success? Just 'getting it done' isn't enough. Did you plot the success criteria on the time / cost / quality triangle; how close did you get? What does the wider world make of it? And what about the client?

By most normal measures, we can claim our small charity web project as a success.
  • Revised site structure and navigation
  • Clean, mobile-responsive design
  • Better homepage signposting
  • Online booking for activities
  • £24k taken in bookings and fees since January 2018
    ◦ reduced cash handling, banking and reconciliation
  • Better tagging for site search, better search engine ranking
  • 99.9%+ up-time
 But what about the time / cost / quality conundrum?

We've written before about making a conscious choice when you can only ever achieve two out of the trinity of 'good, fast or cheap.' Quality costs time and money; speed costs money and usually compromises quality; cheap usually takes longer or reduces the scope and quality of delivery.

So how did we do?

The basic website does what a basic website should. It looks clean, the navigation works, the assets on board are now of a consistent quality. That's the surface gloss.

We came in on budget - it was fixed-price after all. Yes it took longer, much longer; but some of that was down to changing hosts and the technical integration of the LTA's tennis bookings. Setting up the events calendar and ticketing while we explored the best way to do things.

In terms of quality, it's not the ideal system for bookings, owing to the stacked plugin architecture outlined in Content Management Challenges. The webforms and tickets don't flow the way we would like, but with the components available within budget, we were always going to struggle. We weren't about to cut custom code or buy an expensive subscription to a third party booking system that also doesn't quite fit. But we've still taken close to 800 ticketed transactions in 8 months, without the huge number of support calls we expected, so it must be doing something right

We're already thinking about other merchandising for the web store, donations and adding to the club fees payable online.

That's the thing about the web; it's never finished. RC