Your website needs replatforming, you've considered all possible pros and cons and thought through the practical stages of the process that you're up to. That means you're halfway to success, and now it's time to turn to strategic planning.
Why is Project Strategy important?
Building the project strategy is essential to any project's success, and a website replatforming is no exception. During this phase at the very beginning, you should focus on the most advanced and vital features and decisions to find the best design and technical direction for the process as a whole. Proper planning will help you manage a replatforming process from start to finish.
But why should you bother with strategic planning anyway? Well, because of several reasons.
- Save money. Strategic planning allows spending budgets more carefully as you would know exactly what you're going to do and hence can avoid unnecessary expenses.
- Save time. Strategic planning saves you time by simplifying the decision-making process. In fact, you make all the major decisions beforehand. Planning everything and setting goals at the beginning is a truel time saver. Plus, you establish the timeline, which helps you predict potential pitfalls and understand where you might need additional time and effort.
- Ensure business growth. A properly developed website replatforming strategy supports the global company's strategy and deals with the business objectives. Which, in turn, provides overall business growth.
Now, let's see what exactly you should consider when preparing your site replatform strategy.
Start with the question, 'what do I want to achieve?' Sounds obvious, but you should define the goals as detailed as possible because your goals are your priorities, and you will choose the methods according to them.
Keep in mind that focusing on your priorities means choosing the most critical objectives. Ask yourself what your website and your business need right now. Do you need to speed up the site or improve its SEO? Will replatforming include redesign? Does your site need a better UX, or are your problem integrations? Such questions will help you to set up your goals.
For successful strategic planning, it is vital to identify the specific values of the replatforming process. This part is close to goals but focuses primarily on business perspectives and values for your company overall.
You might want to answer such questions as:
- How is the new version of the website better for users and customers than the previous one?
- How is it better in comparison to the competitors' sites?
- Is the replatforming process going to be cost-effective?
- What are the positive impacts of replatforming on the whole business?
- How will this change support the company's strategy in the long run?
Answers to these questions will help make the right decisions and plan the replatforming budget.
Having your goals figured out, you can now build a realistic timeline. Estimate the time needed to launch a new website first and then set key checkpoints of the upcoming procedure. You will end up with a detailed schedule of the replatforming with all the main steps described. It should also include deadlines for every step.
The timeline should include:
- The tasks.
- Their due dates and duration of each one.
- Assigned team members.
What are the best practices for creating a timeline? No surprise here - it's a good idea to utilize proven methods from project management.
- Estimate the project's scope to calculate the overall timeline of the replatforming process, the time needed for each task, and how many team members will be needed.
- Split the project into parts with checkpoints to observe the overview of the timeline. Then, break these parts down into smaller tasks that can be assigned to team members later.
- Estimate the time of each task to set deadlines. The less complex the tasks are, the easier it is to calculate the time needed to complete them.
- Assign tasks to team members so that everyone can start working on the replatforming.
The key to building a helpful timeline is understanding the tasks involved, which team members will complete them, and how long each part of the process will take.
Strategic planning includes strategic thinking, which means you should take into account future transformations of the website and how it will integrate with other services and platforms.
The current version of the website probably has some integrations, plugins and extensions. It's a good idea to analyze them and decide which ones you'd like to transfer further to the new website version. Such an analysis may be a part of a bigger technology audit that is recommended to conduct before replatforming. In any case, ensure you've checked at least the ecosystem architecture and integrations of the new website.
Setting up the integrations should be a part of the replatforming timeline, and you should decide who will handle this process early on. You can prioritize the integrations by dividing them into categories, for example, critical, high-level and low-level.
Alternatively, you can divide the integrations according to their complexity. Not all integrations are set up the same way, and those that are more specialized and customized may require more work. Utilizing such prioritization will help set up and test integrations more easily.
Today, we went through one of the most important parts of the preparation to replatform - strategic planning. With everything properly planned, you are ready to proceed. While changing the website platform is a complex process, careful planning will ease making a new site a better fit for your business and its future growth.
If you need assistance or advice on your replatform journey, feel free to contact us!
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