HOW ABOUT WEBSITES BUILT SYSTEMATICALLY?
Here at Larry Jacob we’ve established the Larry Jacob Goals Alignment Process (GAP) for Membership Sites. It’s what every LJIM team member knows to follow. We use this process for customer projects and for our own internal projects. These aren’t just high-level guidelines or “good-to-follows.” These are step-by-step procedures established so every Larry Jacob team member follows our best practices and consistently delivers to the standards we’ve established for ourselves.
“Without processes, our solutions can only be as good as the individuals assigned to the project. We want solutions as good as the combined talent of every one who’s ever been on our team.
Jorge Lazaro Diaz, President and Founder
Below is an overview of The Larry Jacob GAP for Membership Websites. It’s what enables us to consistently get top quality solutions unmatched in our industry. Look it over and share your thoughts with us.
LARRY JACOB GAP FOR WEBSITES / PHASE 1 - GOALS AND REQUIREMENT DEFINITION
The major step in getting a website done right is to understand the client's goals.
- What goals or objectives do they want to achieve?
- What is their expected return?
- What is their definition of success for this specific project?
If you don't understand your client's goals, it doesn't matter what you build. It reminds me of the conversation between Alice and Cheshire Cat in "Alice in Wonderland."
“Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?”
The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”
All Larry Jacob website projects start with a one or more meetings to discuss the project. The first part of that meeting is dedicated to reviewing and confirming the customer’s goals. It’s only after we have customer’s goals well understood that we have the information necessary to write the requirements for the project. The key question to answer is,
“What solution will we build in order to meet the client’s goals?”
This initial meeting typically takes one to two hours and is followed by additional meetings, email exchanges, phone calls and other forms of communication to fully explore the client’s goals. We want to make sure we respond with requirements and specifications for the solution meeting those goals.
The duration of Phase 1 – Goals and Solution Alignment is highly dependent upon the customer. Only the customer can know their goals. We can assist in pulling this information out of the customer, but they must be the customer's goals. If they are our version of what we THINK the customer wants, there can be a problem. If the customer doesn’t know or isn't clear about ther goals, it’s not the right time to begin the project.
The Larry GAP / Phase 1 Deliverables:
- Project Description and Requirements Document
- A sitemap, visual design recommendations, page mockups
- Sample website for illustrating site design
LARRY JACOB GAP FOR WEBSITES / PHASE 2 - PROTOTYPE AND CLIENT REVIEW
This phase begins with the building of a working WordPress website to enable the client to review the site as it would be seen when completed. The site layout will be set as will the color scheme and navigational structure. It will include the home page that need to be well understood so customer can review them.
We will also build unique sections that would benefit from an early initial review so the customer can consider the possible options and as early in the process as possible. You don’t want continue into the subsequent phase of the project until design decisions are finalized. In these sample pages, sample copy is typically used to illustrate the visual design.
This phase also includes reviewing membership levels. What area of the sites and content are available to which users. How do users gain access? Are memberships sold one time providing indefinite access to the content or are they offered as subscriptions with recurrent payments and cancellation policies that must be managed and enforced by Infusionsoft?
The phase will end with the client approval, usually via email, signaling that the visual design, navigation. page layout, membership levels and e-commerce features are aligned with the client goals and personal likes.
Towards the end of Phase 2, Larry Jacob team members will take inventory of all content and produce a Content Inventory Sheet. By this time, the customer team may have had time to start submitting the raw content for use in completing the site. Completion of the site will be driven by the Content Inventory Sheet with is used to closely track all progress by the assigned project manager / project lead.
Copy writing is one of our team specialties. You can speak to our project managers to learn more about this service offering. If the project includes copy writing services, the inventory sheet will be updated to include deliverables provided by our copy writing team and is tracked to completion.
Larry Jacob GAP / Phase 2 Deliverables:
- Working Prototype
- Initial Draft of Content Inventory Sheet
LARRY JACOB GAP FOR WEBSITES / PHASE 3 - SITE BUILD AND CLIENT APPROVAL
At the beginning of this phase, the customer is given a schedule for completing this phase. The project goes into assembly mode making use of content tracked in the Content Inventory Sheet available on the site. Throughout the phase, the project manager / project lead stays in close contact with the team members producing content and coordinates layout of each site page per the agreed upon specifications.
Towards the end of the phase, the focus is to visit all pages of the site, entering the content, format it appropriately and include images to support the messaging. Attention to detail by the team and very engaged client review is critical here.
The project manager / project lead will drive both the customer and Larry Jacob team members. The objective is to complete the project on the agreed upon timeline with error-free quality and attention to detail.
The completion of this phase is marked with an email approval from you that the site is complete and ready to be launched.
Larry Jacob GAP / Phase 3 Deliverables:
- Working site ready for go live
LARRY JACOB GAP FOR WEBSITES / PHASE 4 - SITE LAUNCH
During this phase we run a final compatibility test of the site. We run this on actual devices when possible, but also use browser, tablet and mobile device emulators to assure that the site works as expected across all platforms.
The site launch will include a release of the site to the website URL. This includes the release of the site to the selected web hosting environment that was agreed upon at the project start. Often times, this will be the same environment used for development, but can vary depending upon the customer needs and preferences.
At this point, the customer can accompany the site launch with appropriate announcements as part of the marketing of your site launch to your audience. Larry Jacob can assist with this as part of the overall project marketing and online promotional services that were requested.