Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Ordering a website: homework!

When we hire a firm to design our website, we often discover during the process that things do not work out the way we had imagined. Mostly this is due to the fact that we did not do our homework properly, before assigning the firm with the project. Here are a few hints from the Getting Attention blog of marketing and communications consultant Nancy Schwartz. She suggests six steps. I summarize the main points here:
1. Develop a Site Development Request for Proposal that is as comprehensive as possible, use input from all disciplines in your organization.
2. Establish the following baseline criteria for firm selection: working with open source software; having three or more years in business; using a content management system and client-orientation.
3. Understand your choices: web development firms fall into at least five different categories. Make sure you select a firm from the category that fits your needs.
4. Research your options: ask around internally and externally what recommended firms are. Surf the web.
5. Interview your top picks to establish your shortlist: first an email, followed by a phone call to firms that seem to be a good fit.
6. Select three firms for a Request for Proposal and compose an internal team to select the best proposal. Make sure all disciplines in the organization are properly represented.

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