What happens when your website goes live?
When working with a client on their digital platform we want to ensure they have the tools to expand and scale their digital presence. However, as always with new projects, bugs can appear which is way our support offering is extremely important. We talked to Hilary Harvey, a Project Manager at Arekibo about what happens once a project such as a website has gone live and how she assists with the transition to support.
When is the project finished for the project manager?
For me, the project is finished when the new website or feature has been deployed, set live and all the agreed deliverables have been met. It's imperative that a Project Manager goes through all the open requests which the client raised in the testing phrase to make sure they are resolved. Another key step for closing the project is to go through the original Statement of Work to make sure what was promised to be delivered was in fact delivered.
What happens after the website goes live?
The most important thing that happens after the project goes live is the project handover from the Project Manager to the Client Success Manager, to ensure its continuous 14/7/365 support. This is a period when the Client Success Manager delves deeper into understanding the project goals and becomes the key person in daily communication with the client team. Ensuring clients' success is important not only for building successful client relationships but it also sets high quality standards for the work we do.
How do you ensure the client is prepared to manage their site and acknowledge the differences between a bug and a change request?
The way I explain it to a client is that a bug is a problem with the system such as adding an image with a CTA should be a fairly straightforward action, however if there is a bug then the user is not able to carry out that action. Once the client reports a bug, our team will always try to replicate the issue by logging in as the user and following the steps the client took and where the roadblock is. This takes time but it is key to establishing if there is a genuine bug or not. Once it’s established that it is a bug, the relevant resource will be scheduled to review and fix.
Change requests are different. At the beginning of a project, 90% of clients have a ‘wish list’ of what they would like to be included on their new website, from a fresh look and feel, to more flexibility within the content management system. Change requests are additional functionality or special requests which the client wants on their website. These could be a new carousel for a landing page, several spotlight options or personalisation enabled.
These were considered out of scope in the actual project if they do not fit into the budget. Change requests can vary in terms of size and complexity but overall, once a client gets used to using the content management system on a regular basis, they have requests for flexibility or functionality.
How do you facilitate the handover from project to support client?
The handover process is just as important for the client team as it is for us – the Project Manager and the Client Success Manager working with the client. The client needs to be in agreement with Arekibo about what level of support can be expected. Once this is clear, the second crucial step which I have already mentioned above is the onboarding of our Client Success Manager, Jordan. This is done through various meetings briefing him on the project and the new site. The third step is setting up a client profile on the Zendesk support system, which is then followed by training we provide for the client teams on how to use it - how to raise tickets and track support activities.
Given that most (if not all our clients) are working from home nowadays, open communication and picking up the phone for a quick call is the best way to ensure a smooth handover from the project to supporting the client after the website goes live.
What kind of training is needed for content management teams to be able to manage their site after go-live?
The amount of training a client needs to manage their CMS really comes down to how much the client knows about the CMS. So, these questions are important:
- Did the client previously work on their old CMS?
- Is the new website which Arekibo has built a different CMS to the client’s old website?
- Does the client have a dedicated and digitally skilled web content management team?
- Who are the key stakeholders in the client’s organisation that will be using the new CMS the most?
The answers to these questions shape how detailed the training manual and the training session need to be. At Arekibo, each training manual we produce is tailored specifically to the client’s website. All the platforms Arekibo build has some customized features so these sections will have to be explained in detail in the training manual.
Some of the most common training sessions we provide as part of their platform include:
- Content management training
- Showcasing personlisation abilities
- Google Analytics and GTM training
The ultimate goal of providing such tailored training to the client is to ensure they can easily work within the CMS and add new elements with the flexible tools Arekibo has equipped them with.
In your opinion, why is it important to have project management function closely connected to support, and how is this ensured at Arekibo?
It’s important because a project can last for a few months from start to finish. Over that time, the Project Manager working closely with both the client and the team, understands the project requirements, the CMS and the unique client challenges. If the support function is involved in the project from early on, it means that the Success Manager too gains a better understanding of client needs, and when the ticket comes, it will allow him to resolve it faster.
I come from a support background and often cover the Arekibo support desk when needed. This experience and knowledge not only gives me the opportunity to get an insight into other projects, but it also helps me to figure out how Arekibo and the team can work together to provide an answer the client needs as quickly as possible.
For 20 years we have been successful at building the digital platforms for Ireland’s largest public and private organisations and businesses. Contact us, if you need help creating, managing and supporting your digital presence 24/7/365.