Web Strategy is the translation of organizational objectives and values into high-level management directives for the Web. Enacting a Web Strategy involves two activities:
The establishment of a set of Guiding Principles for the Web presence;
And, the Formalization of Authority for the Web in the organization.
Enabled by formal Web Governance, a properly-managed Web execution division, and appropriate measurement tactics, Web Strategy is the “first cause” for a high-quality mission-centered, low-risk organizational Web presence. Web Strategy ensures that the tactics of Web site development align with overall organizational mission.
Having clarity by way of Web Strategy from the senior leadership provides needed guidance for those who develop and manage the organizational Web presence. This means that Web stakeholders don’t have to guess or argue about which are the right initiatives for the Web--there would be organizational goals against which to measure the value of new technologies or other Web presence enhancement.
In the last 10 years, anecdotally, we have seen a no-win trend developing in organizations without a Web Strategy. Web teams are driven by an ongoing power struggle between a slow-but-steady, traditional IT-focused team and a fast, knee-jerk, reactionary, “do it now” Communications focused team. The result is an un-even, low-quality Web presence driven by an organizational debate instead of customer and organizational needs.
When there is a Web Strategy in place, this “push-me-pull-you” dynamic is diminished through the establishment of a relevant agenda to guide Web development and the empowerment of the teams appointed to execute that agenda. The adoption of this approach to Web Strategy points to the development of a relevant, more effective and higher-quality organizational Web presence.
Web Guiding Principles describe how the organization will use the Web to support core organizational values and business objectives. In general, they can:
Ensure that the organizational mission and values are reflected in all Web properties;
Articulate high-level business objectives for Web properties;
And, establish basic compliance parameters for the organizational Web Presence.
Web Guiding Principles are not standards or policies. They are expressed in order to ensure that the Web team is implementing in line with the longer term, though perhaps not obvious, objectives of the organization.