If you do not define what victory is, you will never know if you achieved it. Your church website should always evolve via small projects. Each project needs a clear goal and definition of what is considered a “win”. If not, you will not know if you succeeded, and more importantly, when you failed.
Yet again I was inspired during work. I was at a quarterly update meeting where the CEO closed with the following: “By working together, I have no doubt we have the power to win!” What is my problem with winning? It was not clearly defined. Budgets, target sales, training, and acquisitions were all discussed; but I left wondering what was considered “winning” for me. In the end I assumed that having a job next quarter was how I determine victory. Just as your pastor should not assume that because they have not been fired that they are a good preacher, my measure of success was a poor one!
Every web project should have clearly defined objectives, and meeting those objectives would most likely be considered successful. What if you do not? What if you get close? Are there shades of success, or is your definition pass or fail? Some projects are clear cut, like getting a page updated by a certain date. Others are not, such as a membership drive, where your goal may be one number, but a lower one is still acceptable.
Once you define your success, you need to define failure. Again, there are objective and subjective results to consider. Missing a deadline is obvious, whereas getting only 4 new members instead of 20 may be a gray area. More importantly, what will happen when you fail? Instead of pushing back other projects, create a follow-on project in a few months. Take time to prayerfully and carefully analyze what happened. Fix what went wrong, and capitalize on what went correctly.
Action Item: Define what you consider a victory for your next church website project. At the conclusion of the project, see where you landed. Is it cause for celebration, or time to find your sackcloth? Even if your project is deemed a failure, you will know it and can make adjustments for future endeavors.