Why your church web team needs project post-mortems

A post-mortem is a special meeting to help analyze the successes and failures of a project. No, you do not need a medical background. You just need the skills to run a meeting well. In this article I will discuss church web projects in particular. I will start off with the benefits of a post-mortem, as well as how to prepare. Then move into how to conduct them. I will wrap up with the deliverables and how to use them for future success.
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CWS Podcast – Ep. 55: Your Opinion Does Not Matter

cws-podcast-logoI hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are a pastor in your late 40′s, your opinion of a website aimed at an early 20′s audience really does not matter. Well now that the awkward part of this article is over, I will move on to what really counts; and that is if your church website is meeting the established business goals. In this article I will explore different ways the decision makers can provide good feedback and shape a great experience for your target audience.
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Forced to Create a Bad Website

It is frustrating to create what you consider to be a great prototype or mock-up for your church’s website, only to have it completely changed by your approval authorities. My advice to you is to first not take it personally. Web teams around the world, both in churches and Fortune 500 businesses need to adjust their designs to suit their stakeholders. Second, realize there are preventative measures you can take to help mitigate these situations. This article will discuss why these conditions occur, and the best ways I have in thwarting them.
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The Dangers of Scope Change

Often the only constant on your web team is change. Unfortunately those changes have the possibility of completely derailing a project. Changes to a website project’s scope cause adjustments in timeframes, effort, cost, and research. Most companies utilize project managers to mitigate these risks. However, small church web teams often do not have this luxury. This article will explore what scope changes are, how they occur, and how you can mitigate the impacts to your timelines and quality.
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CWS Podcast – Ep. 20: Web Team Meetings (Part 2): What to Do

cws_podcastIn the previous episode, I talked about who should be part of your church website team meetings. Yet what should you do once you all get in the same room together? The first few meetings will probably involve creating the church’s overall web strategy, connecting business goals with how the website will obtain them. Subsequent meetings will involve more tactical objectives, including breaking out your larger strategy into individual projects. But the key to obtaining and eventually measuring success will based on how disciplined you are with both your discussions and documentation.
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CWS Podcast – Ep. 16: Not Everyone is a Designer

cws_podcastIn this episode I explain how to provide web design feedback, and dispel the rumor that not everyone is a designer. Unlike many other activities, such as tuning a piano, baking a killer crème brûlée, or running an enterprise data center; website users try their hand at designing websites just because they have used one in the past. Later in the podcast, I will explain how designs can be successfully altered with the right types of questions, and hopefully without offending the designer.
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Church Website Critique Guidelines

When it comes time to review pending website updates, things can get out of hand quickly. Feelings can get hurt, broad sweeping statements can be made, and everyone turns into a veteran website designer. With these easy website critique guidelines, turn awkward meetings into productive feedback sessions you will actually look forward to.
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Website Maintenance Calendar

At the time of this writing, our annual celebration of Easter is still fresh in our rearview mirrors. Did the early occurrence of this holiday catch your website off guard? Instead of letting important holidays like Easter and Christmas creep up on you and your web team; create a website maintenance calendar for regular reviews and content creation pushes to capitalize on these large events.
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Starting your Church’s Website: Clueless to Colors

After debating your church’s need for a website, you decide it is the next best step.  So now what?  Although I primarily write individual articles focused on connecting church goals to web technologies, I feel compelled to write a tutorial-themed article.  In this first piece, I will take you through the planning stages of creating or revising your website.

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Web Team Meetings Part 3: Dealing with HIPPOs

In two previous articles I discussed web meetings and who to invite, and what to do. However one touchy subject not yet covered is that of a HIPPOs or Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. Even though pay may not be involved, you may have HIPPOs in your church; be it someone on a committee, or even your pastor. Although their ideas are often good, you do not want to limit yourselves to that one influential person. I will describe some ways to solicit conversation from some of your mild mannered members, as well as ways to even the playing field so all ideas get a fair consideration.
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Web Team Meetings Part 2: What To Do

In a previous article, I talked about who should be part of your core website team for your church. Yet what should you do once you all get in the same room together? The first few meetings will probably involve creating the church’s overall web strategy, which connects your business goals with how the website will help you obtain them. Subsequent meetings will involve more tactical objectives, including individual projects. But the key to obtaining and eventually measuring success will based on how disciplined you are with both your discussions and documentation.

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Web Team Meetings Part 1: Who To Invite

Church websites often start with one person who knows a little HTML, and the guidance of “go make us a website”. However as more people in the church get involved and interested in what the website can do, decisions become very complicated. So how do you form that winning team? A few key players in your church can meet and help your website exceed the expectations of everyone at your church.

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