A Guide to Planning Your Web Portal Projects - Part 3

The third and final installment of this series covers three core considerations as you Implement Your Portal in your organization.

This is the final post in our three-part series on planning a web portal project. You can read our first post here and our second post here.

Our first two posts in this series covered what you need to consider when Identifying Your Needs and Ideating Your Solution. With a clear vision of your portal’s functionality and prioritized features, we can move to the last phase of planning. This final post will discuss the three components required for Implementing Your Portal.

Budget Planning

There are many types of costs associated with innovation, but the one that is likely most important to your business is the financial cost. While it may seem counterintuitive to think about your budget this far into the process, completing this step earlier is a common pitfall that hinders the goal and purpose of your project. Prioritizing features before determining your budget allows you to strategically decide where to allocate resources and ensures you maximize the value of your investment.  Some questions to consider as you budget plan include:

  • Are there any potential risks that can increase costs? If so, how can these be managed or mitigated?
  • Is there a fixed date by which you need your solution implemented? 
  • Can your project be released in phases?
  • Do you anticipate future updates or further evolutions in the process?
  • How much post-launch support will your business require?

Development Schedule

Creating project timelines is a collaborative effort between client and vendor. Clients typically establish project deadlines, often based on mission-critical priorities such as product launches, capital funding goals, or compliance with regulatory requirements. The vendor will then draft a release schedule based on these constraints.  

This schedule should highlight major milestones and any related dependencies required from you. There should also be time allocated for testing, quality assurance, and collecting feedback. Involving users in this process will provide valuable insight. Finally, verify that there is a buffer built into your schedule. While you don’t want to plan for any setbacks, delays do occur. Deliberately adding buffer mitigates missed deadlines, sets appropriate expectations, and can even result in projects delivered ahead of schedule.

If you are evaluating multiple vendors, ensure all quotes and schedules include these components; this allows for an “apples to apples” comparison.

User Adoption

Successful change management is vital to the seamless adoption of your solution. A digital transformation of this magnitude is a significant departure from the original process, even if the concept is the same. The following tactics can ease the transition and improve user acceptance and approval:

  1. Communication Strategy - Create a series of communications to your users across multiple channels. Consider breaking the information up based on specific topics you want to highlight, such as timeline, benefits, training and support. By providing advance notice, you will help reduce friction while establishing expectations.
  1. Schedule Training Sessions - Aside from educating users on your new platform, training allows you to tackle any resistance to the process change, identifies gaps in understanding, and informs you where support is required. This should be a mandatory component for internal web portal rollouts.
  1. Crown a Champion - Champions, also known as superusers, act as experts for your solution. They can help train new users, answer questions, troubleshoot issues, and provide valuable feedback for new features and process improvements.

There you have it! If you make sure to think through all of the considerations across these three posts, you will be well on your way to creating an effective and successful web portal. 

Are you ready to start your project, or do you have questions about web portals? Connect with us today and find out how 3merge can partner with your business and build the web portal you need.

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