Women’s Cross Country Team runs the OZ invitational on the Les Bolstad Golf Course (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fall is my favorite time for sports! Love football, baseball, cross country running and I know hockey is just around the corner. It’s all good. But the team I’m thinking about today plays in a different league altogether… The IT League.
Employers who need to update their websites, online presence and technology may choose to pay on outfit to take that on. Or, they might choose to bring the work inhouse. If your company is taking it on internally, you’ll need to build a solid team. How do you even know where to start? Well, I’ll tell you.
Start with a Web Manager. You need someone on board from the get-go (does anyone ever say “get-go” anymore?) to manage the process. The Web Manager is part third grade teacher, part banker and part evangalist. I mean, they have to be able to interpret and explain new ideas to multiple stakeholders (remember learning cursive?) and they have to keep a tight fist on the team’s budget, recognizing and responding effectively when the work is trending outside preset parameters and they have to keep everyone on board. Web development takes time and can evolve over time; the Web Manager will need to keep people in the game even if it goes into extra innings. The Web Manager should be someone with deep experience managing projects in your sector. This person would, ideally, have tentacles into the developer and design worlds which will save you money and headaches when recruiting for these positions.
Designer? or Developer? Many pros can do both. But should they? I can throw with my left hand and my right, but I’m better as a rightie. By asking enough of the right questions, you will be able to determine whether a person’s strength is development or design, and you can hire accordingly.
[For non-technical teammates, a WEB DESIGNER might do web graphic design, interface design, user experience (UI) design and search engine optimization. a WEB DEVELOPER is the person with the earbuds, head down, coding, coding, coding specifically for internet applications that go from the company’s server to the customer’s web browser.]
An excellent Content Producer will be key to providing quality information to the site. Again, if you’re small, hire someone who knows what they’re doing because they have been there, done that, many times before. Hiring a Content Producer is straightforward because you should be able to view their content online on other sites. Look for blogs and articles published online, as well.
Later, you might expand out to add architects, marketing pros, and additional developers to your team. Pay a little more for your first hires, so you can sleep at night knowing they know what they’re doing. And, now this is really important, as the business owner/CEO/manager or major investor, keep close tabs on your code. Develop a rapport with your developers so you can begin to understand their work. Occassionally, ask outside developers to review the code so you can be sure it’s clean. It happens all the time, a developer quits or gets hit by a truck, and the business owner is forced to start from scratch, with a new developer, because the new person can’t interpret the other person’s work. Don’t let this happen. Dive in, ask questions, and, like I said, rest easy. Your web presence will be up and running in no time.