Running a major redevelopment project once every few years has been a popular approach in years gone by. But in 2016, it’s no longer an option if you want to build a competitive advantage.
How good are you at predicting the future? If you have 100% certainty, stop what you’re doing right now and go bet on the stock market or the horses (and share your tips with us!).
If you’re like the rest of us mere mortals – the future is difficult to predict so detailed planning now for everything you’ll need over the next few years is not an option.
Lengthy redevelopments can be outdated by the time they’re launched. New technologies are constantly emerging, so, if you’re in a long redevelopment process and tied to one particular technology, you may miss out on taking advantage of these. Spending large amounts of money on a technology-specific solution decreases your likelihood of benefiting from new opportunities.
Competitors, products and the financial stability of the market can all affect your business plans, or your client’s and customer’s needs. You need to be flexible in your approach, making changes as they are needed or deemed beneficial.
Chances are your competitors are innovating constantly and incrementally – which reduces risk, and enables them to scale the things that work. If you try to blow them away with a massive new build, you may only get one shot at it. And while you’re building your once in every few year solution they (and their customers/clients) are reaping the benefits of 50 new version releases and improvements!!
In a big, once every few years build you need to make all decisions relating to the project at the start, and if you need to make changes, they can be very costly. If instead you’re constantly delivering in an agile way, you can make decisions at the best possible time – when data is available. How will your customers react to your revised dashboard or homepage? You won’t know until it’s live and you’ve got real data to review. Make decisions at the right time – when data is available.
There’s a large risk involved with completely redeveloping your system. An entire new system will cost a lot to create, and potentially take a long time. What if your redevelopment ends up being a flop? A massive one-time build has the potential to seriously damage or even kill your business.
Alternatively, making incremental changes to your system, testing if they work, and repeating you’re not risking your entire system with one big roll of the dice. Small changes can be reverted if they prove to be unsuccessful, without the loss of a large amount of time and money. The changes that work, can be scaled.
How many things that you do only once every few years are you really good at?
If your team is continually innovating, they’ll be far more competent than if you do a once every few years build. Improving and working on the system frequently will give your team greater knowledge of system performance, user journeys, and what works and what doesn’t.
Organisations like Kennards Self Storage and Yellow Brick Road use our flexible Agile Innovation Packages to continuously improve their websites and systems.