Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The intersection between organizational goals and client needs

Most Web sites are organization centric. They use terminology and information structures that reflect the way the organization does its business. Just like it is wrong to assume that your party guests want to sit through your vacation pictures, it is also wrong to assume that users are going to find an organization-centric Web site useful. Perhaps a few of them will - those that know you best - but most will not be interested.

Luckily, there seems to be increasing recognition of the need to be client-centric.

In some organizations though the advocates for client-centricity are going too far. They will use client research as an argument for stretching the organization’s mandate, perhaps at the cost of not achieving the organization’s goals and objectives. Doing everything a client wants can water down what you do, spread resources too thin, and prevent you from meeting your objectives.

So how can organizations become more client centric while not losing sight of their mandate and objectives? First, recognize that your mandate should drive what you do, but your client drives how you deliver it. Second, understand that you cannot be all things to all people - focus on the 80/20 rule by delivering the 20% of content that 80% of your clients are looking for and doing it really well.

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