“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” – Japanese Proverb
Ideas, and the ability to execute those ideas, are what make web projects successful in the long term. An idea serves to influence strategy formulation, which organizes action, which materializes in a great user experience online. But without the ability to execute, great online ideas become wishful thinking. Too often an organization’s goals and means to achieve those goals are not aligned, causing a web project to fall short.
Both the idea and the action to achieve it are equally important to each other, and must work harmoniously to create something worth, well, creating. Unfortunately, the overspecialization of firms within the web, MarCom, and advertising industries has reinforced the idea that strategy and execution can be separated. It’s important to recognize that ideas, strategy, and execution are not items independent of one another. Yes, execution flows from strategy, but without knowing design, development, integration and devops, it’s nearly impossible to create an effective strategy – because implementation knowledge informs strategy tremendously. Without web strategy and web execution disciplines such as development, integration and solutions architecture coexisting and being respected as equals, the web application or website will be flat.
The overall user experience web professionals are striving to create flows from a strategy, from a vision. That vision is centered around the goals and objectives the organization is trying to achieve and the members or audiences it’s aiming to serve, all within the context of the capacity to achieve them. Sometimes web project stakeholders have a tendency to focus too much on the vision and don’t focus on the details of how to achieve that vision. Sometimes project stakeholders are too concerned about the features and functions. Understanding and implementing correctly the features and functionality within a web application or writing the proper web services to create an integrated user experience from disparate data sets is indispensable – and contrary to the popular MarCom industry myth, an organization cannot be technology agnostic and be successful. At some point, even with the wonders of APIs and web services, you and your organization must make basic technology choices and then organize your human and financial capital around supporting that technology – whether internally or externally technologists have a limited skill set and one should ensure they’re hiring experts within a specific technology stack. How many people are truly fluent in 5 spoken languages – programming language fluency is similar.
Having a vision and the faithful execution of that vision is what all – at least those that are not playing defense – aim to achieve in web projects. Please remember, a great vision without the capacity – internal will and buy-in, internal human and financial capital, external web strategy and development experts – is a situation all should work hard to avoid. If vision and capacity are not in equilibrium, balance them and then move forward with confidence.