Reimagining web development teams

Enabling cross-functional collaboration for success

Introduction

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“You’re only taking so many bets.”

This stark honesty, shared by Joe Spector — founder and CEO of online pet care provider Dutch and co-founder of telehealth company Hims and Hers — highlights the importance of strategic decision-making at organizations of all sizes and industries amidst economic downturn. 

Nearly 20% of U.S.-based firms expect to reduce their headcount this year, and as they work with limited talent and scrutinized budgets, they still need to deliver quality, engaging experiences to their customers to start conversations, drive product adoption, and generate new business. Successfully meeting evolving consumer needs starts with creating digital experiences that are personal, address pain points, and capture attention. And the ability to effectively deliver these experiences while keeping up with the rapid pace of digital transformation all starts with the website.

The website is a business’s most important marketing asset. That means it requires plenty of maintenance, experimentation, and optimization. Traditionally, this responsibility of managing and running an enterprise website has fallen to developers, with support from marketing and design. However, developers shouldn’t be stuck making minor site changes and spending weeks and months on lengthy review cycles. To maximize the potential of your talent, you have to leverage their skills efficiently. For technical leaders, this means finding a way to free up developers’ time who, at large organizations, spend as little as 50% of their time on actual development. For marketing leaders, this means reimagining the scope of responsibility their non-technical team members can have when armed with the right technology.

Now, as companies continue to feel the pressure to not just stay afloat but thrive, leaders need to rethink how they operate — starting with how they structure and empower their teams to do their best work. Only then can companies set themselves up for long-term, sustainable success and growth. 

In this ebook, we’ll take a closer look at why web team structure is critical to business success, why traditional team structures and approaches to web development might be hurting your business, and how companies can rethink their web team operating model to best serve their growth goals.

Chapter 1

Business success hinges on a well-run website

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At the basic level, websites drive brand awareness, generate leads and conversions, and serve as a home base for forging relationships with your audience. However, the most powerful websites: 

  • Display a business’s voice, tone, and visual identity
  • Educate target audiences on available products, services, and offerings
  • Satisfy user intent through accessible design, content, messaging, and positioning
  • Deliver reliable and scalable experiences while protecting your business from security risks

Today, websites are the cornerstone of marketing strategy, and the most effective ones drive conversions and help organizations gain a competitive edge. As a result, businesses need to invest in their website. This includes the talent they bring on to manage it, the tech they use to power it, and the processes that guide how teams use it to deliver business growth. 

Let’s look at how the success of your website — and customer experiences more generally — are directly influenced by your web team and how they are structured. 

Web teams are the backbone of powerful websites 

Before your website can deliver on the promise of becoming your most important marketing asset, you need the right team in place to build, design, develop, and protect it. Having the right talent and team structure supporting web projects is instrumental because it creates alignment, divides responsibilities, defines workflows and processes, and clearly outlines methods for close-knit collaboration — both internally and with any outside partners. Best of all, having this solid foundation to operate from sets organizations up for scale and long-term success.

Web teams are tasked with delivering stellar site experiences

The team behind your website has a massive responsibility: to ensure the website is always providing an enjoyable and engaging user experience. These roles — from IT and developers to marketers and designers, as well as any external agencies you work with — must work together to identify problems with the site and address them. 

From ticket prioritization to actual web development, the key roles running point on the website come together to make content updates, run experiments, integrate security protocols, maximize performance, optimize SEO, and ensure designs are up to brand standards. As a result, how these team members collaborate on web initiatives is as critical to the business as the website itself.

Website decisions impact the entire customer experience

Far too often, teams measure the success of their campaigns solely against a single or a few key business KPIs: how many times a piece of content was downloaded, how many people converted from an ad, how many people complete a form submission. But the reality is, several variables are at play that impact a campaign’s performance before it even launches. For many companies, the website experience is the customer experience. As a result, every site element, from navigation and site forms to how content is organized and how accessible it is, affects the end-user experience.

Investments in team structure pay dividends for your business

Managing and optimizing an effective marketing website is an always-on program; one that requires cross-team collaboration, executive buy-in and sponsorship — and for some companies, external agency support. The reality, however, is that as your business grows, your ability to continue leveraging your website as a powerful marketing tool becomes more complicated. 

That’s why, now more than ever, decision-makers need to prioritize effective team structure that enables stronger collaboration within web teams. In our experience supporting large-scale enterprises, we’ve seen how a siloed team structure dissolves cross-functional communication, slows down development, and results in misaligned business priorities. For leaders no longer willing to leave money on the table, the path toward building more successful web experiences at scale starts with assessing how marketers, designers, and developers can work better together.

Flowchat from left to right: Web team structure -> website functionality -> User experience -> Business performance (increases)

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