Why did we write this book?

Because you don’t know what you don’t know. We want to help you discover what you don’t know about ecommerce early in the project management cycle, and provide a pathway to filling those gaps.

We can do hard things

Ecommerce is hard. Managing people is hard. Effectively communicating with people to deliver complex solutions in an ever-changing environment is super hard!

And it’s hard for both agencies and clients alike. No two clients are the same, no two projects are the same. We’ve seen projects fly high and others crawl through mud. We’ve seen both agency and client staff stress, burn out and leave their companies because of the pressure of the project. We want less mud. We want more flying high.

It’s about relationships

We wrote this book because communication is the core of good relationships. And good relationships make for great projects. Successful projects are embedded with honest, rich, vulnerable conversations, led by asking lots and lots of the right questions. There is no one right way to do ecommerce – every business has its own structure, level of online maturity, resources and budget.

We also wrote this book because we wanted to capture voices from both sides of the fence. The genesis of this book was suggested to an agency director over a post-project coffee debrief, by a client who said, ‘You need to educate your clients!’ We believe this book has a rare voice that strives to help both agencies and clients walk together through this process. It’s a book to ensure that both agencies and clients alike ask the right questions of themselves, and of one another.

This book isn’t intended to be a ‘how to’ book (although there are a few helpful tips here and there). Nor is it a book about technology. It’s not really even a book of definitive answers – subject matter experts have written entire books on topics that we’ve simply posed a few questions about. So this is a book of the questions you may need to ask to find the right answers for your project.

There’s only so much you can allocate to project management as part of the overall project budget. This is a pain point for both client project managers and agency project managers. We believe if you ask the right questions from the outset and actively listen to those answers, your project management allocation should be less compromised.

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The key to wisdom is knowing all the
right questions. — John A. Simone, Sr

How to use this book

Ideally you’ll be consulting this checklist before you’ve started writing your requirements document. You’ll likely scan the sections first and maybe highlight key areas, depending on your responsibilities in the project.

We hope that you’ll bring this book to your scoping meeting within your business and with your agency. We hope you refer to it as part of your meeting agenda. We hope you’ll scribble all over it, cover it with Post-it notes and tick off each question.

You may notice repetition throughout the book because some issues don’t sit neatly in one section. So we’ve got your back if you’re only taking bites out of the book here and there.

Some of the ten areas in this book you may already have covered; with others you might need a little more guidance. This checklist will help you identify your areas for further discussion and more in-depth exploration. After that… Google is your best friend!

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Why a checklist?

Because checklists help us make sense of complex things quickly. We wanted this book to be easy to read and point you in the right direction, rather than give exhaustive pages of text to wade through (or feel guilty about not wading through). We figure that if a checklist is what gets a pilot flying safe every time, it can’t be a bad thing for ecommerce peeps either.

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Who is this book for?

This book is for the people charged with the responsibility of delivering and managing ecommerce solutions, predominantly for traditional bricks and mortar retail businesses. It has been written in an Australian context but with a global view.
We wrote this book for:

We believe that suppliers sit both externally and/or internally in businesses. The client, at the end of the day, is most likely to be the digital marketing team. Their suppliers are the internal IT team and external agencies.

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