English articles, My Selection, Top Tasks

Managers’d better take the web seriously

It’s getting more clear by the day: management as we got used to know it, is lagging behind technology. Management too often is about the own organisation, not about the customer. In the web, the customer is forcing organisations to adapt. Web managers start to understand. A survey by Gerry McGovern about web management principles points out more than ever where the management challenges come from: from the online customer.

What do web professionals think is by far the most important principle when managing an online presence? Out of 46 choices, the number one principle got so many votes that it is statistically impossible for any other principle to overtake it. (It got more votes than the bottom 13 principles combined.)
Identify the pressing issues and challenges that web professionals have today. Is it lack of resources, too much organizational ego, too much content, not enough customer focus?
Get the data. Get the insights. Responses came from over 1,000 web professionals from 12 countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, Holland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States). 29% of respondents were in content positions, 20% were in management, 15% in user experience, and 14% in marketing, sales and communications.

Free webinar on February 7

As a preparation, read this selection of three recent articles by Gerry and discover how they cling together.

1. Management practice lags behind technology innovation

“… Because for years we have been focusing tactically on technology and content. We need genuine management engagement. Real strategy that is focused on the customer. With the Web, we are sitting on a goldmine but we are managing it like a coalmine.”

2. Cross functional cooperation is the present and future

“… The modern customer demands that you organize around them. This means that the traditional organizational structures must change. That’s not to say that these structures have no future. They are very manageable forms and are also the most optimal way to get work done. …”

3. Making the business case for the web

“… In a substantial number of organizations, management—particularly senior management—is still disengaged from the Web. A lot of managers do not take the Web seriously. They don’t think strategically about it. If they do think about it they think about technology; buying a new content management system or portal. But they rarely focus on helping simplify the customer’s life. When it comes to employees there is a near-contempt for the idea that part of a manager’s job is making it easier for employees to do theirs. …”

There you go. Web management is about managing the customer’s tasks. Management is about organising around the customer’s demands. The web puts the customer in the driver seat. Organisations need to change and think about the customer first, then about technology or content.


About Toon Lowette

Customer is not king on the internet, he is dictator. Online services are successful if they allow the customer to do what he came for efficiently and without confusion. Toon Lowette is online publishing consultant in the Customer Carewords network of Gerry McGovern. Task management is the central issue. We teach websites to manage the task, not the content, not the technology. We teach websites to become relentlessly customer centric.


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