By the end of March 2019, 346 individuals had died, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 was grounded globally and $6 billion cut off their market capitalization. The implications of all project failures may not always be so grave, but Boeing can teach business’s a valuable lesson on the management and deployment of resources for business success.

Investigations into the exact cause of the 737 MAX 8’s crashes are still ongoing, but it’s believed that the crash may have been triggered by the inaccurate deployment of commands from Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), many now believe the MCAS system pushed the planes into uncontrollable dives because of bad data from a single sensor. But how did that come about?

Cheap & Fast, Amount of Risk > Quality

The scope of the project was constrained by ambitious objectives that were determined by the competitive landscape, racing against time to beat Airbus. That meant that the only lever they had left to compromise on was quality to ensure that the project had an adequate budget. Boeing, which has always fostered a culture of cost-cutting, placed pressure on managers to outsource work to low paid contractors in order to achieve the looming deadline, Boeing, once renowned for its meticulousness had apparently compromised on the principles of the project management triangle, leaving quality to suffer.

I was shocked that in a room full of a couple hundred mostly senior engineers we were being told that we weren’t needed,” reflected Rabin, a former software engineer whom also allegedly recalled that one manager said at an all-hands meeting that Boeing didn’t need senior engineers because its products were mature. 


Dangerous Mistake

Projects are rarely static entities, there are all sorts of reasons why a project has fixed deadlines, in Boeing’s case it was pressure to bring technology to market that ultimately saved airlines fuel (Airbus announced the new A320neo which was 7% more fuel-efficient and sold more in a week than Boeing 737 did in entire year 20 10).

Whether your project is to make a product/service exceed the effectiveness of the competition, it may be a new website or a brand redesign, employing an agency that’s specialised in delivering just that, makes business sense; it reduces the amount of risk your brand/business, ensures it’s managed within a sensible time frame and delivers against the scope of the objective. For those benefits, you can expect to pay a sensible amount.

Websites are a great example of a business cornerstone project, they can fulfill or enable most business objectives, they are complex in their operation and require multiple stakeholders working in complete cohesion if they’re going to be successful.

The value of websites is constantly under attack with budget options, there is an expectation to deliver a website, very quickly and cheaply, but as we’ve touched upon previously prioritizing cost-cutting and speed can have dramatic consequences for the quality of the outcome.

Invest In Quality & Save Time

If you’re a smaller business owner, you could allocate time to commit to building your own website (you might not even think you need a website) but time is not something that’s in abundance for most business owners, you need that time to focus on the core elements of your service.

An agency that has the ability see beyond the scope of a project can anticipate influxes in traffic that might break your website as soon as campaigns go live, they can advise you on the functionality your website needs to have now in order to exceed the pace of the competition so you’re not racing towards unachievable deadlines causing you to comprise on other factors. A self-built website, offshore website builders and freelancers is unlikely to offer you these benefits.

What happens when you don’t invest in the right team?

  • No testing: Can you afford to pay £2000 for a website that doesn’t work? Testing concepts to see if they resonate with your customer if links don’t direct traffic to the right place or forms don’t submit data correctly you could be losing valuable business. Can you afford to launch a campaign only for your website to crash and render the campaign a flop?
  • Poor to no understanding of the target audience: You may know your target audience exceptionally well, cascading this information to an offshore company or a freelancer at max capacity is nearly impossible. An agency provides services to a broad range of industries, some specialize in a select few, therefore they have an innate ability to rapidly absorb customer persona’s and have a robust understanding of what functionality will work best.
  • Online sales and leads do not just “occur”, whilst the growth of online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon may lead others to think that’s what happens, there’s an incredible amount of work just to facilitate a sale let alone persuade customers to choose you from the breath suppliers available. A website should be an integral part of your marketing plan regardless of whether you operate on or offline, an agency comprehends that a website is part of your customer journey and therefore takes a holistic approach to communications.
  • An unprofessional visual identity directly impacts the credibility your business has, a self-built website is vulnerable to formatting and functionality errors that can corrode a business’s online reputation. To avoid pre-made templates and generic websites, choose an agency that can craft a custom online experience rather than replicate one.
  • SEO is often an afterthought, what’s the point in investing into a website that looks good but can’t be found through organic search, marketers often joke that the best place to hide something is the second page of Google. SEO services absolutely have a value and are of great business importance, but you’d expect that if you’ve invested in a web build that your new site has every technical capability of ranking highly within search.
  • Reliability: during the website build a freelancer may yield to a virus, but an entire agency can’t, an agency will work to brief and project plan to achieve consistency regardless of the individuals responsible behind the various elements of a website.
  • Multiple creative heads are better than one; self-build platforms, freelancers and offshore web designers are highly reliant on you to provide information, resources, content, copy and website function briefs, an agency can provide you with all these resources with the knowledge required to optimize their effectiveness.

Takeaway

What should have been a global win for Boeing ended in disaster because of preoccupation with cost-cutting, a mistake their brand may well not recover from.

Choosing a professional agency means that your brand or business idea is in the capable hands of a cohort of professionals who know exactly how to innovate design solutions and bring a product to market, not limited by their solo capacity like freelancers or set of fixed templates so your business blends into the background, creative agencies are in the business of relationship building and at Emerge Design, we’re not here to provide you with a great looking website, take your money and let you be on your way, consider us part of your team because your results, our results.

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