Ecommerce Project Governance

In the first video of my ecommerce replatform masterclass series, I give practical advice and insights on how to set-up your project and put sensible governance structures in place to give you the best chance of success.

[Learning time: 3 mins 30 sec]

Video transcript

Hello, this is the first video in the 10-part video series on running a successful ecommerce replatforming project. We’re going talk about project setup and governance. This is absolutely critical and often this is an element that is completely underestimated by organisations that push forward into projects but don’t think through how it’s going be governed, the project structures they’re going to use to keep the project on track and focus on goals, objectives, etc.
So, I’m going to talk through some of the practical things that need to be done to help you understand how you can start planning out your project.

First of all, we need to define the project team, and that starts with a project sponsor. There has to be a board level, senior management sponsor on this, who has the decision-making ability to sign off project decisions without having to slow everything down because that decision has got to be pushed up to a higher level in order to be reviewed.

So, board level sponsorship is critical. Without this, you’ll find that your project doesn’t get the support across the business it needs from other functional departments and that can really slow things down, and also massively compromise outputs.

Second, you need a project owner. That should be someone who sits within the ecommerce team, typically a Head of Ecommerce, or alternative senior manager. This is the person responsible for driving this project internally and ensuring that the passion and focus remains on it, so that it gets delivered within the timeframes and on budget. So, they need to have experience of managing projects, but also be digitally focus and understand Ecommerce good practice.

Once you get these two core people in place, you then need to define the goals and objectives. That means what are the high-level business goals for this project, what’s driving it? Is it because the current technology is crippling the business? Is it because the cost of running the current platform is prohibitive and therefore this is about cost savings, or this is about revenue growth. Is it a combination? Define the goals and the objectives that sit off them. Then, we can get onto success criteria measurements. So, what is a successful outcome? What does it look like? And how will we measure that outcome and therefore what KPIs can we use to measure it? And how can we benchmark where we are now versus what success will be?

Then we need to define the full stakeholder group. That’s all the different stakeholder in the business who will need to have an input because that an E-commerce touchpoint. So, this could be fulfillment, could be finance, etc. And then what are their roles and responsibilities? What level? Do they sit within the project? Do they have decision-making? Are they people who inform and give subject matter expertise? Create a racy matrix for these people.

Then we need to create the governance structures, and that is setting up a steering coat. So, this is a steering coat of people who meet, probably once every couple of weeks to a month, to make sure the project is on track and to find any potential issues and to ensure the decisions are being made effectively to keep the project moving.

Then, need to define reporting mechanisms, frequency. We need to create excalation pass. There will be problems. These projects are complex. When there’s a problem, how is it escalated? Who takes that steering and how to steer and deal with that? And how does that issues get finally resolved?
Then we need to know about comms. How will we communicate? What will we communicate? To whom and how often? All of this stuff is really important to make sure you’ve got a really good structure.

And then last, but no means least, all of this can get translated into a project initiation document, which is a definition of the project, what it means to the business and then that can be sent out to all of the stakeholders so they are properly informed from the start.

I hope you find that useful and please carry on the video series. The next one is on project scoping and budget definition.

Any questions let me know.

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What is this for?

Visit my Ecommerce Replatforming Video Masterclass landing page to learn what this series is about and the value it can provide to your business.

Want to learn more?

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss how I can support your ecommerce replatform project, please contact James today or say hello on Twitter or LinkedIn.