I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about what was
coming next for her web site. She has a new site design. The design itself is
ready to go, and I’d say that the “important stuff” has been moved into it, but
not everything. A bunch of older content hasn’t yet been moved. On top of that
the older content needs updating as it’s moved into the new design.
So she’s been waiting to release the new website design until more (all?) of
the old content has been revised and moved. And of course, that’s just an
overwhelming amount of work – all those pages. It’s a big deal.
So naturally, since it’s such a daunting task, it’s not happening.
My response? Just do it.
No, not the old content migration. That is an overwhelming
Just do the new web site design switch. Now.
If she does that, several things happen:
Perhaps most importantly, that “daunting task” of updating and migrating all
the old content becomes a much less ominous series of smaller tasks that can
happen as needed. Rather than being a big obstacle to a major change, they
become incremental improvements to the existing site.
The new site design becomes motivating. Rather than making changes or adding
things that won’t be seen “for a while” waiting for the move, every bit of work
after the move takes effect and has impact immediately.
Progress on “other things” that might have been waiting for the new site
design can begin.
Yes, some information that’s currently on the site might “disappear” for a
while, or might look different. Heck, that’s even a good thing! When people ask
for such-and-such information that they can’t find on the site, that a great
indicator of the priority of old content that needs to be updated next.
Another very good friend and client of mine is also in the middle of a
similar transition. His very large site was serious need of a
redesign. So he hired a designer and got one. Then we set about to implement
Rather than waiting for that One Big Thing to be done, we implemented enough
to make a portion of the website work relatively well, and then took it live.
Then we did the same to another portion of the site, and took that live. We’re
currently working on a third portion of the site.
At each step along the way we not only made massive changes to the major
portion of the site that we were working on, but we also made incremental
improvements to the portions that were already “done” as we learned and tweaked
and discovered various issues to resolve.
The bottom line is that the site is still a work in progress, but the
majority is much better than it was before we changed, and
everything that we do is work on the new foundation.
Now, to be fair, for the third portion of his site, this client is also
saying “I need to move more of the content before we take it live”. Turns out
he doesn’t. He could go live now and incrementally move content.
I gotta work on that.
So all this is to ask a question:
What One Big Thing are you waiting for?
And is it in your way?
Could you “just do it”, even if it’s not 100% complete, and would that
unblock other things?
Be honest: are you using that One Big Thing an excuse to avoid whatever
might come next?
Sometimes “good enough” can unleash a flood of forward progress.