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How can IT influence the web development process when Marketing excludes them?

Posted in Information Technology on February 14, 2012
There are (4) comments permalink


Jeff is the IT Manager for a clothing retailer.  The systems he manages are robust, supporting the logistics aspect of the business, as well as inventories and in store processing systems.  Recently Jeff found out from the company newsletter that Mark, the newly hired Marketing Manager, was going to start up an online store.  Mark had contracted with an outside advertising agency and web developer and the planned launch was six months from now.  Jeff could not believe that he was not included in this process, or the way he found out about it.  He wants to be an active partner with marketing to develop this website but fears it is too late.

  • What should Jeff do to get himself involved in the project? 
  • Should the online store be led by IT or Marketing, and why? 
  • What can Jeff do on an ongoing basis to avoid these surprises in the future?

Comments (4)

Ven2012 posted on: September 21, 2012

Don't take it personally and focus on how you can support YOUR customer, the Marketing guy.

1. Jeff should introduce himself to Mark and provide thoughtful feedback and opportunities to involve IT.
2. If Marketing is opening an Online store to push existing business, then that is a marketing function and I would imagine fall under marketing.. having said that, IT should be heavily consulted int he process, and hopefully the GM pushed this issue.
3. To avoid these issues going forward I would suggest that Jeff try and set up a regular meeting with Mark where they talk about updates, needed resources, etc.

Projectguru posted on: September 21, 2012

I would suggest giving the new guy the benefit of the doubt. He is probably in a race to do great things and may not know policies, people, etc. Introduce yourself, outline the opportunities that exist and your willingness to support the project. Focus on the value added to the customer which maintains the appropriate perspective and come in with detailed examples and recommendations.

Douglasb08 posted on: September 21, 2012

Jhorowitz is right... if Jeff isn't able to integrate the systems properly then the likelihood of success is greatly reduced. The Marketing Manager should have done this in advance...let's assume that the Marketing manager doesn't understand IT systems (shocking assumption I know, but for discussion purposes) and it was just an over-site on their part as they work to move their marketing program forward... the larger questions becomes... what can Jeff do to change the current situation? I agree, he shouldn't be there, but I am certain this situation happens more often than not. I would suggest that Jeff ask for a meeting with Mark and in that meeting say I have heard about this exciting project you are working on and I want to help you be successful. At that meeting, outline what IT can do to support the program and outline the improvements to the customer that will be realized... if you become a partner on this project, Mark is more likely to seek you on the next project.

jhorowitz posted on: September 20, 2012

I don''t see how Mark''s online store can succeed without tight integration with Jeff''s systems. The implication of Jeff learning of this project in a newsletter is that his organization was not engaged. Since the online system will be the "face" of the company to the public, it is legitimate for that organization to have the leadership role, but clearly there is an issue that will jeopardize project success. Jeff needs to reach out to Mark to proactively explore how he and his organization can assist in the effort; by developing a partnership relationship, it is more likely that he will be aware of and have input to future projects.

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