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Reshape Digital #8: Why Do Website Projects Fail?
Why do enterprise website projects fail? Today on the Reshape Digital podcast, we tell the story of two global brands, failing to complete a massive enterprise website project. Tune in to find out why large website projects fail and what you can do to prevent disaster!

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Companies are investing heavily in their digital presence and for good reason. 55% of companies will invest more in their website this year. For companies with a multimillion dollar digital marketing budget, this can mean a significant investment. This was the case for Hertz, one of the world’s leading vehicle rental brands, when they contracted Accenture to build a $32 million website project. And failed.

Today’s story is centered around a lawsuit that Hertz pursued against Accenture. The rental company blames Accenture for the project’s failure, and in a court document, outlined the details of what went wrong. In this episode, your hosts unpack everything that went wrong with the project, based on the information in the lawsuit. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole podcast, simply consult the checklist below to see why Hertz’ enterprise digital project failed, and how you can avoid a similar catastrophe.

How to avoid disaster with your enterprise website project

Don’t sacrifice technical requirements in favour of beautiful design

Accenture sealed the deal with Hertz by delivering a full-day presentation full of beautiful designs, but completely missed the mark on technical competency. Be sure to evaluate technical competency as much as you vet design work.

Contingency plan for staffing

Due to employee turnover, Accenture wasn’t able to replace staff with equivalent levels of expertise, which led to further project delays. Ensure that your team leverages knowledge sharing and avoids siloed knowledge.

Project management and communication

Hertz relied on Accenture to provide communication on deliverables, but there was no system in place to ensure communication and approvals. Using a collaborative project management methodology like Agile can put checks and balances in place to guarantee communication.

Technical competency

The best technology is only the best if you can use it. Accenture promised a number of technologies in their delivery plan but lacked the competency to actually build and deploy them. Choose an agency that specializes in fewer technologies, but knows them inside and out.

Leverage key stakeholders for requirements

The people who know the requirements the best should be involved in scoping and contracting the project. Hertz and Accenture changed scope and pivoted too many times to keep up. With the key stakeholders leading the charge from the outset, you can avoid scope creep.

Quality assurance and testing

What is your plan for quality assurance and testing? Be sure to follow a process every time. Accenture performed incomplete tests, and in some cases, neglected to test at all. Find an agency that is thorough and deliberate in testing, to ensure a top product is delivered.