Convince 13 project owners

What do you do if you have 13 project owners and they all want to go their way. Our predecessor had tried a top-down keep-it-secret way and failed. We decided this organisation was in need of a whole lot of demystification. Visit Flanders is a decentralized organisation with local representation in over 13 countries. Each of these has a website that comes out of one central Content Management System.

The power of numbers

Before even speaking of a plan to build a responsive website, we dug deep into available information. We researched previous web initiatives and what had gone wrong. We investigated all possible analytics information we could lay our hands on. One by one we documented the case for each of the 13 countries. We then started a long series of online and group presentation sessions to dive into the current state of things. Mobile traffic to the non-mobile-friendly websites of Visit Flanders was increasing at enormous speeds. An evolution not rare in tourism. Visit Flanders was missing out on ever larger numbers of potential website visitors.

Don’t write, prototype

After carefully creating consciousness about the current situation, we crafted an extensive HTML prototype. One that could be put online, accessed by all the stakeholders. Any paper description of the website left so much space for interpretation and so many questions unasked. It was necessary to agree on real things. The prototype was that real thing. We had talks over Skype with each stakeholder and would look at the prototype together. We got to consensus and a few months later we had foreign offices requesting to migrate as soon as possible.