Prep for Success: Key questions to tackle for your website kick-off meeting
Prep for Success: Key questions to tackle for your website kick-off meeting
May 3, 2018
How Do I Know Who I Can Trust?
May 31, 2018

When To Start From Scratch And When To Apply A Band-Aid

At the start of a project, our team sometimes learns that the challenge at hand is actually bigger than what both we, and our client, may have originally anticipated.

Suddenly, the client has to ask themselves:

“Do we have the resources to do this properly? Do we have the money? Do we have the time? Come to think of it, do we even need to do this?”

It’s rarely an easy decision to make, even when our team at Aluent recommends a particular path. For example, let’s take a website refresh project. Upon a closer look, our analysis may reveal that the client’s website needs to be completely rebuilt because it isn’t mobile-friendly, is full of security risks or  their business model no longer aligns with the site. Even with everything that needs to be done, the response back may still be, “It’s good enough. What can we do to patch up what we have? Can you work with that?”

This may sound familiar to you if there’s ever been an instance where you don’t need all the bells and whistles that a project might offer. In fact, that decision might be influenced by factors that have very little to do with a website at all. For example:


  • You have a hard time justifying the return on investment compared to a patch-up job of the existing site. In these instances, it’s critical to consider the future time and money it will take to keep your dated technology functioning. What seems like a small investment now can trigger future “small” investments that just keep coming.
  • This project may not be your top priority compared to other initiatives on the horizon. You only have so many hours and dollars and where you choose to invest them for your business are very strategic choices.  
  • You plan on selling the company soon or retiring. In this case it might not make sense to invest in big changes.


Can You Reach A Point Of One Band-Aid Too Many?

If a project is never a priority and you keep putting it off, applying band-aid after band-aid to the problem will ultimately catch up with you. It happens every time and usually when it is the least convenient.

Here lies the irony – your company can do a lot of little fixes here and there, but if there’s a bigger underlying issue that you keep pushing down the road, those tiny fixes may not go nearly far enough to address what you need. Then, when a bigger issue literally can’t be put off another day, you may wind up spending more than if you had addressed the problem long ago.


So Where Do You Go From Here? Try These Three Suggestions.

If your company is stuck between deciding whether to start from scratch or applying a band-aid as a solution, there are three things to keep in mind that may help decide which path of the three is more appropriate:

#1: Talk to your customers

It sounds simple enough, right? Yet, it’s amazing how few companies do it – what would a customer value most from a website or web app? Ask them! What are their pain points, their needs, their frustrations?

Rather than making decisions in a vacuum within the four walls of your company, get out of the boardroom and talk to the people using your product or service.

#2: Incorporate technology into your long-term strategic plan

When you make this commitment, you’ll be able to take an approach that will empower you to be in control regarding your technology and clear-headed about what your next step should be when problems in the future arise. That’s more favorable compared to worrying about technology later and addressing it only when you have to.

#3: Build The Taj Mahal, one brick at a time.

At Aluent, one of the approaches we employ can often be a “best of both worlds” – an agile “test and build” series of small iterations that continually move the project forward as we simultaneously factor in the customer’s input. This ability to pivot where we need to allows for greater flexibility and responsiveness to change.


Want to hear more about it as you ponder what side of the spectrum your project falls on? Let’s spend 30 minutes on the phone together as part of a free consultation. Head to our Contact Us page and sign up. We look forward to speaking with you soon.