I’ve never run a marathon, but I’ve been told the worst thing you can do when you’re cheering for a runner is to yell out, “You’re almost there!” No matter what mile they’re on, telling runners the race is just about over only makes things worse. It gets their hopes up only to have them crash back down when they realize they still have a lot of work ahead of them.
I think I was guilty of this last month when I spoke about our website journey as a sprint to the finish. Yes, I knew there were hurdles ahead, but I forgot that this is a marathon. My focus should have remained on putting one foot in front of the next to keep moving forward.
As a result of this, over the last month, my energy and patience have been tested as I’ve seen our progress slow down and the launch date for our site has been pushed back. It’s admittedly been frustrating, but when I stop and think about it, it’s also understandable. The reality is, as much as I tried to get a true “client” experience in this process, I couldn’t keep outside forces at bay. In this case, the outside forces are our paying clients, and obviously their needs come first!
So, I’ve adjusted my expectations and I’ve tried once again to focus on the progress we’re making and the important lessons I’m learning, including:
- It’s not a race. It’s a destination. If we really wanted to I know we could get our new website up and running in no time. I also know that’s not the point. We’ve taken our time thinking through important decisions. We have a definite user experience that we’re developing. Taking shortcuts now would mean all that hard work was for nothing. We owe it to ourselves to get this right.
- Embrace the Ripple Effect As our work has progressed, we’ve tried to stay mindful of the ways a new website can prompt other changes as well. I’ve mentioned before that our new mission statement compelled us to change the branding and direction of our podcast (details coming soon!). We also realized that TEN7 has a number of adjunct websites that have been created over the years that have never really connected with our core site's voice or visuals. We’re taking the time now to correct that. In the future, sites like our Employee Handbook, our Computing for COVID effort, or our Tractorbeam site will look and feel like TEN7, as they should!
- Appreciate the Little Victories Finally, I’ve had to remind myself to focus on the steps along the way. A lot of great work has happened over the last month, migrating content into the new site and fleshing out the vision down to the smaller details. We’ve built a beautiful 3D rendering of our new home. Now the plumbing and electrical are getting installed so we can finally move in! Each step is important, getting us closer to our goal.
I’m trying not to let the idea that “we’re almost there” creep too far into my consciousness, but I do know we’re heading in the right direction. We’ve got some complicated work ahead. We also have a really talented team to get us there.
If I scan the horizon, I think I see the finish line, but I’m going to keep my head down and do the work. That’s how we’ll get where we need to go.