There are countless examples of digital healthcare projects that end up unsuccessful, from the UK’s 2011 NHS bungle to the plethora of digital health startups that have failed in recent years. When we see things like this, we have to wonder if appropriate planning and research was put into the project at the beginning.
It’s easy to overlook the importance of conducting audits at the start of a new initiative. This involves getting key stakeholders together to look at your existing systems, processes and technology. It’s the best way of determining what’s currently happening and what you have right now, and it informs decisions down the track.
Auditing needs to happen at the beginning of a digital project, and is an essential part of the process. Here are three reasons why.
1. For a deeper understanding of your business
Auditing will help you gain a deeper understanding of your business and where you stand. You may look at your content, branding, tech or online accessibility specifically – and we’ll talk more about the different types of audits later on. The audit process may take weeks, or even months for larger organisations with lots of information to assess.
As we work with stakeholders to better understand the current state of play, we uncover assets, processes and systems that you may not have realised existed, and identify areas where there are gaps or room for improvement. This is an opportunity to document findings, and gain a deep understanding of the business, which will better inform the decisions you make going forward.
The idea is to pool your team’s collective knowledge, understand the organisation better, and identify any gaps or issues before you dive into a new project. Tadashi are experts at asking the right questions to dig into the detail, and we can manage this process for you. We’ll always encourage clients to take stock via an auditing process, as it will help you avoid mistakes down the track.
2. To help you avoid mistakes
Auditing often allows you to pick up major issues before a project gets started. We’ve got plenty of examples of when this has happened with our clients.
In one case, we worked with a client who was undertaking a major website overhaul involving tens of thousands of unique pages. We conducted a website audit at the beginning of the project to take stock of all digital elements and processes before the project kicked off.
By taking a step back and conducting an initial audit, we were able to identify that someone in the business had accidentally hit a toggle that turned on 30,000 webpages. These pages didn’t have any content on them, but were being indexed and ranked by Google. The client had planned to delete those pages in the website overhaul, which would have led to a 30% drop in website traffic if they’d done so. This would have been a massive loss for the company.
Simply by having an expert conduct an audit and delve into the finer details of the website, the client was able to avoid making a drastic mistake. In this way, the findings of an audit often feed into project execution and key decisions.
3. To drive successful digital projects
Depending on what area of the organisation you’re focusing on, we’ll ask the right questions to draw out the necessary information. This results in specific types of audits being carried out.
For example, if you’re creating an accessibility strategy, we’ll run an accessibility audit. Our questions will focus on uncovering how the website and other customer touchpoints can be more inclusive across a range of user situations, abilities and needs. We’ll look at design elements, video transcripts and more.
In the case of a content audit, the process will involve looking at website analytics and identifying what webpages are valuable to the organisation. We might ask questions like these:
- What content is getting traffic, and is that traffic converting to become customers or clients?
- What content needs updating or consolidating?
- What can be deleted?
- What is the content production process, and what tools are used to publish and distribute content?
The information that we pull out of these specific audits will drive business decisions moving forward. We’ll directly input findings into strategies and digital product builds to achieve better, more informed results that are more likely to meet user and organisational needs.
At Tadashi, auditing forms part of the discovery phase that we take our clients through at the beginning of a project. To find out more about how we can assist you in rolling out a successful digital health project, get in touch today.