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What To Expect In Your Digital Project: Testing, Launch, Training

In part one of this series, we covered what you can expect in the first three phases of a Firefly Partners project – discovery, design, and development. Of course, the project doesn’t end there. The site may be developed, the fundraising campaign built, or the new forms set up, but now it’s time to make sure everything works correctly and that you’re prepared to manage related tasks moving forward. That’s where testing, launch, and training come in.

Stage 4: Testing

You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive to make sure it runs properly. The same is true for a digital project for your nonprofit. Before you show off your final product you need to make sure it works just the way you want it to.

What you need to know:

  • During the testing phase you will want to scour your final product for missing content or functionality that needs to be in place before launch. If you’re using a new tool that syncs with your CRM, make sure all your lists and tags are correct. If you’re launching a new website, check that each page has the right text and that every click leads you to the right destination. If we’ve built you a new email template, view it in multiple browsers and on different devices to ensure that it looks just right.
  • Bring in fresh eyes to test your site or campaign. Everyone will notice different issues. And don’t worry if stuff does pop up. Finding things to fix is a normal part of the process.
  • Once you’ve got your list of what needs to get fixed, we’ll review it with you and make sure it’s clear what we need to do. We get to work and as things are ready we ask you to confirm. It’s a fluid and collaborative process here.
  • This is another stage where our main contact at the nonprofit will serve as an internal project manager, but our team is with you all the way. We will provide you with tools to guide you through this process and help your team know what you should be looking for.

Stage 5: Launch

Launch is exactly what it sounds like. The day your project is released to the world. But there’s more that goes into this than the click of a button.

What you need to know:

  • Launch is a big day. We prefer that the main contact at a nonprofit set aside the entire day to be available. Surprises are inevitable in technology projects, and the easiest way to respond to them is to get all the right people in the same place.
  • We know this is an exciting day, but we recommend waiting a few days before making big announcements about your launch. From small things, like a post on social media, to larger press events, it’s helpful to give everyone time to work out any kinks before you tell the wider world what you’ve been working on. It’s great to let your constituents know how your project will get your closer to your goals, but this cushion helps make sure that your announcement is well-received.
  • Even if you’re waiting for a big external announcement, this is a time to look back on everything you and your team have done. This was a lot of work and you should celebrate your accomplishments. Order a cake, pop some champagne, or just have a dance party in your conference room. Whatever your style, give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate your hard work.

Stage 6: Training

Now that your project is complete, it’s time to make sure that you can manage it. Firefly believes that the best projects are ones that turn our partners into savvy digital marketers.

What you need to know:

  • We host training sessions for you and your team to learn the ins and outs of your new website or tool. And we’ll give you the recording, so you can refer back and train others in the future. We’ll also provide you with written documentation so you’re only as reliant on us as you want to be.
  • After these sessions we suggest that you, and whoever will be managing the tool, set aside a few hours to make sure you’re comfortable and know how to use it. Doing this soon after training is best. If you have new questions, we are here to answer them.
  • Remember that your tool is something that needs regular maintenance and upkeep. This isn’t something to just set and forget for three years. We suggest making regular calendar events with reminders, so you get in the habit of checking that everything is working right and that content is updated.
  • If you find you need continued assistance, reach out to your project manager and we can discuss the options for ways to provide short- or long-term support.

The goal with any digital project is to set expectations early, be prepared for adjustments along the way, and make sure everyone is on the same page throughout. Our commitment is to use the best tools and techniques to help our progressive nonprofit clients achieve their goals and we’re committed to transparency and collaboration. If you’re ready to learn more about the Firefly way, and get started on your next project, reach out to us today.

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