How do you make them listen? Sometimes you can’t.
“_You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink_”.
However, we can make ignorance as painful as possible by putting a price on it.
For example, you could express your advice to clients along the following lines:
“_You need to know about the web environment in which you operate, in order to make pragmatic investment & development decisions. That is why I am giving you all this information._
_Act on it or ignore it as you see fit._
_However, by ignoring some of these factors you will increase the risk of unnecessary cost, poor site performance, poor customer perception, etc._
_To help you decide which factors you should act on, I am giving you the following advice for each item:_
_”¢ Impact: The effect of adoption or non-adoption._
_”¢ Urgency: The time period within which action should be taken._
_”¢ Risk: The effect of failure to act, e.g. cost, poor performance._
_You can use this to decide which factors you wish to act on._”
*Show Me How*
The easiest factor on which to use this approach is the Law. That is because the risks of non-compliance are usually very clear, i.e. *financial penalties*.
For example, suppose new rules are introduced that compel all businesses to make sure their websites are accessible. Additionally, suppose your client’s website is not accessible. You could present information in the following way:
*LAW: New Website Act 2007*
This legislation compels you to ensure all your sites are accessible to persons with disabilities. Compliance with the Act will be monitored by an independent authority. This authority has the power to penalise offenders.
“¢ Impact: High - You must comply with the Act. To do so, you must redesign/recode your website and implement new content management procedures.
“¢ Urgency: Medium - There is a 12 month grace period before monitoring begins.
“¢ Risk of non-compliance: High - *Non-compliance will lead to fines of up to $50,000*.
However, this “price of ignorance” approach is more difficult on factors where the only costs are “opportunity costs”.
*TECHNOLOGY: Web 2.0*
Web 2.0 is the name given to websites that include rich functionality built on new technologies such as AJAX. AJAX allows for a very rich online experience to be created that can hugely enhance the value proposition of a site.
“¢ Impact: High - Adoption of AJAX would require significant redevelopment.
“¢ Urgency: Low - Your competitors are not reacting and there is little evidence of customer demand.
“¢ Risk of non-adoption: Low-Medium - Although existing systems continue to be work well, the “opportunity cost” of non-adoption could be substantial if your competitors move first. This is because they could attract your customers and *earn revenue that should be yours*.