One of the biggest design patterns which is an absolute must for scaling operations for digital is to make more and more things configurable and give more control to business and operations team.
Gone are the days when business are willing to raise a change request for changing tags for analytics or changing labels on the page or adding more affiliates for marketing campaign.
Yes with more control comes responsibility but I would rather have empowered business than helpless business.
These are a few things which I believe need to be in either business or operations control.
- CSS and JS – Each page on all channels needs to include business CSS and JS which gets loaded after the core CSS and JS. This will help business in customising layouts and add few minor functions if necessary. I have seen some misuse of this process where business will change the functional behaviour without informing operations and thus proper governance is the key
- Switches – All of the key functionalities which can cause performance issues or can cause customer experience issues, needs to be control by feature flag. This means during the panic times, we can switch them off easily rather than worrying about the changing code and doing deployments which can be error prone
- Pages and elements on a page – Business should have complete flexibility to define templates for any pages and control what goes as a content for those pages
- Marketing affiliates – Adding or changing affiliates for marketing campaigns should be controlled using simple configuration files as those the the most changing elements
- Labels and Error messages – Any labels/instructional text or error messages on the site needs to be controlled by content management system. A common mistake done is to either hardcode those values or keep them in the development configurations
- Analytics – Data is key for any operations. Ability to tag certain links, buttons and customer journey to get the view of the key data without touching the code is an absolute must have
Overall goal is to make sure more and more things are in business and operations control and releases are used for new capabilities rather than BAU operations.