In my role as Web Services Manager at a higher education institution, I lead a web team of three (including myself). For a large institution, that is a small team. No matter the size of your web team, you’ve probably asked yourself, ‘What should our web team do?’ I’ve been wondering that myself. I’ve been in my role for a year and have seen some transitioning of duties and even more duties appear for our team. It seems that the general thought on campus is if it’s web related (but not academic in nature), it is Web Services’ responsibility. As technology, trends, and communication methods change, that could amount to a lot of duties ranging from online brand monitoring to online ads to e-mail marketing.
Randy Woods from non-linear creations has a great blog post where he suggests there are seven competencies required for any organization to succeed online. A highlight of the competencies are below:
– Support of daily tasks
– Web integrations
– Large scale deployments
– CMS training/support
– Web writing training
– SEO training
In our post secondary environment we don’t do much with Revenue Generation, but our web team has primary responsibility for most of the aspects of the other competencies. Over the next few months we will be working on developing a mandate for our web team and establishing roles and responsibilities for online efforts. The ultimate goal of this process is to identify the best fit on or off campus for each competency and work towards moving the competencies where they best fit.
Randy continues by saying that these competencies can be put into one of four categories:
Core competencies – these should be maintained by the core team responsible for online activities, often deemed “the web team”
Critical support competencies – these should be maintained by the organization, but need not necessarily reside with the web team
Periodically required competencies – these can be maintained in house, but are often outsourced as they are not required on an ongoing basis
Unique domain expertise – while it is possible to develop experts in these areas in house, it is challenging. Many organizations chose to draw on external consultants to meet these needs.
We will be using these four categories in our process to assign roles and responsibilities for online efforts. I see our web team having some role in each of the competencies, but the accountability may lie elsewhere. Here is where I see responsibility should lie:
Technology -> Web Team
Education/ Mentoring -> Web Team/Vendors
Content Creation -> Web Team
Outreach -> Marketing/Vendors
Social Media -> Marketing/Recruitment
Strategy/Direction -> Web Team/Executive
How are your web teams structured? What are their responsibilities? Are the competencies listed above shared with other areas of your school? Please share your thoughts.