Web teams often think progress can't be made because "it's always been this way." By challenging tradition you can find that it's not as immovable as it seems.

We Irish love traditions. My parents were avid newspaper readers and the first page they'd always go to was the Death Notices page. Because the Irish love going to funerals. It's important that you don't miss a funeral because if you do, you and your family will be remembered for centuries.

It was Christmastime and a school teacher told his class that he wanted them to do a project over the holidays. The subject was: "Christmas traditions in my family." Susan went home a little annoyed but determined to get the project out of the way.

One tradition Susan's family had was to cut the roast of beef in two before putting it in the oven. Susan went to her Daddy and asked:
"Daddy, why do we always cut the roast in two at Christmas?"
"I don't know," he said, shaking his head. "It's a tradition. It's been going back in your mother's family for generations. Go ask her."

So Susan went to her Mammy.

"Mammy, why do we always cut the roast in two at Christmas?"
"I'm busy, love. What did you say?"
"The roast. Why do we always cut it in two?"
"It's a family tradition. We just always do it. Go ask Gran. Maybe she knows why."

So Susan went to her Granny who was sitting by the fire.
"Gran, why do we always cut the roast in two at Christmas?"
"Susan!" Her Granny beckoned her to come a little closer. "What did you say?"
"Why do we always cut the roast in two every Christmas, Gran?"

Susan's granny laughed.
"Ah, Susan! When I was young, just a girl no bigger than you, well, we had a very small oven …"

The first Chinese man who discovered cooking did so by accident. One day his house caught fire while his prize pig was inside. The fire destroyed the house. The man was very sad as he picked his way through the smoldering ruins.

He went to take his prize pig out. Some hot skin stuck to his hands and he pulled them away. Sucking his hand to ease the burn a strange and pleasant sensation arose in his mouth. Before long he and his family and neighbors were feasting on roast pig. From then on and for a long time, every couple of months, someone's house would catch fire with a pig inside.

In the days when ovens were heated by fires, it was thought that the way to get the most succulent roast was to occasionally open the door and pour some water on the roast. It was thought that the water moistened and softened the meat. However, it was later proven that this was not really the case. It was hard to control the heat of such ovens, and a roast cooks better at low heat. Opening the door and pouring water reduced the heat.

Your job as a web professional is not to assume or blindly accept. Challenge with logic, reason and data derived from customer behavior. You might be surprised how the immovable can ultimately be moved.