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Chicken or the Egg? Synchronizing agency website redesigns and CMS implementations Don Bruns and Julia Begley Gilbane Conference June 5, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Chicken or the Egg? Synchronizing agency website redesigns and CMS implementations Don Bruns and Julia Begley Gilbane Conference June 5, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chicken or the Egg? Synchronizing agency website redesigns and CMS implementations Don Bruns and Julia Begley Gilbane Conference June 5, 2007

2 Where to start? Managing a CMS implementation together with a web site redesign is both challenging to manage and risky. Typical “As Is” state in Federal space  Multiple sites  Multiple designs, branding, navigation  Multiple technologies Three approaches 1.Implement CMS first, then redesign 2.Redesign first, then implement CMS 3.Both at once

3 Why this matters CMS implementations are among the most high risk IT projects 60% to 80% of all CMS implementations fail during the first year Risks to both projects increase dramatically Failure is costly

4 Failed use case scenario Department of X – A cabinet-level organization Undertook a simultaneous redesign of public website and CMS implementation Massive two-year content migration  No content freeze  Contributors updating both sites simultaneously Two parallel sites  CMS driven with new design  Non-CMS driven with old design CMS Old design/legacy env.New design/CMS env. A1 C3 B2 D4 A1 C3 B2 D4

5 The Result Both sites fell out of synch  Eventually neither site was 100% correct  No rollback strategy CMS and redesign abandoned after two years of work CMS Old design/legacy env.New design/CMS env. A1 C3 B2 D4 A1 C3 B2 D4 A1 E5 B2 D4 A1 E5 B2 D4 A1 E5 F6 D4 A1 E5 F6 D4 B2 E5 F6 D4 B2 E5 H8 D4 A1 E5 F6 G7

6 What can go wrong 1.Lack of executive sponsorship 2.Not having sufficient management expertise 4.Not understanding your business case 3.Lack of buy-in from stakeholders at key stages 5.Things the CMS vendor may have forgotten to tell you 6.Poor configuration management 7.Insufficient risk management 8.Pitfalls during content migration 9.Not planning for future growth 10.CMS limits design options

7 CMS publishing models And how they might affect your redesign

8 Baking vs. Frying Baking  The CMS generates static content at scheduled intervals  Content physically exists on the web server  CMS publishes via FTP or file system transfer  Typical schedule: Incremental publish every 10-15 minutes Full publish every night at 2:00 am Frying  CMS generates dynamic web content at request time  The page does not exist until the user clicks on the link  CMS dynamically aggregates a new web page by combining: Static elements (design, content, functionality and navigation) Dynamic elements driven by user preferences, metadata, business logic, and live data

9 Benefits of each Baking  Multiple URLs  Lighter footprint in the delivery environment  Better performance for content consumers  Better continuity of operations  Friendlier URLs  CMS content co-exists with legacy content Frying  Personalization  Live data reporting  Dynamic sorting, grouping, querying of content

10 Weighing your options

11 Approach #1 – Redesign first then CMS Pros  Less risk to the redesign  Only need one set of CMS templates  Easier to select the right CMS Cons  Multiplies the content migration From old design to the new design (legacy environment) From legacy environment into the CMS CMS Old design/legacy env. New design/legacy env. content migration automated deployment New design/CMS env.

12 Approach #2 – CMS first then redesign Pros  Leverage benefits of CMS earlier  Only one content migration  CMS handles deployment of the new design  Preferable if migrating from one CMS to another Cons  Choosing wrong CMS may limit IA options  Must develop CMS templates for both designs  Only advantageous with a baking CMS  CMS must fully separate presentation from content CMS Old design/legacy env. content migrationautomated deployment New design/CMS env. automated deployment Old design/CMS env.

13 Approach #3 – CMS and redesign at same time Cons  Significant cost and schedule risks to both projects  More complex management challenge  Will probably delay the release of the redesign Pros  Potential to complete both projects sooner  Potential to avoid some costs  May not have a choice Timing of funding New design requires CMS functionality CMS Old design/legacy env. content migration New design/CMS env. automated deployment

14 The Answer Situation will dictate the approach  Existing use of technology, governance, infrastructure  Business case  Designs goals  Ability of sponsor and stakeholders to support change However, our experience tells us…  Separate redesign and CMS implementation if possible  Approach #2 (CMS first then redesign) is often preferable  Baking CMS is often preferred in Federal sector Can facilitate incremental migration Can reduce some migration risks Keys to success:  Robust project management  Maintaining sponsor/stakeholder buy-in

15 Key strategies … for all three approaches

16 Obtain and maintain stakeholder support Executive sponsorship  Understands business case  Supports goals  Can direct personnel  Controls funding Internal stakeholder buy-in  Identify key stakeholders  Identify stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities  Establish accountability  Continuous effort to maintain buy-in  Give stakeholders a feeling of ownership (especially content contributors!)

17 Effective project management Experienced project management is critical  Effective processes (look for CMMI certification)  Experienced managers (look for PMP certification)  PMO to coordinate teams from different groups/vendors Develop project plan  Iterative phased approach  Define and obtain consensus for WBS up front  Identify tasks, owners, schedule, milestones, and points of buy-in  Build in review cycles for deliverables Identify risks  Assess impact and likelihood  Mitigation strategy for each

18 Choosing the right CMS Obtain executive sponsorship for your CMS business case Ensure new CMS does not limit design options  Include information architecture requirements into CMS selection  Require scenario-based demos during CMS selection  Do not design site for the CMS  Select the CMS to support the design goals Involve and support stakeholders at all junctures  Not all stakeholders will share your strategic vision  Not all stakeholders will recognize importance of each juncture  Need to keep selling the project to the stakeholders

19 During CMS implementation Configuration management  Baseline documents in version control system  Change control board Proactive communications management  Status reports  Continually tracking actions/issues/risks Deployment planning  Rollback strategy  Operations strategy  Test planning

20 During content migration Begin content inventory and clean-up before CMS is ready for migration Short content freezes – no more than 4 weeks Migration team should be tasked 100% to migration Phased approach to content migration organized by content owner  Migrate lower complexity areas first  But don’t save most complex migration tasks for last

21 Ensuring user adoption User adoption is not a given  “If you build it, they will come” is not change management  “Because I said so” is not change management Ensuring user adoption starts on day one Involve key stakeholders at all phases of project Smooth transition from implementation to operations  Communication plan  Training  Knowledge sharing  Technical support

22 Questions? Julia Begley Project Manager Don Bruns Principal Consultant Peter Fogelsanger Director

23 Database CMS Database CMS Staging AuthoringDevelopment WWW Users Production Load Balancer FIREWALLFIREWALL Sample baking environment WWW FIREWALLFIREWALL

24 Database CMS Sample frying environment Database CMS Database CMS Staging AuthoringDevelopment Production CMS Load Balancer FIREWALLFIREWALL FIREWALLFIREWALL Content Consumer Database

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