Web organization at University of Southern
We have a web organization with a central web office, several local web coordinators and over 500 web
The web office and the local web coordinators (one from each faculty, the central administration and the
library) meet on a regular basis to discuss and decide different issues in regard to both www.sdu.dk and our
intranet. The group focuses on design, usability and content.
Besides the web group we have a group of web developers.
The two groups refer to The Executive Board. All mayor decisions has to be approved in this forum.
This construction was established very early in the project phase.
The web group (the web office and the local web coordinators)
The web group is working on the formulation and maintenance of a number of guidelines in relation to
www.sdu.dk. They serve as a common reference framework which ensures a certain degree of consistency
and quality throughout www.sdu.dk.
The web group ensures a good integration of information from the university’s organizational units in the
subject and target group-based structure of the website.
The web group’s tasks are
• Create momentum in migration of information and functionality
• Adopt guidelines and develop guidelines for the development and maintenance of the
• Consider the organizational units wishes and needs for changes in design and information
• Ensure development and innovation of website design, content and functionality
• Define the web editors’ competence level
• Plan and coordinate training of the web editors
• Cooperate with the web developers on describing technical functionality
The local web coordinators
Each main area (faculty, library, central administration) has a web coordinator participating in the web
group’s activities. The web coordinator also has responsibility for conducting a series of tasks related to
each main area’s web activities.
The web coordinators’ tasks are:
• Participate in the activities of the web group
• Act as ambassadors in the local environment in regard to the common decisions of the web
• Guide the web editors in the correct use of the common web structure
• Collect wishes and needs in regard to design, information architecture and functionality
from the organizational units and present them in the forum of the web group
• Create new user accounts in the CMS Sitecore
• Provide support in the CMS Sitecore to the main area’s web editors
• Supplement the general information of relevance for all web editors with information
regarding local conditions
• Keep regular contact with the main area’s local web developer for mutual exchange of
information about different web activities
• Inform the local management about major initiatives in relation to the website
The web developers (the web office and each main area)
The web developers’ tasks are to advise on new initiatives and to ensure that the needed technical features
is available to the web editors and to the visitors of the website.
The web developers advice the web group on technical matters and develop most of the functionality.
The web developers manage and coordinate the direction of the technical development of the website. It is
the group's responsibility to ensure quality and compatibility between existing and new solutions.
The activities of the web developers are managed and coordinated by a project manager from the project
department. Each main area has at least one web developer.
The web office
The web office is placed under the university’s project department and consists and of four employees:
• A web developer
• An art director
• A communication consultant
• A manager/coordinator
The web office’s tasks are:
• Participate in the activities of the web group and the web developers
• Plan and manage the activities of the web group
• Guide the web editors in the correct use of the common web structure
• Collect wishes and needs in regard to design, information architecture and functionality from the
organizational units and present them in the forum of the web group
• Formulate guidelines and manuals for the development and maintenance of the website
• Develop technical functionality to the website
• Approve and create short URLs
• Produce different types of specialized web graphics
• Guide in writing good texts for the website
• Guide in the use of graphic elements on the website
• Create new users accounts in the CMS Sitecore
• Plan and run courses in the CMS Sitecore
• Provide support in the use of the CMS Sitecore to the web editors of the central administration
• Provide support in the use of the CMS Sitecore to the local web coordinators
• Develop and maintain manuals in the use of the CMS Sitecore
• Inform all content editors about new initiatives, guidelines, manuals, planned shutdown of CMS
• Inform the university management (the executive board) of major initiatives relating to the website
The cooperation between the web group and the web developers
Phase 1: The web group assesses and prioritizes
The web group must ensure development and innovation of the website and consider the wishes and
needs of both internal and external users in regard to design, content and functionality.
All wishes on new functionality must be treated in the web group, which assesses whether these wishes
should be rejected or form base for a new development task.
The web group prioritizes any new assignments in relation to other tasks related to the development of
Phase 2: 2X2 the group describes
Two members from the web group formulate a first description of the functionality.
The description is sent to the web developers’ project manager, who appoints two web developers.
The group of four proceeds with a thorough description of the functionality.
Phase 3: Development and implementation begins
When the 2X2 group determines that all the requirements are fully described either in the form of a
number of use cases or FRS the group's work is presented to the web group and the web developers. If the
two groups decide to continue the work on the development and implementation begins.
One or more web developers participate in the development depending on the complexity of the task.
During the progress of development and implementation there may be need for further consultation of the
web group. A member from the web group therefore acts as contact person during the development
process. The person appointed can bring any further questions to the web group and / or request
additional information from the users who originally requested the functionality. It may be necessary to
involve the user directly in the development process.
The group of web developers solves development tasks in the order defined by the web group but each
main area can choose to start projects if they are in urgent need for a technical functionality locally.
They must locally provide additional resources for such development tasks.
The web group must also be informed in such cases before the task can begin, as they must ensure that the
desired functionality is consistent with the agreed guidelines for content and design. The web developers
must be informed to ensure that all development in relation to the web is identified, technically validated
and that the project does not negatively affect existing solutions.
In principle the majority of the technical functionalities should be developed in house by the consistent
group of web developers. However there may be development tasks which are more usefully solved by
external parties. There may be cases where the web developers do not have the resources either in terms
of hours worked or competencies.
A series of offers from external firms will be gathered. The web group and the web developers decide
which offer best meets the requirements and recommend a product.
The web editors
Over 500 employees are registered with a user account in our CMS but they are not all active every day and
none of them function solely as web editors. The maintenance of the website is not their primary task. At
least 70 % of their work consists of other tasks.
The web editors must undergo some sort of introduction before they can get access to our CMS. Either an
experienced colleague or the local web coordinator introduces them to the system and our different
guidelines. Or they participate in one of the courses offered by the web office. In a lot of cases they
combine the two, most commonly starting with an introduction by their local web coordinator and then
participating in a course.
The web office offers two types of courses: a basic course and an advanced course. We offer the basic
courses around 6 times a year and the advanced courses 4 times a year.
The basic course
Edit web pages with Sitecore.
You are about to start as a web editor.
We will teach you the basic skills needed to edit web pages in Sitecore.
• Introduction to www.sdu.dk
We introduce you to the principles behind www.sdu.dk. How is information on the website
structured and why?
• Review of Sitecore
In a combination between instructions and exercises we review Sitecore and the opportunities the
• Web communication
We offers you recommendations in how to write to the web, the use of graphics, text links, etc.
We introduce you to our support, our guides to Sitecore and information on who to contact if you
Number of participants
Minimum 4 and maximum 10.
From 9.30 to 15.30.
The advanced course
Web editors’ workshop
Web editors who are familiar with Sitecore’s basic functionality.
We will introduce you to some of the more advanced features of Sitecore and different issues in regard to
content and the information architecture of www.sdu.dk.
The course is held as an open workshop where participants and instructors jointly form the program of the
day. The content can be both review of functionality in Sitecore but also discussions or information on
matters concerning structure/navigation, graphics, pdf-files, text, search engine optimization, etc.
Number of participants
Minimum 4. The maximum depends on the location.
From 9.30 to 15.00.
Rie Zimmer Rasmussen, the web office, University of Southern Denmark.