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Eight Tips to a Successful Website Implementation
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Eight Tips to a Successful Website Implementation


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This is my portion of a presentation on managing a successful website implementation. Presented at DrupalCamp Twin Cities, May 20, 2011.

This is my portion of a presentation on managing a successful website implementation. Presented at DrupalCamp Twin Cities, May 20, 2011.

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  • Tell story about how Diane wanted to skip the vendor demonstrations, being adamant that she had to be there.
  • Talk about countering expectations that the project would be done in June by passing around copies of Content Strategy for the Web
  • Talk about our “core web team” approach, with other staff consulted on client deliverables, and all staff pulled in for major milestones (such as the alpha website presentation)
  • Transcript

    • 1. Eight tips for a successful website implementation
      Jason Samuels
      IT Manager, National Council on Family Relations
      Presented at DrupalCamp Twin Cities, May 20, 2011
    • 2. Get the boss to champion it
    • 3. Get the boss to champion it
      The website should reflect their vision for the organization
      Their leadership will motivate others
      Involve them from the beginning, and get their sign off on all major decision points
    • 4. Manage expectations
    • 5. Manage expectations
      Plan for a realistic timeline and budget
      Most important thing is to do it right
      Set out expectations in RFP, and listen to what vendors have to say about what it will cost
      Plan your timeline around other major events
      Cautious approach to the project scope
      Give realistic feedback about how feature requests affect timeline and budget
    • 6. Incorporate a content strategy
    • 7. Incorporate a content strategy
      Start thinking about a content strategy when the project begins
      Have you ever done a content audit?
      What needs to be migrated, what needs to be re-written, who will be doing that work, and how does it affect your timeline?
      Recommended resources
      Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson
      Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane
    • 8. Build your internal team
    • 9. Build your internal team
      Who is on your core web team?
      The boss, for sure, and other co-workers with primary responsibility for the website
      This is your “inner circle” on the project
      Who else gives feedback at given stages?
      Co-workers with responsibility for content on specific sections of the site
      Call upon for selected meetings & feedback
    • 10. Gather & synthesize
    • 11. Gather & synthesize
      At each client deliverable stage you’re asked for specific feedback
      Identify who to ask at each point
      Consult with the boss on who to include
      Set a firm deadline for feedback, giving yourself a few days to turn it around
      Synthesize feedback into key points
      Exclude points that don’t fit what’s being asked, keep notes if they’ll fit later in process
    • 12. Know when to say no
    • 13. Know when to say no
      Sometimes get feedback that’s relevant to a decision point that’s already passed
      Don’t be afraid to say “sorry, but that matter is already settled.”
      Going backwards affects the whole project
      When to make an exception
      When enough people feel strongly enough to revisit an issue
      When the boss says “we’re revisiting this one.”
    • 14. Structured content entry
    • 15. Structured content entry
      Base the content entry phase on your content strategy
      Create a spreadsheet of tasks: person responsible, source content URL, target completion date
      Weekly meetings with the core web team
      Check up on schedule, make sure everyone is on board with the launch date
      Find out where training as needed & provide it
      As project manager, you need to be the guru!
    • 16. Have fun!
    • 17. Have fun!
      Provide treats at meetings involving all staff
      Give positive feedback to people’s contributions
      Launching a new website is a creative, exciting endeavor. Your project management style can reflect that.