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


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)


  • 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.