Managing and supporting a central cms for a devolved community (IWMW12 workshop B5)
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Managing and supporting a central cms for a devolved community (IWMW12 workshop B5)

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An outline of how the University of Edinburgh manages its corporate content management system for about 600 users and 80 units. How the service was established and where it's headed. The presentation ...

An outline of how the University of Edinburgh manages its corporate content management system for about 600 users and 80 units. How the service was established and where it's headed. The presentation was a primer for discussion among the attendees on content management system models.

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Managing and supporting a central cms for a devolved community (IWMW12 workshop B5) Managing and supporting a central cms for a devolved community (IWMW12 workshop B5) Presentation Transcript

  • Managing and supporting a central CMS …for a devolved web publishing community University of Edinburgh Website Programme www.ed.ac.uk/website-programme
  • Introductions• Neil Allison @usabilityed – Programme manager – Responsible for user experience and staff training – Leading CMS review process & consultations• Joe Farthing @josephfarthing – Communications & technical specialist – Split role between UWP & Sustainability – Focus on improving the CMS user experience
  • Overview• Background – Where we came from – where we are• How we do things round here• Where are we going?• Our challenges – Your challenges?
  • Where we started (2006)• Small project team• 2 year initial timeframe• Collaborating with Information Services and Communications & Marketing
  • Where we are right now (2012)• Small programme team – Backed up with editorial support• Coordinating a larger virtual team – C&M, IS, User training & support, Disability Service, Records Management• Facilitating a large diverse web community – Polopoly CMS users – Web management specialists across University
  • Initial scope• A central website driven by a single CMS – Polopoly• ‘Outward facing’ content owned and managed by distributed units – “Units”: my shorthand for: • Schools, Colleges, Subject areas, Research institutes, Programmes, Offices, Departments… • Basically, any group of web publishers acting (semi) autonomously
  • Where the scope stretched to…
  • How does all this hang together?• A single CMS instance• Initial access regulated – training compulsory• Workflows and permissions set as required, unit by unit• Graphic design tied down to a great extent• CMS functionality steers editorial and IA approach – Guidelines, support and training too• No web police – But we do QA, appraise and encourage review & enhancement
  • What do we do to deliver this? It’s not just CMS service management
  • What do we do to deliver this?• Training • CMS – Polopoly, W4tW, Usability – System administration testing, Prototyping, Analytics – Ongoing development – External functionality• Support & community – Phone, email, drop in 1-2-1 • Graphic design – Wiki and online discussion management – Guidelines • Polopoly-specific • University wide • Legal compliance – Appraisal, enhancement, QA – Accessibility – Web Publishers Community – Privacy – Technical Peer Group – Information retention – Surveys and consultation
  • Meet our CMS users– Annabel – Terry– Colin – Harriet
  • Annabel the Admin Assistant Technical Non-technical Time for No time for publishing publishing Frequent user of Infrequent user Polopoly of Polopoly “I haven’t got time. Just tell Full relevant Minimal relevant functionality functionality me what you need doing” used used TYPICAL  Creates new web pages using• Feels she’s doing a better job TASKS content as provided with minimal than with previous website copyediting  Updates existing pages as directed• Likes that Polopoly help &  Everything takes too long. Edits support is on hand should be really easy POINTS  Avoids anything other than the basic PAIN• Little interest in the bigger features. picture, or in the website users  No time to experiment or to risk trying new things that may go wrong.
  • Colin the Communications Specialist Technical Non-technical Time for No time for publishing publishing Frequent user of Infrequent user Polopoly of Polopoly “It’s better than before but Full relevant Minimal relevant functionality functionality I want to do more” used used  Steers local publishers TYPICAL• Wants to learn from others TASKS  Oversees site management – no interest in reinventing  Manages high profile content & the wheel tweaks others’ work  Too hard to monitor editorial• Sees his website in broader activity on site POINTS contexts – part of his PAIN  Some layout restrictions & comms activity and part of limitations are frustrating greater University site  Pace of development too slow
  • Terry the Technical Specialist Technical Non-technical Time for No time for publishing publishing Frequent user of Infrequent user Polopoly of Polopoly “Local solutions better Full relevant Minimal relevant functionality functionality meet our needs” used used  External systems support & integration• Keeping an eye on tech TYPICAL TASKS development innovation, both in &  One-off projects covering all out of Polopoly areas of web development  Emergency publishing, fixing• Pleased about the reduction in others’ problems editorial tasks & basic user support  Would like more freedom to POINTS• Ambivalent about Polopoly, Uni- customise locally PAIN wide publishing & guidelines  Integration options could be more sophisticated
  • Harriet the Head of Unit Technical Non-technical Time for No time for publishing publishing Frequent user of Infrequent user Polopoly of Polopoly “Spread the workload, Full relevant Minimal relevant cut the overheads, functionality functionality impress our visitors” used used  If she could remember how: TYPICAL TASKS• Keen to be seen to be on board with corporate systems  Updating own staff profile  Tweaks to key pages• Little time for the detail, but the site has to deliver for the business  Asks others to make edits for her• Wants to cut costs & save time – a  Forgotten the basics since POINTS professional, hassle-free website PAIN training. This should be obvious!• Supportive of guidance & Uni-wide  Relying on training booklet. bigger picture, so long as she’s still in Support wiki? What’s that? control
  • Where are we going?• The University has committed to a significant investment in the website over the coming years – “…to continue to develop its current corporate website, and to take it to the next phase.”• The Website Programme was tasked with consulting the web publishing community and key stakeholders to inform development of a Business Requirements Document
  • Looking to the future“The future of the University website must be rooted in the people managing it, and their interrelationships; with Information Services providing the technology to underpin a resilient, flexible, collaborative platform.” “Providing functionality isn’t enough.”
  • Beyond the CMS• The CMS is a vital cog in our web publishing machine alongside: – Web publishers’ skills and time available – Training & support – Technical development & support – Collaboration within the community
  • Retain & enhance• Consistency of the website – Editorial, navigation, information architecture• Standards, guidelines & quality assurance• Pre-defined styles & formatting help – We just need more flexibility• Training & support services• Potential for sharing – But needs to be better realised
  • Issues to address• CMS usability – Too slow, clunky & time consuming• Range of presentation options is too narrow• More direct control for site managers• More sophisticated tools needed – For system-, content- and user-management• More sophisticated integration options• Better opportunities for technical development – Involvement & collaboration• Website search isn’t good enough
  • Greater flexibility• More page layouts – Ideally with the opportunity to develop locally• More space for local identity and branding• More colour palettes• More sophisticated integration options• More opportunities for technical development contributions from across the University
  • The challenge“…to deliver a broader range of optionswhile maintaining the core elements of editorial and structural consistency…”
  • Discussion & activitiesAre our challenges your challenges?
  • Strict policing of guidance Add your post-its to the wall INSTITUTION NAME YOUR MAIN CMS, ANY OTHER CMSs Lots of INSTITUTION NAME WHERE YOU WANT TO GO IN THE Single CMSdifferent CMSs FUTURE Where you are now Where you want to goINSTITUTION NAME INSTITUTION NAME YOUR MAIN CMS, No guidance – WHERE YOU WANT TO (laissez faire) ANY OTHER CMSs GO IN THE FUTURE