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HighEdWeb Michigan
A New Content Management System:
From RFP to Launch in 12 Months
Your Speakers
Holly LaRose-Roenicke,
Assistant Director
Web Communications
Aaron Maturen,
Programmer
Web Technologies (ITS)
Jason Swackhamer,
Director
Web Communications
About SVSU
• Enrollment: 10,500+
– UG: 8,700+
– Grad: 1,200+
• 77% full-time students
• 70% under 25
• 70% of incoming freshman
live on campus
• Alumni: 38,000+
• Regional institution with
some out state and
international students
• Founded in 1963
(50th Anniversary)
Our Organization
President
Academic Affairs
Administration &
Business Affairs
ITS
Web
Programming
Training Team
Enrollment
Management
Web
Communications
Student Affairs Public Affairs
First . . . A little history
• Began decentralized
Web management in
1994
• Typo 3 was second CMS
system since 1994
– Complicated to manage
– Lack of consistency and
accountability
– Dependence on IT for
providing functionality
• CMS compromised
Superbowl Sunday,
2011
Pre-RFP Situation Analysis
• Programming staff
— number and % of time
• Budget
— open source isn’t free
— making the case for $$
• Users
— who will be using daily
• Workflow
— levels of users, approvers
Key Factors in Needs Assessment

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Rfp to launch

  • 1. HighEdWeb Michigan A New Content Management System: From RFP to Launch in 12 Months
  • 2. Your Speakers Holly LaRose-Roenicke, Assistant Director Web Communications Aaron Maturen, Programmer Web Technologies (ITS) Jason Swackhamer, Director Web Communications
  • 3. About SVSU • Enrollment: 10,500+ – UG: 8,700+ – Grad: 1,200+ • 77% full-time students • 70% under 25 • 70% of incoming freshman live on campus • Alumni: 38,000+ • Regional institution with some out state and international students • Founded in 1963 (50th Anniversary)
  • 4. Our Organization President Academic Affairs Administration & Business Affairs ITS Web Programming Training Team Enrollment Management Web Communications Student Affairs Public Affairs
  • 5. First . . . A little history • Began decentralized Web management in 1994 • Typo 3 was second CMS system since 1994 – Complicated to manage – Lack of consistency and accountability – Dependence on IT for providing functionality • CMS compromised Superbowl Sunday, 2011
  • 6. Pre-RFP Situation Analysis • Programming staff — number and % of time • Budget — open source isn’t free — making the case for $$ • Users — who will be using daily • Workflow — levels of users, approvers Key Factors in Needs Assessment
  • 7. Web Maintenance Web Communications Manages oversight of website as a whole; sets website standards; Advises departments on social media strategy; Implements and trains editors on content management system. IT Web Programming supports University departments through customized-programming requests; Networking supports the infrastructure to support the network and servers Content Editors Reviews content with owners annually, acts as department gatekeeper; Ensures pages meet the University’s standards in terms of design and best practice; Attends Terminal Four training. University Communications Sets graphic standards and message themes for University. Provides images in centralized repository
  • 8. Needs Assessment aka, What Does the CMS Need To Do?  Enterprise System — higher ed customers  Decoupled publishing — so we won’t loose live content again! Easy to Use — Almost as easy as MS Word  Easy to Create Templates — flexible, easy for developers
  • 9. The RFP • A COMPLEX MONSTER — 162 attributes questionnaire, 19 pgs! • Targeted Vendors — enterprise, higher ed • Purchasing Led — managed communication • Time — gave a month for response due to complexity
  • 10. Selection Process RFP Sent to 15 Vendors RFP Responses Due 30 days later 5 Responded RFPs Scored and Ranked based on 119 criteria, price Cross-Campus Committee: Demos from 3, selects Terminal Four Cross Campus Committee: low, mid and high level web editors, web programming, web communications, training
  • 11. Project Planning Decisions, Decisions • Design (templates, CSS) • Sitemap • Migration Planning –All at once or phased? –Who does it? • Launch (how, timing)
  • 12. Evaluate Current Website Planning for Migration (Typo3 to T4)  6,102 Pages  Find patterns for categorizing content  Create rules for finding content to import into templates  Never logged in to Typo3 back end
  • 13. Set up new Environment Terminal Four (T4)  Create new templates for migrating content into  Port over CSS and page styles
  • 14. Transform Hierarchy Build New Site Structure  Used excel to define the new structure for the hierarchy  Used python to create the pages in new CMS and keep a reference of where they were in old CMS Tip: Use this as opportunity to fix site structure (nested sites)
  • 15. Content Migration Import Content  Army of minions  Created an application based on the new hierarchy to assign pages with links to old page and new page  Web crawler using python and a hierarchy  Automatically imported about 3,100 pages…
  • 16. Media Asset Migration  Media had to initially be imported by a minion into T4  All of the links to images, PDFs, and files had to be relinked manually Tip: All media will need to be imported and linked.
  • 17. Quality Control  Minions were responsible for checking their assigned pages  Web Communications also spot checked pages Tip: Have content owners check their content and website before launch
  • 18. Training for Admins “Train the Trainer” • Training from vendor • Training done on “training accounts”, not live sites • Began converting our own websites
  • 19. Content Editor Training Required for Login • Login access given at end of training - no exceptions • Conducted using “training accounts”, not live sites • Conducted (25) 90-minute trainings in 6 months, training 145 people • Any changes made to live sites between conversion and training were done by minions, but from training to launch were their responsibility to update
  • 20. Tips To Training Success • Holding back login access • Encourage users from same department to go together • Improved documentation – ask vendors to see if they have documentation to build from • Empower users with choices and tools to improve websites • Continuous help “T4 Tuesdays”
  • 21. Redefining Roles Web Communications (Content) • Meet with every department annually – Review content for accuracy – Set goals/ priorities – Review analytics – Provide “report card” • Assist Content Editors • Provide training • Administer access rights
  • 22. Redefining Roles Web Technologies (Programming) • Administer template improvements and technical aspects of CMS support • New process for project requests – New content templates – Forms – Special programming • Clearinghouse for all online forms • Cross training within department
  • 23. Lessons Learned Have a Communications Plan • Set expectations • Squelch the rumors • Communicate process, timing • Consider a content freeze
  • 24. Lesson Learned Conduct a Crisis Plan • Brainstorm worst-case scenarios and solutions  Search broken  Links to all media files broken  Server space maxing out
  • 25. Lessons Learned Know URL Structure Tip: Try not to change it! • Legacy Links are persistent — Scheduled Emails — Google — Bookmarks • At minimum, have a great 404 page
  • 26. Lessons Learned Anticipate What’ll Break (Forms) • Some forms were processed by old CMS  These broke • Some were “included” with php on page  These broke • Some were external links  Worked! Tip: Include forms in migration schedule
  • 27. Lessons Learned Triple-Check Server Setup  If you don’t want a phone call at 4 a.m., make sure that there is enough space on your server for the website.
  • 28. Lessons Learned In Summary: 3 Key Takeaways  Even though we moved fast, there were times that could have moved even faster because in the end, we needed three more months  Search engines take time to crawl  Each site should have been reviewed and signed off for accuracy by editors during the training process
  • 29. 12 Months- RFP to Launch - Selection - Editor Training RFP Responses Due! Vendor Notified -Project Planning, Install, -Development - Content Migration - Quality Review OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG - Selection - Editor Training RFP Responses Due! Vendor Notified -Project Planning, Install, -Development - Content Migration - Quality Review SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG Selection Editor Training RFP Responses Due! Vendor Notified Project Planning, Install, Development Content Migration - Quality Review Launch!
  • 30. Lessons Learned In Summary: 3 Key Takeaways  Even though we moved fast, there were times that could have moved even faster because in the end, we needed three more months  Search engines take time to crawl  Each site should have been reviewed and signed off for accuracy by editors during the training process
  • 31. Questions, Comments, Discussion Holly LaRose-Roenicke, Assistant Director Web Communications hmlarose@svsu.edu Aaron Maturen, Programmer Web Technologies (ITS) atmature@svsu.edu Jason Swackhamer, Director Web Communications jjswack1@svsu.edu @jswacky Slides available via Tweet Deck: