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.

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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)
  • Eight Tips to a Successful Website Implementation

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