Project Planning

Metatorial Services can help you plan and implement an efficient and effective information management project. Any large software development/integration project has the broad phases of business justification, requirements, design, development, deployment and maintenance. The process we propose for doing a CMS project is quite a bit like this general process. Even though we use some different names, the ideas are generally the same:

Notice that the software process has a parallel content process.

  1. Business justification: This step is taken care of in our readiness assessment and mandate processes. In these two processes, you decide what the organization has accomplished so far and then build consensus around a plan of attack (see our page on business justification for more).
  2. Requirements gathering: This is a specific step in our CMS process, but it is a bit different than the standard process. we favor a short requirements-gathering phase, followed directly by what we call logical design . During logical design, you continue to gather requirements, but your real task is to go beyond simple requirements to a more comprehensive idea of what your system must accomplish.
  3. Design: In our process, this step begins with logical design, but cannot conclude until you have selected a particular CMS system. In system selection, you use the requirements and logical design you have completed to create an evaluation process for selecting a CMS product (or, possibly, concluding that you want to build your own). Before you select a system, you have to do enough requirements gathering and design to know what you want. But because the capabilities and features of the CMS product you select (whether bought or built) will affect the design of the system, you have to know what product you will be using to before you can complete and implement the design. So, between design and implementation, then, is a system selection stage that overlaps them both.
  4. Implementation: In our model, this step includes the last part of what is often categorized as design—specifications. we call specifications the physical design of the system and include it as the first part of implementation. Following physical design, CMS implementation proceeds as usual with a lot of programming. In addition to programming, however, in a CMS project, a lot of content processing might also be required. So at the same time that you begin development of the software, you will probably need to begin development of the content as well.
  5. Deployment: As with other systems, during this step you install the system in its production environment and test it there. In a CMS project, however, loading and testing the content and publications that the CMS produces is also part of deployment.
  6. Maintenance: In our model, as in other enterprise systems, a CMS project never ends—it just goes into maintenance mode. This is doubly true of a CMS, where you will be adding content continually and also want to restructure the repository and publications on a regular basis.

All of these processes are discussed in detail in Content Management Bible.

Let Metatorial Services help you design and roll out a great project process. We can help you put together just the right milestones, deliverables, staffing requirements, methodologies and tools. Let us help you merge your standard project and development processes with the ones you need to get content created and prepared for your system. Whether you are building, buying, or completely outsourcing your system, we can help.

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