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CMS Implementation | LearnTech Case Study

Background and Scenario

This is an independent assignment. Each student is responsible to maintain the integrity of their own work. Sharing/Copying/Crowdsourcing will result with academic penalties.

Each student is required to upload to eCoenstoga:
1.A Word document outline their response to the instructions


In Week #10 we have been introduced to the CMS Implementation and all the different parts to it.  As we can see there is more than just installing the software and moving on.  There are many other considerations such as budget, features, phases, training, documentation and more!  In this assignment we are going to review the implementation process steps (listed below) based on a scenario.

Environment Setup
Installation, Configuration and Content Reconciliation
Content Modeling, Aggregation Modeling and Rough-in
Early Content Migration
Non-Content Integration and Development
Production Environment Planning and Setup
Training and Support Planning
Final Content Migration, QA and Launch


Each student has been assigned 4 steps from the list above to complete as part of this assignment.  Review the scenario below and then complete the assignment from the “Your Assignment” section.


“Training Consultants”
LearnTech is a global training team specializing in the top Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software suites.  They recently expanded into SharePoint training and plan to continue growing.  The company is primarily made up of Technical Trainers, Implementation Specialists and Project Managers.  They have a small Human Resource department, IT department and Sales and Operations team.  They currently have 100 employees located all throughout the world who work from their homes or customer’s location.  They are based out of Toronto, Ontario.


LearnTech has more than 20 implementations that they are working on currently and want to be able to coordinate and schedule content as much as possible to avoid last-minute rushes.  This will have an impact on the implementation as they are working on projects but also need to upload content into the new system to get it ready to go-live.  You will need to help them organize for delivery of content. 


Currently they are using a popular Open-Source CMS software package that until recently started to fail with complex permission structures. They will need to share open content, private content and content behind and username and password (or unique permissions).  They are expected to work as much as possible within the new system and want an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system.  As they are going to be using a new ECM system, they have concluded that they will need to build a brand-new website.  

Training Consultants


Although budget is not necessary a high priority, they do not want to cost to become excessive.  They value the importance of training, support and documentation as they provide this with their core services to clients and want a high level of comfort in the new system.  


They will be counting on consultants to setup the environment on a cloud-computing resources.  Consultants will also be required to install and configure the environment but must be able to work with the IT Department to take over configuration long-term.  LearnTech has dedicate a Project Manager, two Technical Trainers and an Implementation Specialist from their team to help with Content Migration and setting up Templates.  These team members are their most experienced members and are familiar with all processes of LearnTech.  A Marketing team member and IT resource has been dedicated to help with any non-CMS content to build the new site.  The Marketing team is looking forward to building a better lead-capturing process on the About Us page.  All team members dedicated to this project will work under the Project Manager to ensure all planning is coordinated correctly and staff complete their parts of the project.


Based on your assigned steps, please include responses to each section below.

Your Assignment:

1 MS Word document that includes/combines all of the following: 

1.Cover Page
2.Declaration Statement: Your name is your signature. Paraphrased or inserted as an image
3.Abstract: Word Count = 75 (minimum) -150 (maximum) words, presented as a one paragraph, single spaced. The Abstract summarizes the effort. Abstracts does not add any new information not discussed in the document. Write this last. 
4.Table of Contents: Live-Linked and steps 1,2,3 should NOT be listed in ToC
5.Submission Introduction
6.ECM Selection: Perform a small review of ECM systems available.  Which would you recommend and why?  Support your answer with details from the scenario and what the ECM can do.  This should be at least two paragraphs with the first your selection and the second outlining features that would support LearnTech’s requirements
7.Implementation Type: Which type of Implementation will this be and why (CMS only, Reskin or Complete rebuild).  Support your response with details from the scenario.
8.Assigned Steps: Based on the assigned steps that you were given write out of the process(es) that the CMS Implementation team would have perform to complete each step.  This should also include which items should be migrated into the CMS (where applicable).  Try to think abstractly to take in things outside of the implementation such as planning for holidays, replacing people who leave the company, delays with resources if they are working on projects and more.  Each step should be at least 2 paragraphs explaining your steps.
9.Conclusion: Summary and defense of your work

Your Assignment

This assignment will evaluate your ability to:
Define roles and responsibilities of the Content Management Team
Establish workflows to communicate between roles for increased productivity



Agenda for this class
The CMS Implementation
Types of Implementations
The Pre-implementation
The Implementation Process


Going back to the earlier classes where we discussed selecting the correct CMS.  It is encourage to do your research on each system instead of listening to a sales team try to wow you.  This could leave you with an inferior product for your business needs

The same effort is required for an implementation.  There are many cases of great software spoiled by a poor implementation

There is an old adage mentioned in our eText, take whatever time you think you will need to complete the implementation and double it.  Often it happens

Principal Construction vs Everything Else
When we think of the design and functionality, we tend to think in a linear way that each piece will take a specific amount of time and once that is complete, the software will be ready to go.  However there will be other considerations such as:
Environment setup such as a development and test environments


Testing and QA of functionality
Content Migration of taking existing content and uploading it
End User Training 
Production environment infrastructure planning
Documentation and much more!

Types of Implementations (Cont.)


As a generalization, CMS implementation types are one of the following:

CMS only (or Forklift) – in this case, the idea is that your existing website does not change.  The CMS will make it look near-identical to the existing website but the CMS engine behind the website will be changed (think of it as swapping engines in a car)

Types of Implementations (Cont. 2)
CMS plus reskin or reorganization – similar to the CMS-only method, this takes a look at the existing website and makes some changes to the design since the organization is already going through the trouble of changing CMS’s


Complete rebuild – In this case, the entire website is completely redesigned.  The CMS may only be part of the implementation, other features may also be changing at the same time.  The website will have new content, new information architecture and likely new functionality

You may think the first type (CMS-only) would be the easiest type of implantation and in some cases you can just swap in and out a CMS when there is very little existing content.  However if the new CMS doesn’t perform all of the actions of the existing CMS and add functionality you need, it may require you to either develop the existing functionality or find workarounds
In other cases the complete rebuild is the easiest as you do not have to work with the existing structure of the website.  The new website will have the freedom to build its own structure
Think about it this way, it is much easier to build a house from scratch than remodel an existing house (tearing down walls, moving electoral, changing structure, etc.)

Agenda for this Class

Technical Planning
In many cases once you have completed your pre-implantation requirements planning documentation you will need to create a technical plan

A technical plan will explicitly explain how each page and section should work and interact with other sections of the website.  It should also include design elements such as wireframes that give a visual representation of a page to discuss layout
Wireframes can solicit design conversations with the client as well as structure conversations with the information architect to help plan where each element will be stored


Organization and Team
There are a lot of factors that impact the implementation.  The main one for the organization is the budget for the implementation.  The budget will impact the following:
Implementation team size (project manager, information architect, UX designer, front-end developer, back-end developer, etc.)
Training for end users (some organizations will opt out to try and save money only to pay for this in the long run)
Major features included (in some cases lack of budget means requirements are dropped)
How much structural change can be made (if there is a low budget, there won’t be enough to overhaul the website)

Organization and Team (Cont.)
There are a lot more factors such as time, how many phases, is this a temporary system, etc.  All impacted by budget and scope of an implementation

Developers may try to general pages and structures along the way to save time, this has some benefits but leaves out flexibility within the site. Keep an eye out for homogenized approaches that do not end up working for the end user

The Implementation Process (2)
For a CMS implementation (and many other systems) the process of implementing is typically the following (to be explained over the next slides):
Environment Setup
Installation, Configuration and Content Reconciliation
Content Modeling, Aggregation Modeling and Rough-in
Early Content Migration
Non-Content Integration and Development
Production Environment Planning and Setup

Installation, Configuration and Content Reconciliation
Now that you have at the very least a test environment, the software will need to be installed.  In most cases, the software has an executable that will allow it to be installed in a matter of clicks or execution of a command line

Once the software is installed a base configuration is required to setup the software.  The implementation team will run through the base configuration ensure the setup matches the clients requirements

Reconciliation is an action that is coordinating between developers working on the project to ensure their code changes don’t interfere with other code changes

Now that the environment is setup, the CMS software is installed and the content models are created along with roughed-in content, it’s time to begin templating

Templates have two forms
The surround – the outer shell of each page
The object or content you are presentingTemplating

Note that output of the object template is injected (or placed within) the surround template

Production Environment Planning and Setup
Now that all the previous steps have been completed and it is time start planning the Production environment.  Likely by now, some plans are already underway such as; who is going to host it, type of processing power is required, hard disk space, etc.
We can consider which hosting model will be required; on-premise, third-party or third-party (managed)
Plans need to made to ensure proper fault protection, disaster recovery, performance requirements and security and access
A good plan for a live server leaves both the customer and the implementation team on the same page for today and the future


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