Web Proposal - 2.22.12 (Word)

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February

2012

Proposal for


Communications Working Group

Web Infrastructure

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Communications Working Group


Web Proposal


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Contents

I.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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3

II.

INTRODUCTION

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4

III.

I
SSUES

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4

IV.

OBJECTIVES

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5

V.

PROPOSED SOLUTION

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5

VI.

ASSUMPTIONS

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6

VII.

SCOPE AND SCHEDULE

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6

VIII.

RESOURCE
S

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8

IX.

BUDGET

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9

X.

RISKS

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9

XI.

EVALUATION

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10

XII.

NEXT STEPS

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10

XIII.

APPENDIX

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Communications Working Group


Web Proposal


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I.

Executive S
ummary


Background

The Web Infrastructure sub
-
team of the VCAF Communications Working Group
was charged with looking at potential web solutions to address the needs of
VCAF websites. This proposal identifies current VCAF web
-
related
issues, defines
project objectives, and presents possible options.

Objectives

1.

Promote more cohesive brand management and user experience.

2.

Improve resource efficiency.

3.

Enable timely content management and maintenance.

4.

Coordinate and optimize infrastructure

support resources.


Proposed Solution

We recommend dedicating existing campus resources to do the discovery work
necessary to implement a base web solution for all VCAF departments. The work
will be done in four phases
.

Schedule


Description of Work

Dates

Phase One

Discovery phase

February



April

2012

Phase
Two

Implement

a

base
web solution

for
VCAF websites.

April



August

2012

Phase
Three

Pilot project (VCAF and others TBD)

June



December
2012

Phase
Four

Create/convert additional websites

January
2013
-

TBD

Resources and Budget

Resources and Budget are TBD.

Next Steps



Approve

resources and budget for Phase One

work
.



VCAF executive leadership reviews and makes decision on this proposal
.



VCAF and IST determine how the project will be funded
.



VCAF an
d IST commit resources
.



Begin Phase One
.

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II.

Introduction

In 2009
, Administration’s executive leadership reviewed
web
options for the
numerous websites within the control unit. While there was strong support for
developing a common system for

Administration’s

websites, leadership did not
move forward due to competing priorities.

The VCAF Communications Working Group was organized in August 2011 to
identify campus communication needs and make recommendations to the
executive leadership for implementing changes
that are scalable to the entire
campus.

The Web Infrastructure sub
-
team of the VCAF Communications Working Group
was charged with looking at potential web solutions to address the needs of
VCAF websites.

Using data and information collected from the
Comm
unications Audit

sub
-
team,
this proposal identifies current VCAF web
-
related issues
, defines project
objectives, and presents possible options. The team
believes that

this work could
be a model for the campus since there is a campuswide need for web soluti
ons
,
although that analysis is not within the scope of the current project
.

III.

Issues

VCAF’s web
-
related

issues

break down as follows:



Standard concerns with websites:

o

They can be overwhelming due to the sheer volume of information.

o

They can be intimidating i
f they are not organized and easy to
navigate.

o

They can be challenging to update and keep current.



VCAF has 41 department websites with varied scope and content:

o

18 sites with fewer than 50 pages

o

17 sites with 50

-

499 pages

o

7 sites with 500


10,000 pages




The current websites have varied front
-
end implementations both in terms
of information design and visual design.



The websites have varied back
-
end implementations including systems,
programming, and content management.



The variance is a function of the
websites being created over time, as
needed, by different teams within departments, and without uniform
guidelines.



Campus departments (within and outside of VCAF) have been on their
own to implement their web solutions, resulting in
in
consistency
, ineffic
ient
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processes, and in some cases an inability to
keep the content or the
supporting technology

current.



There is a lack of a
n

organizational structure and
funding to support
develop
ment

and maint
enance of

websites

or, in
some

cases, for a
communications f
unction at all
. For many departments, websites were
created as a “bolt
-
on” or afterthought, without dedicating the proper
resources. This lack of maturity in our VCAF web
development and
support
infrastructure creates ongoing issues every time a department

without the knowledge and resources has a new web need (either
updating an existing site or creating a new one.)



It is important to note that many, if not all, of these problems affect other
control units.

IV.

Objectives

1.

Promote more cohesive brand managemen
t and user experience.


2.

Improve resource efficiency.


Implement a base
web solution
that can be adapted to all VCAF
websites.

3.

Enable timely content management and maintenance.



Allow
departments
to manage their own website content

(training on
using a new

system will be needed)
.


4.

Coordinate and optimize infrastructure support resources.


Develop

a complementary set of
resources
comprised of both
departmental and campus resources to allow

web development, content
management, and technical support
functions
to be managed efficiently
and effectively in
-
house.


V.

Proposed Solution


We recommend dedicating
existing
campus resources to do the discovery work
necessary to implement a
base web solution

for all VCAF departments. The work
will
be done in four ph
ases, wh
ich
are

outlined later in this proposal.


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VI.

Assumptions

The following assumptions will impact the success of this project:



The VCAF executive leadership will sponsor and support the project and
commit to providing team resources as necessary.



IST will provid
e the technical resources to develop the
base web solution

and provide a path for ongoing support and maintenance.



VCAF and IST will agree on how the project will be funded.



A

VCAF lead will provide

overall project management, including
planning, strategy,

and coordination.



The VCAF lead will identify a lead content editor

(who may also assist with
overall project management)

and work with departments to designate
department
al project managers/
content editors.



Departmental project managers/
content editors w
ill
manage the
conversion of their own websites to the content management

system
,
including resourcing, timing, coordination, overseeing content review,
editing, creating, and uploading
content.



The lead content editor
will be trained on usin
g the content
management
system and in turn be available to train departmental editors.



Branding decisions will be approved by VCAF. There is a separate
Branding sub
-
team who will be making branding recommendations.



There will be a defined VCAF organizational structure
that will be the
backbone for a decision
-
making structure.


VII.

Scope
and Schedule

The
proposed
project

will be divided into
four

phases:



Description of Work

Dates

Phase One

Discovery phase

February



April

2012

Phase
Two

Implement

a

base
web solution

for
VCAF websites.

April



August

2012

Phase
Three

Pilot project (VCAF and others TBD)

June



December
2012

Phase
Four

Create/convert additional websites

January 2013
-

TBD



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Phase One:

Discovery Phase

(Tech Team

and Subject Matter Experts
)

D
ate
s
:

February

2012


April

2012


Phase One d
iscovery work will include:



Project planning and strategy



Resourcing (technical and functional)



Internal review:

o

Analyze 41+ existing websites

o

Meet
with departmental communication

managers and web leads

o

Review existing brandi
ng and identity resources and consider
possible design options



External review:

o

Identify best practices from other institutions



Technical implementation


planning and R&D, including:

o

Authentication and security

o

Domain access solutions

o

Content migration so
lutions (
for
existing CMS sites)

o

Mobile considerations

o

Calendar integration

o

Search functionality

o

Feeds functionality

o

Other TBD



Discovery Report


Phase
Two
:

Implement

the
recommended solution

(Tech Team)

D
ate
s
:

April

2012


August

2012


Phase Two will impl
ement the recommended solution (based on the discovery
report from Phase One).


It is expected that this phase will overlap the pilot project, as preliminary work by
departments

can begin before the base technical solution has been fully
implemented.


Phas
e
Three
:

Pilot project (VCAF and others TBD)

D
ate
s
:

June

2012


December 2012


Phase Three will be a pilot project (or projects) depending on availability,
readiness, and commitment of key department stakeholders.

Phase
Four
:

Create/convert additional webs
ites

D
ate
s
:

January 2013
-

TBD


The ability to create new websites will be dependent on IST system readiness and
the commitment of VCAF departments to learning how to use the system to
upload and organize their content.
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VIII.

Resources

The key
personnel respons
ible for completion of the projec
t will be as follows:



Project Sponsors:
VCAF Executive Leadership Team


Technical Team (IST)



Technical
Project Manager/
Principal Designer



Solutions Architect



Lead Developer



Development Team



The Technical Team will regular
ly touch base with the VCAF Lead and
others as designated throughout each phase of the process


Functional Team (VCAF Departments)



VCAF Lead
/Functional Owner: Responsible for overall project
management, planning, strategy, and coordination
; will also deter
mine
VCAF
Decision Making Structure




Lead Content Editor
/Functional Project Manager: May assist VCAF Lead
with overall project management; will be trained to use CMS and in turn
train other editors and be available to assist, coordinate, and answer
questi
ons




Departmental Project Managers/
Content Editor(s)
: Each department will
need to manage the conversion of their own websites to the content
management

system
, including resourcing, timing, coordination,
overseeing content review, editing, creati
ng
, and u
ploading
content


Note:
Parallel Projects

that may affect this project



VCAF Branding (Coordinate with campus community)



VCAF Messaging

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IX.

Budget



Phase One: Discovery

The Technical Team will require up to 1 FTE to do the necessary discovery work.

Additiona
l resources may be needed for branding and functional work.




X.

Risks

High
-
level project risks include the following:


Risk

Mitigation Strategy

Inadequate funding for the

project
.

Project sponsors must secure funding to get
through Phase One (
discovery
)
, P
hase Two
(implement recommended solution),

and
Phase
Three

(pilot project)
.

VCAF departments do not have time
to move their websites to
the

base

content management system
.

Project must
be
approved by VCAF executive
leadership team, who will desig
n
ate poin
t
persons for each department. VCAF lead will
be responsible for strategy, planning, and
coordination. Project schedule should be
determined by availability, readiness, and
commitment.

IST has conflicting projects or gets
behind schedule.

IST must dedicat
e appropriate resources
toward
the first three phases of this project
. If
the project gets significantly behind schedule,
the technical team will inform the VCAF lead
to discuss appropriate next steps.


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XI.

E
valuation

The project will be evaluated at the en
d of each phase. Evaluation criteria will
include:



Project milestones
.



Assessment of estimated vs. actual time and resources
.



Impact of project on other VCAF and IST work
.



Review of risks
.



Reaffirmation of project commitment for subsequent phases.

XII.

Next
Ste
ps



Determine and approve

resources and budget for Phase One work.



VCAF executive leadership reviews and makes decision on this proposal
.



VCAF and IST determine how the project will be funded
.



VCAF and IST commit resources
.



Begin Phase One
.



XIII.

Appendix


See
Audit Survey Results

(One
-
Page Handout)