Posted by: cnielsen on Jun 16, 2011
Mistake Number One: The Client thinking that they do not need to be involved in the process.
Joomla! CMS for simple sites with prepared content and well defined design specs on a site that does not change could be handed off to a team to “just build this” but sites with any type of dynamic and changing content requires a very hands on approach from the client to be effective.
Since the shift from static web sites through the introduction of the dynamic website revolution there has been a battle between where and when a client should be actively involved in the process of developing their site and where they can or should hand off aspects of the development. This is highly contrasted by the size of the budget and diversity of the stakeholders. The client almost always has superior subject matter expertise on their content while the Joomla! CMS support team has theirs in the framework, project execution and technology. We have found that every project is unique in these areas and there is not a one size fits all that works for any project.
The key to determining the success factors for any given Joomla! CMS project is to assess the skill levels, personalities and technical experience of the individuals involved. Then making sure you have the right blend of associated resources and appropriate delegation plan as part of your overall project management process. As a service provider clients come to us www.cnpintegrations.com to help them solve problems through the use of the Joomla! CMS technology platform. Our approach is to assess the gaps and then offer our expertise and talent resources in the areas that will bolster our clients core competencies.
To do this effectively we make sure that our clients are willing to engage in the entire process and that they prepare themselves to continue on a forward thinking learning path. Dynamic technology is a moving target and there will always be growing expectations from the end users of your web portal. If you want to achieve the highest level of success you will have to keep up with trends and be tuned in to the interactions of your users. In the end everybody wins when the client is well informed about how the Joomla! CMS platform can be used most effectively towards achieving their intended business or communication goals.
On larger projects we typically see a client project lead interacting with committees and stakeholders and then coming back to you with a laundry list often from a perspective of non-technical thinking and more of “I want it to do this…” While often these ideas can be "nice to haves" they may be impractical to implement as they intend or require changes to their business processes or general way of thinking through the problem. The larger the organization, the more challenging is the change management so you can get caught in the dilemma between cost on the technology side or the organizational change and which will be the best long term or practical solution. Our approach at CNP Integrations is to translate the vision and concepts of the driving business goals and communicate this to the programmers, designers and developers involved. We help clients achieve the requirements within the most cost effective process and yielding the best long term value for their investment.
On smaller projects there is usually a principle in the company or organization that is driving the tasking and they often too are less technical and more of a business manager or visionary. Business owners that take a “hands on” approach often think they can save money by doing things themselves and in some cases this is true but more often than not having a dedicated Joomla pro do the work can save them more. We have seen clients with strong web development skills break stuff that causes many hours of technical support to repair. On the flip side, if the client understands how long it takes to do something through hands on experience with managing content they will have a higher respect for the venders time and input as well as be able to articulate what they want from the vender more effectively.
Of course clients end up at the doorstep of a Joomla! CMS support team like ours www.joomladesignservices.com because they need technical guidance and professional support. While this varies in scope the common denominator is that as a client you must be willing to be an active participant in the process while remaining realistic about where you can contribute the most to the initiative’s success and where you should employ the help and resources of others. You will not always have to do the work but you should understand how it is done and what information is required to effectively execute the project or empower your team. Once everyone involved can “speak a common language” about Joomla! CMS related activities you can communicate more effectively with and between your entire team and stakeholder’s. It often takes time to evolve the right process and climate for effective collaboration and knowledge sharing but when this is achieved you are likely on a road to success.