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- 1. Migrating people to a new CMS Rachel Bhandari Bruce Darby Billy Wardrop University of Edinburgh
- 2. Bruce Darby Project Manager Managed development of CMS functionality and migration scheduling. Rachel Bhandari - Editorial Development Officer Advice and guidance on content strategy and editorial aspects of site management. Migration liaison and site migration. Billy Wardrop CMS Service Support Officer Technical expertise and support for CMS and related services. Technical development and support for migration.
- 3. Workshop objectives Keep people involved during a large site migration project Explore important issues when migrating sites Explore dilemmas based on our experience With an opportunity to discuss your setup/projects
- 4. Overview 1. Initial planning and overall project approach Bruce 2. Support and customer engagement Rachel 3. Technical support Billy 4. Wrap up 5. Questions
- 5. The formidable task 350 websites! 50,000 published pages!! Devolved publishing community!!!
- 6. Our project objectives Build a new bespoke Content Management System Create a new responsive design Migrate all content Train all editorial staff No impact on University business
- 7. dilemma dlm,d-/ noun a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally undesirable. a difficult situation or problem. an argument forcing an opponent to choose either of two unfavourable alternatives.
- 8. Dilemma When migrating a large site with heavy traffic should you start the migration at the top with the main homepage or from the bottom up?
- 9. Considerations Should a migration be 100% automatic? Bring the site down or keep it live? Migrate content in one huge block or in phases? Who will transfer the content? Who makes the final decisions?
- 10. Dilemma When migrating a large site with heavy traffic should you start the migration at the top with the main homepage or from the bottom up? Form groups Discuss 10 mins Write down decision and reason Spokesperson to relate decision to group 1.5 mins per group
- 11. Dilemma Do you migrate content or people - how do you get people to do what you need them to do, while keeping them onside?
- 12. Considerations Give site owners too much control over their migration and you risk not meeting project deadlines, give them not enough and they may not see it as their problem. How do you get site owners to agree to the schedule? How much preparation is it appropriate to ask site owners to do? Is the content owner always right? When is the best time to train users?
- 13. Dilemma Do you migrate content or people - how do you get people to do what you need them to do, while keeping them onside? Form groups Discuss 10 mins Write down decision and reason Spokesperson to relate decision to group 1.5 mins per group
- 14. Dilemma When replacing a website of this scale, do you finish developing the CMS functionality first before you migrate sites in?
- 15. Considerations Is focusing on one project at a time the best approach? Will the features for the new CMS be ready for the migrated content? Can the new CMS cope with the volume of migrated content? Can you deploy new code and content without upsetting users? Can you deliver web pages from both systems for long periods of time?
- 16. Dilemma When replacing a website of this scale, do you finish developing the CMS functionality first before you migrate sites in? Form groups Discuss 10 mins Write down decision and reason Spokesperson to relate decision to group 1.5 mins per group
- 17. Dilemma 1 - Our decision We chose a bottom up approach 3 reasons: 1. Fitted a phased approach better. 2. Low impact. AND no political anguish over the homepage! 3. Reduce project length by migrating early. Site content needed to match functionality.
- 18. Phased approach Fully engaged publishing community Not 100% automatic Must be some room for content editing, deleting, improving Allowed a much more customer focused service As good a customer service experience as possible With the limited resource we had
- 19. Community engagement Who carried out the migration? What we handled: Technical migration Migration liaison Editorial tidy up immediately post migration Web publishing community Pre migration tidy up Content editing Image gathering Final sign off
- 20. Who made the final decisions? The project team! But.. With a lot of collaboration and community engagement
- 21. Community engagement Web publishers involved with Migration timing Avoiding business critical times Huge project overhead
- 22. Low impact By starting at the bottom of the site Some sites at the bottom had a lower profile Gave us the opportunity to work with very patient, enthusiastic and engaged early adopters Lead publishers had autonomy and power to make decisions Learnt from and adjusted process
- 23. Reduce project length Migration took 18 months Keep the publishing community engaged Functionality of migrating sites had to match that of our developing CMS Therefore we had to start at the bottom as top sites had content that wasnt yet available Video Forms Proxy content Caused project complexity Running 2 systems at the same time
- 24. Final thoughts Clearer roles where projects overlapped Development Migration Consider moving from bottom up to top down when critical mass reached
- 25. Dilemma 2 - Our decision How do you get site owners to agree to the schedule? early opportunities to engage owners had opportunity to query/reject their timeslot
- 26. Named migration liaison contact Made them feel heard Easy to get in touch Consistent support throughout the process
- 27. Dilemma 2 - Our decision How much preparation is it appropriate to ask site owners to do? Migration offered opportunity to review sites/de-clutter Poorly structured sites had impact on migration process Learnt from early experiences with MVP group and created: migration handbook wiki individual wiki pages for site owners migration liaison contact Be flexible. What was essential and what could we live with?
- 28. Dilemma 2 - Our decision Is the content owner always right? Sometimes focus of preparation wrong Get to the bottom of what is causing issue. Lack of knowledge can cause lack of engagement
- 29. Dilemma 2 - Our decision When is the best time to train users? Training allied to migration timeslot Training close to getting new sites back Support available afterwards Demonstration site
- 30. Final thoughts Migration liaison worked well when it worked well but if problems, challenging to manage alongside existing work. Trained more people than we needed to. Could have done more to recommend numbers of editors required based on size of site.
- 31. Dilemma 3 - Our decision When replacing a website of this scale, do you finish developing the CMS functionality before you migrate sites in? We chose to start the migration while continuing to develop our CMS.
- 32. Dilemma 3 Focus Is focusing on more than one project at a time the best approach? In this case, we believe it was the right decision: We co-located in the same offices which allowed any issues to be quickly resolved Some members of the team involved in both projects With knowledge of both the new and old CMS in the team, we were able to quickly develop the migration process Knowledge gained through migration and development was fed back into both projects
- 33. Dilemma 3 Features Will the features for the new CMS be ready for the migrated content? During the migration planning phase, sites were identified as potential migration candidates based on: Feature release dates in the CMS roadmap Features needed by migrated sites to allow to function ie did they use forms? RSS Feeds Lead Publishers agreeing to that time slot
- 34. Dilemma 3 Performance Can the new CMS cope with the volume of migrated content? A direct benefit of running the projects simultaneously is that you can test your new system on the fly: We identified the largest sites and tried to migrate them as early as possible to test the new system Performance issues were identified and fixed Putting a high volume of content into the CMS, tested the usability of the interface and helped refine the design to make it easier for users, ie extra content tagging Weekly syncing with live environment kept content issues to a minimum
- 35. Dilemma 3 Users Can you deploy new code and content without upsetting users? There is a high risk of deployment congestion if you continually release new features and migrate new content We developed a deployment strategy 3 weeks migration, 1 week feature release Migration testing completed the week before and always synced with the live environment After MVP, introduced migration windows We communicated to our users every week with scheduled down time to allow them to plan work We disconnected the front and back end so that the front facing site was always live
- 36. Dilemma 3 Delivery Can you deliver web pages from both systems for long periods of time? To run both projects at the same time, there was a need to deliver browser content from both old and new systems Introduced software which analysed the URL presented in the browser and redirected the user to that system Integrated this into the end of the migration process before site go live We tested each site switch on in a STAGING environment before go live We had a fixed time each week that the switch over happened Downtime for the switch over
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