In April 2010, I hired on to Ball State University to solve a complex problem. How do we make the Sitecore CMS really work for our institution? On the surface the question seemed simple, but as you dive deeper down you run into all the rabbit holes one could fall in: technical needs, content needs, governance needs, and business needs. There’s a running joke in my office that I told my boss I’d have the project done in December. I just didn’t tell him which December.
I’ll have Sitecore working for you by December…2012.
Two years later we’ve finally reached mission accomplished. It was an incredible feeling. I spent 14 hours in the office on launch day. I came in when light was barely visible on the horizon, and I left late at night when I was being pelted by tiny, sharp shards of ice slapping me in the face. Two and a half years of effort with my counterpart, Ryan, we got the job done. I also can’t thank the team I worked with enough. It was a massive undertaking that we should all be proud of.
I’ve said before, launching a website is only the beginning. It’s not the end. Ball State’s in a better position now that the CMS is much more stable and scalable to the needs of the university. We will be able to take advantage of its capabilities as an enterprise CMS, and the next step is to really move forward with how we use it.
Looking ahead in 2013, we can focus less on the technical and tactical details and get creative. We can really work on content strategy and put it to good use. It’s been a journey, and it’s the largest project I’ve ever spearheaded to date. The success of the project can already be felt. There’s a new energy surrounding the content of the site, and it’s already contagious.
As for me?
Much like our team, getting out from under the giant technology rock will be an adventure in of itself. I’m going to be spending more time focusing on marketing and web analytics, content strategy, and so on. I have been a developer for so long, but I yearn for the opportunities to test my chops as a marketer. You’ll get more of a dose of my new adventure moving forward, and maybe we’ll be learning something new together.
Sure. From time to time you’ll still see code and web help, but I look at that like a sprinkling of spices to make a well-rounded meal.
What are you most looking forward to in 2013?