So far, in our look at website implementation strategies, we’ve talked about having the CMS vendor do most of the work and lead the project, outsourcing the project to a third-party integrator and doing the work yourself. The last approach we want to talk about is co-developing the website with your CMS vendor or a third-party integrator/design agency.
There are many benefits to this approach but also a few key things you’ll need to prepare for.
When you Co-Develop Your New Website
When you choose to co-develop your website refresh and/or new web CMS implementation, there are two primary approaches to take.
The brand (you) manage the entire project from start to finish
You co-manage the project with the CMS vendor or third-party integrator/design agency
In either approach, a co-development strategy means that your people – business analysts, developers, website managers, etc., work together with the vendor or integrator from the project start to finish.
Benefits of Co-Development
Plenty of benefits to co-development with an experienced development partner. If you partner with the professional services team of the CMS vendor, then you know that you will have experienced developers and architects who know the CMS inside and out and will work to ensure you get the best implementation for your content management system.
If you choose to manage the project yourself, you will bring in developers experienced in working with the CMS into your team. They should work alongside your developers to help them learn how to work with the CMS from the start. Your internal development team should also get training from the CMS vendor’s professional services team.
You can also have a business analyst or solutions architect from the vendor or a third-party integrator work closely with your internal analyst and solutions architect, guiding to ensure the decisions and approach taken work best for the company while also taking advantage of what the CMS offers.
What to Watch For
You want to take advantage of the experience your third-party integrator, or CMS professional services has, but you also want to be sure that you don’t give them all the decision-making authority without being able to ask questions and understand if the approach taken is the best approach for you.
Working with a third-party integrator or CMS professional services team also requires careful planning of time and work deliverables. Make sure to outline the project timeline upfront, as well as your expectations of the external team members.
Finally, keep your internal team members in the loop and understanding what’s going on and why design and development are happening the way it is. These are the people who will manage the CMS and website when the project is over, so they need to be involved from the beginning.
Ready to Move Forward?
In this website implementation series, we’ve looked at four approaches to implementing a new web CMS or redesigning your existing website using the same CMS: Vendor implements, DIY, use a third-party integrator or co-develop. Keep in mind there is no right or wrong way to move forward; the approach you select depends on time, budget, internal skills, and other factors we’ve mentioned in each post in the series.
At Ingeniux, we support all four approaches, and you can learn more about how we work with you by reading the Implementation Guide for Ingeniux CMS.