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Creating a Portal Roadmap, A Series

With all the excitement about the upcoming release of SharePoint 2013, it can be easy to lose track of the big picture. I mean, what geek doesn’t love to focus on new features, the fixing of particular aggravating bugs, and other fun stuff.  Our reality with the client suggests that they really don’t care about cool technology unless it actually solves a business problem or set of business challenges.  Over the years I’ve gone from, “We should take a holistic approach and think about both the technology and business side of things” to a more structured approach that includes a roadmap.
With that in mind, I’m going to post on a short series of how to do a Portal Roadmap that gets you from current state to nirvana……..or at least a happy place where you achieved your goals without too much pain and agony.  But first, Let me justify why anyone should think of a portal roadmap.  In doing so, let me point out how many projects fail.

  • Too much focus on a specific tool
  • Failure to meet the business need
  • Failure to prioritize what’s most important and deliver on that
  • Lack of communication between the various people involved in a project
  • Lack of a shared vision on what the project wants to accomplish
  • Completely missed functionality because no one completed a gap analysis.  I see this a lot where they assume out of the box search will work or they figured a couple custom built forms without workflow will fit the bill.
  • Technology issues like stability or scalability (Notice how I put the technical example dead last and how there’s only one technical example?)

We all know that just launching a new site whether it be an employee portal, a customer portal, a b2b portal, or something even more specialized doesn’t constitute success.  I’ve seen the business rail on recently launched sites with good reason.  They had a specific vision. OK, the business folks figured they would know it when they saw it.  Yet IT failed them.  The site was slow. It completely left out the most important feature. It doesn’t work for the people across the world.
Frankly, the failure above justify the time and effort to think through a portal roadmap.  So here’s what I want to do. I want to layout the following components.

  1. Setting a vision and educating your constituents on the art of the possible
  2. Getting an idea of what’s needed and prioritzing it
  3. Figuring out the technical complexities of a portal project
  4. How to take all the pieces and devise a phased approach for your site or sites

More to come…………….

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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