Salvaging Sitecore CMS Implementation Projects

Aaron Branson
January 23, 2012
Sitecore , Web Strategy

I’m sorry, but I have to start this off with the tired cliché of “with great power comes great responsibility”. The saying has gotten some miles… probably most think of Stan Lee, creator of Spider Man. Others attribute it to an early 1800’s British Parliament member or even earlier to the French writer, Voltaire. You can also go way, way back and see the same sentiment in St. Luke’s "from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked". Nonetheless, I can’t help that I find it is so relevant for this topic.

Roundedcube has been a Sitecore Certified Partner since 2005, within a year of the day Sitecore opened its doors in North America. As a result, we’re fortunate to have more experience than about 97% of all partners world-wide.

With the tremendous success and growth of the Sitecore product, a very common problem has been the lack of agencies with appropriate expertise to architect and implement the platform correctly. Unfortunately for many companies that have invested in the system, they have seen results less than ideal. Frequently, Roundedcube gets called in by agencies to salvage an implementation project that is in a tailspin. I chose to write about this because the only thing worse than a failed implementation is to abandon the investment entirely and start anew when the finger is pointed at the Sitecore product instead of the implementation team.

In our years as a Sitecore partner, Roundedcube has frequently been called upon to rescue failing CMS implementations and has been able to right the ship. I would have thought the number of such incidents would taper off over time, but much to my surprise we still encounter implementations that need desperate help. Through our Sitecore Audit and Evaluation services we are able to do a full inspection of the architecture and development to identify a full range of best practices and optimizations to ensure the investment is fully leveraged.

Probably the biggest 180 from failure to success we pulled was in the last few months which has really spurred me to write this and put the word out there that if your Sitecore implementation isn’t all you expected, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water! We can help. Some symptoms of a failed implementation to look for:

  • The IT team, not the Marketing team is managing the website
  • Web developers are too busy maintaining the site to think about enhancements
  • Content authoring is slow and cumbersome
  • Website performance and stability is always a concern
  • The system is not up-to-date with the latest recommended versions, patches
  • The words “can’t” and “expensive” are frequently heard when discussing ideas
  • Nobody wants to edit content and therefore doesn’t

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, there are definitely some issues with the way the product was implemented and we can get started on making it right. Sitecore is a very powerful platform, and it takes a responsible team with the experience, forethought and capability to leverage it well.

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