Tuesday, 4 December 2007

An Interesting Article - "Key Challenges in Portal Adoption"

Found this whilst browsing TheServerSide last night. It's an article by Nikil Sharma from Infosys, and covers some of the common pains, challenges and lessons from customers looking to deploy portal solutions.

He ends by summarising as follows: -

1. Identify all the stakeholders; seek buy-ins and involvements of all relevant units and parties right from the beginning of the initiative. Rope in enterprise architects and not just Portal or technical architects to ensure alignment of Portal adoption with future Roadmaps.
2. Educate all stakeholders on the portal space and capabilities of the portal, so that they can actively and effectively contribute.
3. Establish and circulate a formal Governance model which will cover the Portal adoption in all phases ranging from conception, design, implementation, and rollout to collaboration. Processes and policies should clearly identify the ownerships, accountabilities (RACI) on various segments of the portal.
4. Technology selection should be done carefully after evaluating all possible options and bearing in mind the attributes of costs (development and run-time), future support, compliance to standards, ease in customization, out-of-the-box support for requirements, ease of integration with other products etc.
5. Initiate early UI prototyping to bring clarity in requirements and paint a realistic picture of the proposed solution. UI prototyping will also help in identifying the various screen elements and components that would be required and will also assist in arriving at a reasonable effort estimate.
6. Lastly, the big-bang approach is particularly dangerous for an ambitious initiative like a Portal and hence should be planned out intelligently. Best is to go for a phased approach.

I'd recommend taking a read - the article can be found here.

There's also an interesting discussion thread here.

with some real-world experience coming through. I especially liked this one: -

These slick salesmen sold us their portal stack and we were gullible enough to buy in to the hype.

When the salesmen did their demo, they showed us awesome stuff that portlets could do. Unbeknown to us, they showed us predominantly Content Management stuff that were largely static news data.


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