The Secret to Sitecore Delivery Excellence: Part 1

Dave Brown, Co-Managing Director, Los Angeles

June 8, 2017

What's it take to master Sitecore delivery excellence? Resources, money, time, and grit. The four parts of the magic quadrant, right?

Start by knowing why. Why are you embarking on this journey? What's your return look like, and is it short or long-term? Does the platform meet your needs, or perhaps does it exceed your needs for present and future states? If you've been Googling around, you'll notice there's an entire world built around this product. User groups, blogs, conferences, white papers, and more. People love it for the power it provides and for the flexibility it allows. But, those come with a cost (silly rabbit...)

So, consider some of these critical points as you make the investment (beyond just the dollars):

  • Have you investigated the platform well enough? Did you demo from Sitecore as well as your partner option(s)? Do you truly understand what and who this is going to take to make it thrive? Does it align with your operational and procedural culture/norms?
  • What's your digital roadmap look like for the next 3-5 years? Anything beyond that will probably fade away with the next round of innovation from VR to wearable technology to teleporting (okay, but flying cars will be here soon, right Doc Brown?) Let's make sure you're laying the right foundation to be supported from the minute this goes live and for some years to come.
  • Do you have the right in-house staff to help before, during and after? Once the machine starts, it will not run itself. From content prep to maintenance to monitoring...don't just buy it; invest for good. You're looking at a Cadillac here (with white walls like Macklemore says), not your dad's Toyota. Upkeep is costly, but worth it. Don't be afraid to augment the effort, which is why Verndale has one heck of a Managed Services program.
  • Do you have a clear plan on who and what in your business will be impacted by this new implementation? Make sure you sell this up the chain first...because forcing or retrofitting later will be more frustrating and more expensive. And make as many changes as possible first. Or let us help! We’re the pros, but if your strategy is to tackle multiple ongoing large-scale tracks at-once, well, increase your budget + internal headcount because the summit just got a lot higher.
  • Have you investigated the total cost for this effort? Software, hardware, agency, staff...the list can add up quickly, so consider it all. That’s not a deterrent, just a reality check.
  • Did you vet your Sitecore partner well enough to make sure they've worked with other companies (or competitors)? Multiple languages? Many sites and brands? Global regions? Different operating budgets and chains of command? You know your company best; just make sure your partner on this 8-12+ month journey has the right approach and resources to tackle those challenges (and, so you don't have to).

These are just some of the questions to consider. And I'm not accounting for the other things you'll need to sell up the chain. Any large project requires determination, but a belief in the vision for what's possible and where you can create efficiencies for focus your efforts and talented staff, generates the best results.

Socialize often.
Don't oversell.
Be confident.
Move quickly (but don't rush.)

And have a wingman (or woman). We call them project champions, and even if they're involved once-a-week, s/he makes a huge difference in the success of the engagement to you, your organization and your agency partner. And a good relationship with your partner, can make that mountain more like a mole hill. Stay tuned for Part 2!

Update: Here is Part 2!