What to Implement in Tridion First?

In a case of role-reversal from Functional Consultant to Product Manager, I'll soon have opportunities to prioritize development tasks.

I've told customers they might (should) prioritize based on their market/product/content strategy. For example, a client asked how to prioritize their website redesign from a Tridion perspective. After giving my feedback, the client pointed out my advice differed from my project manager. Oops.
  • My Project Manager said to prioritize by difficulty.
  • Separately, I suggested prioritizing following content strategy.
I was saved by the fact we were both correct from a CMS perspective. Combine perspectives to get some sagely advice:
Implement the harder, complex, and critical parts early. Use content strategy and business value to choose between tasks of equal complexity.
Use a top-down/outside-in approach to manage buildable sets of work for your sprints focusing on the hard, critical parts first.
  1. Global “page template” elements (global navigation, footer, etc.)
  2. Main editorial content and your main page/content types
  3. Shared functionality that are not on all pages
Without page templates, you don't have pages. Without content, you don't have content.

Your content strategy is aware of quantity as seen in a content matrix, inventory, and/or sitemaps. From a CMS perspective there's value in “templating” something used 100s of times.

Remember that business value and metrics aren’t necessarily the same. Focus on the popular parts and perhaps postpone elements that don’t help your customers. Convince business stakeholders using numbers, customer feedback, and research.

In practical terms:
  • Gather the latest site map and content inventory information—reports or the previous spreadsheets.
  • Find or get in touch with whoever owns analytics (“hey, is this page popular?”).
  • Add this to an outline of the FDD or whatever document manages your deliverables (work breakdown structure, Gantt chart, or agile board).
In the end, the advice was simple if not necessarily easy: prioritize according to your strategy. The hard part now is that I'll have to take my own advice for a change. ;-)

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