Enterprise Portal Planning Process

January 20, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Posted in portals | Leave a comment

I recently had a request for my enterprise portal planning process, which I haven’t published in this blog before, so I’m including it here.

An enterprise portal is a form of website that marries a set of back-end integration and front-end delivery capabilities that provide information in context, personalized to a user’s role and needs. An enterprise portal (rather than just a single instance of a portal website) is meant as a set of infrastructure that will be leveraged by many portal websites that will subsequently created using the infrastructure (like cutting off cookies from a roll of refrigerated cookie dough!). 

Planning for an enterprise portal should include these steps:

  1. Determining organizational structure and sponsorship: initiating the portal Statement of Governance by identifying and obtaining buy-in from key sponsors, owners, and stakeholders in the enterprise portal
  2. Building the business case: examination of the drivers (e.g., improved productivity, reduced costs, employee retention) and how to satisfy them (i.e., phased release) as well as estimated costs and risks
  3. Inventorying desired features: definition and prioritization of all desired features
  4. Conducting an infrastructure impact assessment: investigation of current systems (e.g., ID management, directory, collaboration, content management, search, line of business applications) and how the portal will integrate with, synchronize with, or replace them
  5. Selecting products: analysis and review of products on the short list
  6. Implementation and rollout:completing the Statement of Governance, marketing internally to ensure adoption, establishing baselines and ongoing metrics, managing implementation of the portal system

There are lots of different ways of breaking up these tasks and new ones that may be required in certain situations so just consider this a starting point.  Also, there is lots of detail for each step, but this is a quickie summary of what I usually compare portal plans to in order to see if they are missing any important steps.

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