Multiple Site Redesign

Challenge

An existing team site was acting as a central hub for multiple team and cross-collaboration sites, but few were using it. A single client “gatekeeper” was uploading the majority of the files, but only that person understood the system. Many site pages and libraries were not being used. Confusing metadata terms frustrated new users. The site was out of date and needed current client site templates as well as updated technical features. Plaster Group’s Enterprise Software Consultants were asked to provide expertise in developing customized metadata while improving the overall design and usability of cross-collaboration sites.

Approach

Plaster Group and the client working group planned the solution together. The primary “gatekeeper” played a key role, and additional input was solicited from other business users to ensure requirements met the needs of the entire team. After basic design decisions were made, Plaster Group worked with representatives to develop additional collaboration spaces, customized metadata, and add search functionality to unify the sites.

Solution

Plaster Group consultants developed a network of customized sites for individual teams, collaboration among teams, and a centralized search solution which ties them together. Key features include:

  • 10 unique sites within four different site collections, allowing both unique customization and shared metadata
  • A centralized search solution ensures all site information is leverageable across the organization
  • Collaboration spaces for reports, literature and geographically specific content
  • Shared site collection for three special interest teams
  • Business and Leadership sub sites and general “all-hands” notes now housed on original team site

Results

Our client’s web sites have a new user interface which is cleaner, more inviting, and encourages users from all backgrounds to contribute. In addition:

  • An unobtrusive, minimal-icon web part allows users to easily find their frequently used sections
  • Each team can create metadata specific to their needs. Attributes are easily expanded or retired with little impact to users
  • A centralized reporting and literature library, with robust metadata, assists in both usability and findability
  • The centralized search functionality within all sites was a big hit. It doesn’t matter if documents are housed in different virtual locations, people can still find them easily
  • Search return allows users to maintain position on their site and not be taken to a generic search return window

Business Intelligence Strategy and Roadmap Provide Vision and Direction

A solid Business Intelligence strategy now guides both tactical and strategic decision-making at this non-profit organization.

Challenge

Our client was experiencing significant issues with their Business Intelligence system: users weren’t getting the value they expected, and limited reporting capabilities kept user-adoption low. Further, the company’s data warehouse could not scale to meet business growth, and it was difficult to align implementation decisions with the long-term platform strategy direction and business roadmaps.

Approach

Plaster Group’s Data & Analytics Consultants worked with a joint customer team including business stakeholders and technology leaders to assess the current solution, identify and prioritize business objectives, perform gap analysis, define strategy alternatives, and chart a course for a successful BI program.

Solution

With their deep BI experience, Plaster Group consultants influenced the strategy and roadmap discussions with practical guidance, helping the customer adopt industry standards and best practices to their specific situation. Recommendations covered a wide range of functional areas, including:

  • Leadership engagement
  • Business process alignment
  • Data structures
  • Reporting platforms
  • Delivery management

In assisting with development of the strategy and roadmap, we contributed detailed plans for short-term stabilization and transition activities as well as guidance for long-term growth and expansion.

Results

The new Business Intelligence strategy and roadmap aligns the company’s BI activities with prioritized business objectives — a shared vision between business users and IT ensures that decisions address current needs while keeping a strategic perspective. With our help, the customer increased their internal BI expertise and gained a better understanding of different BI approaches and solution alternatives, leading to better architecture and implementation solutions.