The last thing you want once you have committed to a Sitecore implementation is to start noticing issues midway through. Be sure to watch for these three warning signs.
Finding just the right balance between an agile-inspired project that involves constant, deliberate reincarnation and a miscommunicated one that suffers from a lack of vision is a more difficult task than you might think. Undertaking a large Sitecore project is both a lengthy and costly endeavor that no one on the team wants to be the one responsible for slowing down.
Having been a part of hundreds of Sitecore implementations, enhancements and, yes, rescue missions (likely as a result of one, if not all of these three considerations) we've got an insider track on which components of your project to keep a close eye on.
1. Your business stakeholders/content authors aren't trained
Making informed decisions during a project requires some knowledge of the product. You don't need to be an expert, but it's unfair to ask business stakeholders to make choices when they have not been trained or had the chance to get their hands on the product. To increase the likelihood of success, consider including early training, demonstrations and hands-on time with either the product or early prototypes.
2. Your non functional requirements are too vague
While statements like "ease of use," "fast page load" and "beautiful design" are commonly expressed as must haves for a CMS solution, it is critical that these elements are qualified into actionable tasks for the development team from the get go. Without narrowing in on the specifics for these non functional requirements, you will run into the trap of not knowing what they are looking for or when you're done.
3. Your content strategy is taking a backseat to "whiz bang"
Ultimately it's content that will deliver value to your customers and visitors. Project teams that get locked into long conversations about pixel alignment and other small functional details run the risk of losing sight of the end user. If there is some concern that the functionality or design is "not quite right," don't get caught in the spiral of guessing how users will react. If you consider the the experience to be pretty good, launch it; test it, and then decide if you need to do something to improve it. If you're not comfortable with the release, you can always organize a facilitated usability test. These approaches will give you real feedback and will be cheaper than having a CMS developer re-code the same functionality time and again.
What other warning signs do you try and steer clear of when working on a Sitecore deployment?