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How The Process of Building a Web Site Made Me a Better IT Editor

by Dave Hannon

October 16, 2013

I’ve been writing about technology projects for a long time. I started in publishing editing some of the first-ever books on programming HTML for the web. I detailed the business case and technical challenges of some of the first digital radiography implementations in the world. And for the better part of *clears throat* years now I’ve been writing case studies about software and ERP implementation projects.

But I’d never lived through a major technology implementation project – until now.

The process to build the web site you’re on right now was extensive, thorough, and yet strangely familiar. We convened a project team, gathered business requirements and built a very detailed functional specification. We collaborated in a design stage, move to a data migration stage, and later a testing phase leading up to our go-live. Our project team had long hours as the deadline grew closer and there was a rush of jubilation when the site went live on October 1.

And all along the way I had this odd sense of déjà vu. As if I had done this before. Of course, I hadn’t but I was basically experiencing what you all have told me was your experience, many times. I was living what I had written about over and over again – the value of communication between business and IT, the importance of executive support, the curve balls of project team turnover and last-minute technical snafus. In fact, I’m about to saunter off to a post-mortem –  sorry, a “lessons learned” – meeting right now. Doug Whittle would be so proud!

It was the exact “stuff” I’ve been writing about for years, describing your stories and experiences. In fact, along the way when I needed to give myself a pep talk or get my attitude back on track, I referred back to a blog post I wrote before I was “experienced” entitled: Five Things Your ERP Project Team Can Learn from the Boston Bruins.

All of this is leading me to my point –  it’s one thing to interview people about a topic and accurately describe what they’ve told you they experienced. It’s another to have gone through it. While our project was not a global ERP rollout by any stretch of the imagination, it was a large undertaking for a project team our size. And I am confident that having gone through the highs, lows, and more highs of a project like this will make me a better editor for SAPinsider and more helpful to you, our audience.  

So enjoy the fruits of our labor. There’s a mountain of content here we hope you’ll find both easily accessible and directly beneficial to your job. The archives are packed full of articles from SAPinsider and insiderPROFILES magazines, as well as the blogs, podcasts, and Q&As. On top of that all, we’re creating new content like the Path and the Tightrope podcast series, Trending Topics pages to keep you up to speed on the latest trends like SAP HANA and mobility, and the SAPinsider Guides, our collection of expert mavens in various areas of SAP.

Lastly, if you’re interested in learning true best practices for your SAP projects, there are others to consult. I would recommend the upcoming Managing Your SAP Projects 2013 conference next month in Orlando. I’ll be there again this year and I have a strange feeling the presentations are going to ring a little truer this year than in years past. 

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