Migration and Redesign: Separate or Together?

  • 19-Nov-2010

Many web teams may consider it a forgone conclusion that you should redesign your site as part of your migration to a new CMS.  But it doesn't necessarily have to be that way.  In fact, there are many disadvantages to doing a redesign and migration at the same time.

What's the case for doing both at the same time?

  • If you can't separate redesign from migration
  • Budgeting ease
  • Easier to sell internally
  • General bandage removal approach (rip off the bandage all at once so the pain passes quickly)
  • Potentially avoid doing some work twice
  • Organizationally can't manage a program lasting longer (at least in the "best case" with nothing going wrong)
  • If redesign is an extremely minor component, so separating would be forced

So, why consider separating migration from design?

  • Fundamentally, to limit what needs to happen at the same time -- reducing significant project risk
  • It always takes time to understand your requirements, and a redesign throws in more requirements that need to be understood -- separation means the various stakeholders can more easily be on the same page about what needs to happen and whether the site is working as it should
  • Probably higher quality at the end
  • Results sooner
  • Can separate out different decisions
  • Reduce chances of the entire project grinding to a halt

Ideally you could find a practical middle ground, such as minor (but high impact) redesign changes while undertaking a major CMS replatform.  I believe a deep redesign during a complex implementation / migration presents high risks. 

Hopefully the factors above can help you make the right decision for your organization.

Our customers say...

"Your CMS Report was helpful indeed, both in giving an overview of the market, but also as a means to increase our professional level in dealing with the selection and purchase process. This goes for me personally as well, as it helped me structure the process, ask the right questions, and focus on the important issues. We had a successful project!"

Anders Conrad, Senior Consultant, The Royal Library, Copenhagen

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