We’re big proponents of thorough project planning. Not only does sound planning save time and money, but it’s essential for a positive project outcome.
When we worked with the Teknion team on their organization’s digital transformation, we spent time understanding their challenges, breaking those broad challenges into specific problems, and then planning how to solve them.
Here’s what that process looked like from the beginning.
Origins of Teknion’s digital transformation
As nice as it would be to claim all the credit for Teknion’s successful digital transformation, that wouldn’t be quite right.
Teknion started its transition before we arrived. For its customer facing transformation, the company underwent a rebrand and a refresh of the information architecture on its site, making it more customer-focused. And on the internal side, the Teknion team identified multiple challenges with their existing digital structures, and were already in the process of fixing them. Teknion:
- Formalized operations procedures and updated procurement technologies
- Implemented a digital asset management (DAM) system
- Identified the need for a CMS
These processes formed the new Teknion digital ecosystem. We were brought in to help refine and improve this structure to better meet business needs.
Despite these improvements, Teknion still faced a number of challenges. They needed to choose a CMS that was going to satisfy their needs, which meant:
- Enable uniform multi-channel delivery of content and experiences
- Serve location-specific content and provide multi-lingual support
- Enable different people to upload content and change regional websites to prevent bottlenecks from forming at the corporate marketing head office
However, implementing a CMS that suited them was not the only struggle that Teknion was facing. Like so many other organizations, they were struggling with a system that relied on outdated architecture and technology, limiting their capacity to extend support and services internally and to their clients.
With such a complex nest of overlapping problems, we figured it’d be best to start from the beginning.
The engagement kicked off with a discovery session. The objective was to collect information to assist us in shortlisting CMS platforms and recommending the one that best met Teknion’s requirements. We put together thorough planning documentation on Teknion, their organization, their business and industry, and their specific needs so we could better evaluate how to approach the project.
Fortunately, Teknion had already completed a significant body of research, including competitive analyses, user testing sessions, and high-level objective defining, so we were able to hit the ground running.
Next, we looked at what Teknion wanted to achieve, and distilled this into three main functional goals.
1. Make digital asset and content management better
The Teknion team needed a better way to store and access their existing content, and a better way to create, manage, and distribute content going forward.
2. Future-proof IT structures
We didn’t want Teknion to be back in the same position of requiring an overhaul in two or three years’ time. We wanted to build a system that could grow and adapt with the organization, both in response to changing internal demands and a changing digital environment.
3. A mobile-first experience
Teknion needed to become a mobile-first organization, so sales and communication teams could make the most of the new site.
In addition to the concrete objectives, we also identified a number of softer organizational objectives that we wanted our solution to deliver:
- Position the website at the core of the organization’s marketing, to create a platform that can gather data on customers as well as be a jumping off point for other digital marketing strategies
- Develop ecommerce capabilities to help Teknion grow
- Build a more cohesive network between Teknion and regional dealers, and make it easier for them to sell Teknion products
What we delivered
Once we understood Teknion’s challenges and had a firm idea of what we needed to do, we started delivering a comprehensive plan to make it happen.
A CMS recommendation was the top of our list for deliverables. We needed to find and deliver a CMS that was going to integrate with Teknion’s chosen DAM, meet the requirements set for it, and make it easy for Teknion to deliver content quickly and effectively to multiple sites around the world.
We also aimed to identify what current functionality would be ported over to the system, and what key features were needed for the new system to work effectively.
The result, of course, was Sitefinity as our CMS of choice.
Second, we needed a good idea of how users and internal teams were working.
So we conducted usability workshops and created information architecture sitemaps to show and share with stakeholders. It gave us an idea of expectations, and then enabled us to meet them. We also created entity relationship management diagrams so it was clear to internal IT teams how the system was going to work, how it integrated with other systems, and where dependencies existed.
Finally, we built out front-end wireframes to demonstrate what the final product would look like.
The key to a good project is a robust planning phase. We were fortunate with Teknion, not only because they had already started their digital transformation process, but because they supported the creation of a detailed plan and defining objectives. With full documentation in hand, we were able to deliver a result that we’re still extremely proud of today.
Stay tuned for details on how we executed the Teknion project in an upcoming article.