IT solution meets design


Microsoft Sharepoint based content management | Mandate Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC | Concept and design Hynek Bures, BossInfo, Ehud Graf | Language English | Year 2021-22

In 2021 dubbed perceptions teamed up with BossInfo to migrate three SDC thematic networks to a new Sharepoint based site collection [LINK] with a harmonized document management system DMS. Each partner brought its expertise to the project:

  • BossInfo: DMS development, migration, and Sharepoint expertise
  • dubbed perceptions: Project management, client communication, concept of DMS and page structure, visual design

I would like to write some lines about this project from the point of you of dubbed perceptions.

Key migration and development steps

Being at the intersection between the client's needs and the developers we were able to create a visually and structurally coherent webpage. Here a breakdown of the main migration and development steps:

  • Needs assessment: Up to this point, the three networks used their collaboration platform in their own way. At project start a needs assessment was conducted to understand how diverse future needs could be harmonized?
  • Design of page structure: The migration to one common platform was part of a wider institutional reorganization process. Together with the client we developed a coherent page structure: The language has been harmonized. For example, all networks present their "priorities" rather than "themes" or "topics". At the same time all networks keep their identity. For example, each network has its own way to present their "priorities".

We used Miro boards to visualize and discuss the future page structure:

  • DMS concept: Together with the networks we created a common management structure for their documents and links. Starting from the page structure we imagined what documents will feature on which page. This helped us to list the document attributes. Today the documents are managed according to a harmonized archiving logic, a centralized document attributes list.
  • Migration of content: With the DMS concept in place, BossInfo was able to migrate content to its new site collection.

Again, Miro board proved to be our tool of choice to map the migration:

  • Page creation and visual design: Parallel to the above steps we started developing the look and feel of the new page. We created the PGE logo integrated its color pallet with the visual designs of the three networks. And we kept the page design and navigation simple for the users to find the pages and documents they are looking for.
  • Migration of access groups: Rather than migrating users to the new site collection, we created a member list in Outlook. This simple method met the clinent's need to communicate with the network members.
  • Ongoing support: SDC is using a Sharepoint 2016 out of the box solution and for security reasons we don't have full developers' rights. For users not familiar with this technology, document and page management is not intuitive. For this, we have developed simple tools and guides to help the networks to make the most of their new online environment.

The future of DMS and online presence

Microsoft Sharepoint and all its old and new derivatives are strong in content/document management. But they are not as sexy when it comes to creating an impressive online presence that is simple to manage. SDC's idea for the future to couple Sharepoint with online publishing systems such as living docs is in our view the way forward.

If you would like to work with us on similar projects, we look forward to hear from you!

Writ a mail to Hynek Bures: