Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Understanding Sitecore SXA: Improved Project Cadence

Previous: Rapid Start, Smooth Execution

Battle-scarred professionals know the stress and cost that can go with a fully bespoke implementation. Sitecore is an outstanding platform for creating truly exceptional experiences. But implementations can be drawn out, owing to the highly linear nature if a conventional build. Nervous stakeholders don’t see progress, and the seeming vacuum created by the isolated development process begs to be filled with new ideas and changes.

A classic linear build relies on handoffs of phases of the project: from user experience to information architecture to wireframing to front-end development to back-end development to content load to UAT. Changes and fixes require looking back farther and farther in the chain, leading to regression problems and costly rework.

SXA makes the process more parallel, and allows for continual adjustment and improvement that reduces the need for gated, painstakingly detailed requirements.

After primary envisioning, Sitecore itself becomes the hub around which the project revolves. Ongoing UX and content load begins immediately, using Sitecore’s wireframe tool. As visual design progresses, front-end developers develop themes that can be applied to already-loaded content in the wireframes, which become the publishable pages. Back-end developers build new components as needed, which are available in the toolbox immediately. Most bespoke component requirements can actually be created entirely within Sitecore and styled by back-end coders, all without requiring a code deployment.

Over the life of the project, stakeholders see ongoing progress, participants stay more engaged and collaborate better, issues are identified sooner, with less regressive remediation, and best practices lead to a deliverable that can be maintained and extended by anybody familiar with the framework.

Next: Prescriptive, Yet Flexible
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