Build YOUR institutions “right” web team

You now have your ducks in a row and are getting the resources you have desired. How do your build the right team? Get your mission and campus needs and it is easy.

In order to provide web leadership for campus you must have a solid mission and goal in mind that is provided from your campus leadership. You should also do a gap analysis of what is missing across campus so you can provide for missing skills or services. When you have these basics covered it is pretty easy to dictate the structure.

Disclosure: I was never really provided these basics in my current position so it was up to me to determine the need and mission. Because of this it took longer than it should have to iron out our core mission which we have since settled into. As you may guess politics played a part in this.

Mission / Role

Ideal team

Image from Tales from Redesignland http://redesignland.blogspot.com/

From here you need to determine your teams mission. Here are a few roles many web teams fill:

  • Initiative driven – these teams deal with high-profile sites examples include (Univ. homepage, brand campaign sites, capital campaign sites, virtual tours, etc)
  • Services driven – these teams tend to provide services to units across campus these could be services including but not limited to (web design, web development, editorial/ content strategy, system administration, cms implementation) for departments across campus
  • Leadership/ strategy driven – these teams tend to create policies, provide templates/ web standards, work on best practices/ governance, sit on and lead committees, provide campus wide communication about the state and direction of web, step back and look at the big numbers
  • Hybrid team – this is a team that will work across all the mentioned areas above, they tend to be the largest teams and have many roles and specialized team members

Team members

I will look at this in an ideal world where funding is not an issue and make some suggestions about team members I would suggest you think about.

Note some of these might represent more than one person in that role depending on need

  • Web designer – talent in web standards, graphic design, accessibility and usability
  • Web developer – talent would range from coding to basic sys administration, database administration and interface design
  • Content strategist – with skills in editorial, web writing, communications and information architecture
  • Project manager – ability to juggle all the teams projects and keep things on point as well as work with clients for the best outcomes, usually these are used for services driven teams or at times large initiative driven teams
  • CMS administrator – a person to lead and drive the CMS implementation across campus
  • Interactive web marketer – a person with a bit more of a marketing background not 100% from a technology background, many times the department leader fills this role, they tend to be involved in creating interactive initiatives
  • Support staff – these people provide support to all the moving parts of the web team, many times there are used on service driven teams
  • Others – here are some positions that may or maybe not always fall on the web team, but may be included based on your teams function sys admin, social media coordinator, photographer/ videographer

 Funding source

Many times the funding source or structure will directly dictate the types of services or function of your team.

  • Central funded – these teams tend to be more initiative and strategy driven, they are there to focus on the big picture and provide other units with the tools to be successful on their own, the centrally funded teams that do services tend to have oversight from a committee or leadership as to what projects are taken since they can’t expand to meet demand
  • Revenue generating – these are teams that need to make money to pay staff therefore most revenue funded teams tend to be services based teams that are not able to focus on the big picture since they, similar to lawyers have to focus on billable hours
  • Hybrid funding – similar to the hybrid team hybrid funding tends to lead to a team that serves many purposes

This is a big post that I have been wanting to write some time. I might need to revisit this a few more times to fully collect my thoughts. I plan to also write a follow-up about how to build your team from nothing.

I have probably left a few ideas on the table to that I will come back to later but what do you think I have missed? Do you disagree?

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