In this article, I will introduce you to the XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart engagement, and the playlist/checklist of key Contentful topics that we cover during this kickstart, and help set you up for success. The early phases of a Contentful implementation involve key decisions around overall architecture, content model, content security, governance, and workflows, content delivery, and more. Unfortunately, many Contentful projects suffer from poor architectural choices and planning that occurred at the start of their projects. These early missteps can cause all kinds of issues, both in the short and long run—timeline delays, increased costs, rework, and difficult-to-maintain-and-extend systems.

The XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart Program allows you to leverage our process and best practices that sets you up with the right architectural foundation and an implementation plan that reduces execution risk.

Now, before I dive into the heart of my article, let me give you some context about Contentful. Contentful is an API-first, content management platform that offers your content management team a top-notch content management experience, your developers flexibility, and your end-users a blazing fast user experience.

Contentful Quickstart: Table of Contents

  1. XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart Overview
    i. Discovery Sessions
    ii. Analysis and Design Sessions
    iii. Deliverables
  2. Summing It Up!

XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart Overview

The XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart or Kickstart Program allows you to leverage the expertise of our experienced experts who specialize in Content Management Systems (and specifically Contentful) and modern digital experiences (engaging websites, blazing fast mobile and web apps, and logged-in customer, partner, and employee portals). Our senior Contentful consultants use the XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart playlist (similar to a checklist) to help guide you through critical decision points and review your intended goals and scope in order to provide recommendations and other deliverables to ensure your project’s long term success.

Our Kickstart program is typically 2-3 weeks in length though in some cases it can be shorter or longer to accommodate your unique needs. Our Quickstarts have three phases

  1. Discovery
  2. Analysis and Design
  3. Recommendations
XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart Overview
Figure 1: XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart Overview

XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart Discovery Sessions

As part of the Discovery phase of our Quickstart program, we typically conduct multiple sessions with the customer business and IT stakeholders.

XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart Discovery Sessions
Figure 2: XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart Discovery Sessions

Contentful Scope Discovery Sessions

These sessions typically involve all the Contentful implementation program stakeholders from both the business and IT sides of the house.

  • Align stakeholders on the overall program vision and goals; the Contentful program may involve multiple implementation and go-live phases.
  • Do a deep dive into the scope and requirements for the initial implementation phase.
  • Review future phase features at a high level.

UX/UI Design Discovery Session

These sessions focus on understanding the UX/UI designs and the design approach. Some of the key questions that are covered include:

  • Will XTIVIA create the UX/UI designs? Or will we work with another creative design agency?
  • Have the UX/UI designs already been completed?
  • Or are there initial design concepts to review?
  • What process will be used to create additional designs and hand them over to the implementation team?

If XTIVIA will help you with creating the designs, then that is a separate engagement that will go through its own design process. As a teaser, here is an overview of our UX/UI design process.

XTIVIA UX UI Design Process Overview
Figure 3: XTIVIA UX/U Design Process

Contentful Content Migration Discovery Session

This session focuses on understanding what, if any content needs to be migrated to Contentful. Some of the key questions that are covered include:

  • What content already exists, possibly in another Content Management System?
  • Is there a need for content to be migrated? Often enough, even if content exists, it may not be in the best of shapes and might need clean-up? If the needed clean-up is large enough then it might be best to start over. If some of the content is salvageable then you may need to curate what content will be migrated.
  • Based on the amount and types of content to be migrated, will you need automation to migrate the content or will you migrate it manually? Or do you need a hybrid approach with automation for some content and manual approach for the rest?

Contentful Security & Governance Discovery Sessions

These sessions focus on understanding the security and governance model that will make sense for your scenario. Some of the key questions that are covered in these sessions include:

  • What roles are needed within the Contentful Web App?
  • What generic permissions are needed on these roles?
  • Will we need to apply different permissions on different content types or locales?
  • Will users need to login to the Contentful Web App using SSO?
  • What content approval workflows will you need?
  • What content publishing workflows are needed?

Technical Discovery Sessions

These sessions focus on performing technical discovery. Some of the key topics that are covered include:

  • Understand the architectural preferences such as cloud, devops, app development, GraphQL vs REST, preferred frameworks and libraries and so on.
  • Understand preferred tools such as ones for code management, builds, and so on.
  • Understand any technical constraints and guidelines that need to be considered during the implementation.
  • What integration needs apply for the website, web or mobile app, or portal that will display content from Contentful? What, if any Content Management API (CMA) integrations are needed?

Project Execution Approach Discovery Sessions

These sessions focus on understanding your preferences around the project execution methodology. Some of the key questions that are covered include:

  • Do you have a preferred software development process? Or are you flexible?
  • What tools do you have for managing software development? Project management. . Defect management.
  • What roles are needed for the implementation phase and how will we staff them? What will be the responsibilities of each of the roles?
  • What dependencies does this project have on other initiatives and projects?
  • Identify risks and the risk management strategy.

XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart Analysis And Design Sessions

As part of the Analysis & Design phase of our Quickstart program, we typically conduct multiple brainstorming and alignment sessions with the customer IT, content management and business team members.

XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart Analysis and Design Sessions Overview
Figure 4: XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart Analysis & Design Sessions

Contentful Architecture Sessions

These sessions focus on addressing key aspects of Contentful architecture such as:

  • Define Contentful roles and permissions
  • Define content approval & publishing workflows
  • Define approach for localization, personalization and multichannel content delivery
  • Configure Contentful

Content Delivery Architecture Sessions

These sessions focus on determining the architectural approach for building the content delivery channels such as websites and web/mobile apps. Some of the key questions that are covered include:

  • Determine whether you plan to use Static Site Generation (SSG) or Server Side Rendering (SSR) or a hybrid approach that combines SSG and SSR.
  • Determine development frameworks and libraries for building websites based on your decision of using SSG, SSR or hybrid approach.
  • Review popular frameworks such as Next.js (supports both SSG and SSR), Gatsby (SSG), and others.
  • Discuss options and preferences for deployment/hosting including what cloud or on-premise solution you prefer, what CDN (such as AWS Cloudfront, Netlify, Fastly) you prefer, and so on.
  • Discuss approach for implementing content preview
Typical Contentful SSG Architecture Diagram
Figure 5: Typical Contentful SSG Architecture

Content Model Sessions

These sessions focus on the Contentful content model development and cover some of the following topics:

Sample Conceptual Content Model
Figure 6: Sample Conceptual Content Model

DevOps Sessions

These sessions focus on the DevOps approach for this implementation. Some of the key topics that are covered include:

  • Review options and corresponding trade-offs for DevOps tooling & process
  • Determine what environments will be created (test, QA, staging, production)
  • Discuss best practices and options for Contentful DevOps, and in particular, CI/CD
  • Discuss and decide on DevOps approach for the website and web/mobile apps

Project Planning Sessions

These sessions focus on building an initial project plan. We jointly identify tasks, dependencies, risks, initial sprint plan, resource plan, work breakdown structure & estimates.

XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart Deliverables

The XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart engagement produces a set of recommendations and deliverables that set you up for success. These include:

  • An executive summary of the assessment recommendations; this is typically delivered in a wrap-up session with all key stakeholders and helps align everyone on the next steps and overall plan
  • Agile architectural documentation; this documentation captures key decisions around several topics
    • Overall architecture
    • Contentful architecture including security, workflows, and governance
    • Content delivery architecture (website, web/mobile app)
    • DevOps
  • Initial conceptual Content Model
  • Initial Project Plan

XTIVIA Contentful Quickstart Summary

As you can see, there are a number of key topics and decision points to be kept in mind when embarking on a Contentful implementation program. If you are looking for the right Contentful coaches and specialists to help set you up for success, then XTIVIA can help. Please get in touch with us to learn how we can help with your Contentful implementation as your Contentful partner.

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