I posted this a few weeks ago on the uwwebd mailing list but I was hoping to get some more responses here. I've been asked to put together a proposal for a central web team. As part of this they would like some documentation on best practices at other universities.
Our school has about 30,000 students, so I'm particularly interested in larger, decentralized institutions but any responses will be helpful.
Let me try to help fuel this thread. :-)
1) We are "Online Marketing" we consist of director, writers, head editors, editors, and developers
2) We report to University Marketing
3) 5+ (Student workers are hired as needed); you can see roles above
4) Weekly meetings with IT to address server maintenance, large projects, etc.
5) At the moment we handle the edits for the entire public website
6) Previously we have allowed faculty/staff to register for web editing training that would allow them access to their website; from training we would offer a weekly "support" sessions in a classroom as well as a ticket system to handle urgent issues
7) Our director, developer, and project managers from IT were involved in the implementation
8) Our team works great in both models (centralized and decentralized); pros and cons for both models
9) One method of communication for a central web team (e.g. we have one group email to handle incoming edits that are filtered out to our ticket system and then assigned to an editor/writer as needed)
Ooooooh. These are always a good time.
Believe me, our situation is far from ideal, and I'm recommending a number of changes for 2011. And compared to you, we're small (~7200 students). The fact that I am the lynchpin for our entire CMS is insane and a terrible liability. Here's my recommendations, in order of importance:
1) Decentralized. There are staff in IT and Marketing and Admissions who focus primarily on Web stuff. Proposed merger dropped on concerns of "other duties" and no funds to backfill those duties after primary responsibility transfers.
2) See above.
3) Manager (IT support), Programmer, Student programmers/CMS migrators/minions (IT), Writer/editor, Admissions e-recruitment.
4) Regularly attend staff meetings in Communication. First part of that meeting is dedicated to Web issues. More recently, created a cross-unit Web team to meet less frequently but hopefully more meaningfully.
5) We're not chargeback, so we serve as much as possible across the entire site.
6) We support the outlying units, which in our case is more often the Secretary doing "other duties as assigned"
7) CMS lead is in IT, but work with Marketing Communications to coordinate efforts.
8) Would like to centralize team.
9) Be a strategic partner.
1. We are Web Communications
2. We report to the Executive Director, Strategic Communications
3. We have a full-time director that does just about everything now. We have two students that handle daily updates and small projects. And we have been approved to hire a Web Designer at the start of 2011.
4. We connect with IT as projects dictate. IT has a Web Developer on staff that manages the server and major applications. IT also has a SharePoint expert that I work closely with for the intranet. We used to have monthly project meetings, but those went away, seen as a waste of time.
5. Web Communications is responsible for all electronic communications projects, including the public sites, intranet, mass email, and social media
6. We work with outlying units on a project basis. Otherwise, I sit on the Web Planning group for the University that guides training opportunities for university-wide web staff and tackles issues facing the University web presence.
7. I am the CMS at this point, but we are looking to move into a system in the next couple years. Our intranet is moving to SharePoint, which I am leading.
8. Staffing is our biggest issue. We have too many projects to handle within the current team. A new staff member will help, but our goal is to get in front of the web presence strategically, which is difficult to do when mired in projects.
9. I'm a fan of central web teams as guides. They should monitor for consistency and help departments (that have their own staff) understand the best ways to build and manage their sites to benefit the campus community as a whole.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you want any more detail.