Jump-start portal questions

When starting a new portal engagement, we need to ask questions which can help jump start our engagement. The answers to these questions will come from the Business and technical groups. The questions are as follows:

1. Where is the information in our organization located?

In order to aggregate information, the location of this information (applications, databases, external sources) must first be determined.

2. Does the information needed currently exist?

The business drivers will determine what information is needed.

3. Do you want to enable collaboration and human interaction across all areas of

Processes and applications don't make decisions the users do. A collaborative portal environment allows you to integrate human interaction with processes and information. These are capabilities that, for example, let people get the just-in-time advice, education, consensus, and approval they need to respond quickly, to any business situation or emergency.

4. Do you want to enable widespread teams to work together efficiently in the
context of the business process?

The portal allows you to make your organization’s people, processes, and information readily available to individual teams so they can solve everyday business problems more efficiently.

5. What are the processes by which that information is collected, updated,managed, and disseminated?

Portals are based on information that has to be managed from a collection, update, and processing perspective. There are likely existing processes by which information (that already exists in the organization) is collected, and these will have to be examined to determine if they must be modified to support both the business and IT drivers.

6. What defines a portal user?

The definition of a user will impact the types of security, the types of data, and the types of client devices that need to be supported.

7. What is to be gained by implementing a portal?

This is a direct reference to the business drivers. Once an organization defines what they want to achieve or improve upon, then a discrete set of business goals, or drivers, can be identified.

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