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Evaluating the Results

As I wrote this article, Midcom was fast approaching his first anniversary (well, maybe birthday), and he's doing even better. It took a while to catch on, but users are accessing Midcom more and more, and I get requests for new projects all the time. We're now monitoring the site traffic, and I'm pleasantly surprised to see how busy the site is these days.

I already mentioned that one of our mistakes was being too dependent on one developer, but we definitely made a few others. An original goal was to allow non-developers within the company to control some of their content. In the months that followed the launch, we realized that we had probably fallen short of this goal. A group of news publishers could post items, and human resources controlled the Associate Handbook, but little else could be updated without the involvement of a developer. This became a large issue, since our original team of eight had been reduced to two or three (and eventually would become one), so it was necessary to move some of these basic tasks to others.

Although it took several weeks to implement, we made some changes to the individual department databases, giving select business users the ability to quickly and easily update their home page content via their Lotus Notes client, without any special skills or software and with only about ten minutes of training. This has definitely paid off in the long run, since it gives more users a sense of ownership, and it frees my time to develop new content and features.

All in all, we definitely celebrated Midcom as a success. It has cut paper usage, increased communications, and reduced email volume. We also saved the company thousands of dollars by developing the site in-house instead of hiring external developers or purchasing a box product.

I was very fortunate to be a part of the team that developed Midcom, and it was truly a valuable experience for all of us. We made some mistakes, but we also learned a great deal and even had some fun.

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