Why Every CMS Beginner Should Start With A Content Project

CMS or a Content Management System, as we know, is a collection of basic building blocks which we call as ‘components’.

[Read More – What is CMS?]

There are components which are provided as part of the tool package – also known as ‘out of the box’ components (OOB components). Then again, there are components which are built to server specific needs, perhaps from scratch or on top of existing components – also known as ‘custom’ components.

Now, you’d be surprised to know that most of the existing (OOB) components, if not all, can be customised or configured in many ways.

You need to see it, to believe it.

Once you start going through multiple websites, you familiarise yourself with the components which are used, and the layout or different ways in which they are used. Just like the Lego blocks, which have different shapes and colours.

Then you start formulating your own ideas to how these can be used – some of these components are so rich with features that it takes a while to unlock the potential and explore them.

A little more digging will help you map the components to the current work you will be doing – either you’ll get help from content experts or you’ll find out the hard way (doing yourself).

This wouldn’t come naturally, unless you actually start creating content on your own – which is not as easy as it may sound. I’ve seen people struggle so hard with putting the content right and aligning all the elements together.

I don’t know about others, but I certainly felt good when I authored a page and previewed it. And, when the whole site was created, it almost felt like it was me who created it (although, it was a team effort).

Oh, it is such an exciting and rewarding experience, a sense of accomplishment and learning.

Not that you’ll get bonus for doing that, but just think about the world of possibilities it opens up for you.

Still don’t get it, do you?

See, working on those components can give you an understanding to the system (let’s say Adobe AEM, or Sitecore) – first of all.

Then, you get yourself at ease with the components and the common mistakes a rookie would do, like the related configuration, linking to areas within the system, and gaps left behind by the development team.

This, will give you an insight in to the areas which can be improved upon – be it your learning or the recommendations you could make.

Most importantly, you will get to look at the bigger picture rather than being limited to the components or areas you would work on otherwise.

At this point, it will matter less if you were from a development background, a testing, or any other area of expertise.

What matters, would be what you can or want to do now!

The knowledge and experience, while working on different components,

  • Would help to find the gaps, ask more questions to get clarity
  • Can be used to suggest better user experience, suggest optimal way to use a component, or suggest an alternative
  • Will equip you to develop components in a better way – don’t forget the scenarios you came across to configure a single component.
  • Will lead you to provide a better solution

All the things you can and must do, during the initial phases of the project, to reduce the loss of effort during the later stages.

It’s your choice now, if you wish to work as a technical person, a business analyst, or a quality analyst – the possibilities are never ending.

And if you thought otherwise, no one can limit a BA or QA from proposing a technical design (not literally a design document though).

Reflecting upon, would you have had so much clarity and vision of what you wanted to do or could do, had you not gone through this route?

May be… But, you can’t leave things to “may be”. It’s better to be informed, if you ask me, at least then it’ll be your choice and not something enforced upon you.

At the end of the day, it’s not only about doing right by the customers and delivering what’s best for them, it’s about doing what’s right for you and learning to become a better person and a professional, as well.” ~ P.R.


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How To Influence Without Authority

What comes to your mind when you think about Influencing without authority?

It can be thought of as either you don’t have an authority to influence other or you don’t exercise your authority while influencing others. Either ways, why do you think you need an authority to influence someone, of course for better things? Influencing or being able to convince others is a hard skill to learn, takes a lot of experience. Moreover, person capable of influencing others can be your most trusted friend or your worst nightmares, as the person would be able to convince others for better or for worse; which can have a strong impact on you.

Ever seen a child talking about his school friends and trying to convince you that he did nothing wrong and yet he was punished. You being closely associated with the child will be inclined towards him. Similarly, to be able to convince others, the foremost step is, you let go of your ego. Your desire to control others can become evident over time. It does not need you to be a manager or be senior to the person, rather it becomes difficult for people at later stages of their careers as they are perceived to be control freaks.

As a common notion goes, respect others (first) to be respected by others. You need to be able to demonstrate that your role has nothing to do with what you are saying. You mean what you say. The expression of interest, care, well being, and similar form the basis of this capability (influencing) and adds to your credibility. A bad manager resort to forced influence and creates an environment of hostility.

Ever wonder why friends are able to convince you better than others? It’s because they understand you and are there to help you, whenever you need them. They put aside any ill-thoughts and guide you to set right goals, will gather information for you, and help you make an educated decision. They stand with you when everyone else lets you down.

Praising others is one thing, praising them in public gives them a greater sense of appreciation and social acceptance. So, never by shy of admiring and thanking other out in the open. And when you do that, be genuine! You would be surprised to know how your mind, body, and words you speak can tell a lot about your feelings. When you don’t really mean to say good things, your choice of words will give it up for you.

The art of influencing should not be used for the wrong reasons. After all, there is a growth for you when you help others grow, even if you don’t realise it. Nonetheless, you don’t need an authority to influence others, you only need a genuine desire to help others. Just be careful of your actions and its impact in the long run, because there may be other people associated with the person (whom you influence) who can be affected by it.

“The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.” ~ Kenneth H. Blanchard

Author speaks: I’m not here to change the world; I intend to make an impact on one soul at a time. If you like my work, please press Like, or better yet put a Comment; perhaps a feedback. However, the best appreciation of my work will be to Share this with your friends and your social circles (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and others).

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