Who all should be involved in Content Modeling exercise, would only Tridion Architect and Tridion Developer with high level requirement knowledge suffice or Business Analysts with in depth knowledge of requirements should be part of it. If both needs to be involved, who needs to drive it? What should be the approach of content modeling in agile kind of project? Are there any good resources/links available for content modeling process and best practices? Sorry for many questions, I thought since all are related to content modeling I should phrase it at one place.
There are two parts to content modeling for any CMS:
While I've seen multiple roles understand how a given Web Content Model works, I think it's challenging to make a Tridion Content Model without the full context of both delivery and authoring needs.
Your delivery-side technical formats should not dictate a content model, but "user-friendly" isn't enough because you need to consider people, process, and technology.
Who all should be involved in Content Modeling exercise?
I've rarely seen an entire Website's functionality and design created by one role. The Tridion authoring forms (Components based on Schemas) create an internal application of sorts so some type of analysis is needed, even if not filled by someone with a formal title.
Who needs to drive it?
The project will create constraints on time and resources, which sometimes means architects or developers may drive a content model. Authors typically need to live with the content model long after the main development is done, so drive accordingly.
I believe technical constraints and preferences should inform the content model, but not dictate them. For example, Website navigation can be created with an XML file. This does not mean Tridion should have a schema that matches that XML file's format.
Even the strongest analyst can't predict and know all the use cases for a given content model. The best qualified to drive a model would be someone who's willing to measure, adjust, and refactor it while collaborating with authors.
Content modeling in agile kind of project?
The agile manifesto values both customer collaboration and contract negotiation, but customer collaboration more. With a CMS you have external and internal customers. Add Tridion and I see these modeling practices help with agile projects:
Basically keep technical debt low to stay flexible.
Most companies would never build a website site unseen without: * designing the experience * confirming instruction fields * possibly prototyping an interface
You can do this easily with a CMS since it takes moments to prototype a use-able content entry form. So here's a final practical practice: work with authors when creating their entry forms. They shouldn't be surprised by schemas with an agile CMS approach.
Vinit, welcome to the field of WCM. Your question actually applies to any CMS, not Tridion in particular. Actually, it applies to any application that has users, not just a CMS. Here is why...
The system should be tailored to its users. Typically, developers/techies aren't very good at determining that since they sit in their own introverted world of Eclipse and Visual Studio. So folks that understand the users of the system (or the users themselves) and what they want should provide the usability requirements. In the world of WCM and Tridion, this is Functional Design (and Content Modelling is a part of it).
Content Modelling is a way to tailor the CMS system to its users, i.e. Authors and Editors. It defines how they will enter and manage their content. Having techies decide that without usability testing by the people that will use it will most likely yield a very technical and not-user-friendly model that the editors will loathe.
As far as who needs to drive this process depends on how your org is structured. This should fall on the plate of the business analysts, however, often they don't know Tridion, so this falls on the plate of the Tridion consultant. SDL Professional Services, for example, has a dedicated team of Tridion Functional Consultants that specialize in this. They work together with the techies to question the editors and design a system for their specific use cases. My team, and many other Tridion organization's teams' consultants, are trained at the functional and the technical sides. Either way, there must be a process where the content model is vetted out and tested by the end users - the authors/editors in this case.
Here are some helpful links on the topic: "The schemas are the easy bit… right?", Will Price, http://www.tridiondeveloper.com/the-schemas-are-the-easy-bit-right
"Tridion Content Analysis", Alvin Reyes, http://www.createandbreak.net/2012/09/tridion-information-architecture-part-1.html
Actually, http://www.createandbreak.net is a blog dedicated to good functional design in Tridion. There are many articles there that speak to content modelling.
Nice to meet you on the Tridion Stackexchange :)
To answer your question straight forwardly: