The Canada Business Network is a collaborative arrangement among Government of Canada departments, provincial, territorial governments and, in some cases, not-for-profit organizations. The Network helps Canadian entrepreneurs get the correct and regionally appropriate information, advice and support they need to start and build their business. Re-Think was engaged by Canada Business to develop a strategy and detailed plan for migrating from 14 separate Web sites and 11 different Web products into one redesigned integrated Web site using CLF2. This project involved a significant transformation of the way the government of Canada, along with its provincial and territorial partners, delivers information and services to Canadian entrepreneurs and SMEs. The success of the project was recognized at the GTEC Distinction Awards in

The detailed planning and information architecture work for the transformation of Canada Business’ Web presence involved:

  • Vision and strategy development
    • The development of visual and written materials articulating a vision for an integrated Website for Canada Business for presentation to executives at Industry Canada and in partner organizations.
  • Project planning
    • Developing a detailed implementation project plan for the implementation of the new information architecture and rewritten content
    • Assigning deliverables and tasks and monitoring progress against the project plan
    • Developing plans for future phases of the project and providing briefings to senior management and other stakeholders as required
  • Information architecture development
    • Developing a faceted information architecture including topics and sub-topics, audiences, industry sector, geographic location, and document type.
    • Working with key internal information management and subject-matter experts to define the values for each facet of the information architecture.
    • Development the document architecture, including identifying the document types, the fields to be used in each document, and the behaviour of each document type on the site. The document architecture used an innovative building block approach to facilitate re-use of components in different sections of the site and on partner Web sites (via syndication).
    • Development of detailed documentation on the information architecture for inclusion in training materials
    • Conducting training workshops on the information architecture in English and French
  • Content planning and writing
    • Development of detailed documentation including
      • Content policy framework
      • Content writing guidelines
    • Development of associated training materials
    • Leading the content planning process, including content planning training workshops in English and French, development of content triage templates, review and approval of content triage results.
    • Writing Web content, including blog posts, for four topic areas, covering financing/financial management, regulations and standards, management and operations, and business start-up.
    • Reviewing content written in English and French and managing staff involved in translation and English/French concordance work.
    • Overseeing the quality assurance, metadata application (including industry sector (4 digit NAICS), keywords, topics, province/territory, demographic group, document type, and others), translation, and publishing of content.
    • Making recommendations for the integration of content from multiples sources (national office, regional offices, BizPaL and other partners) to provide customizable, personalized content on key topics for small business.
  • Development of performance measurement framework for the Web site and participation in the development of the overall performance measurement framework and service standards for Canada Business
  • Development of a Web 2.0 strategy and framework for the use of blogs, twitter, facebook, and other social media for the Canada Business website, including outlining key policies, business processes, and information flows related to the management of social media activities.

The strategic planning and detailed implementation planning, architecture work, and documentation allowed Canada Business to launch and implement a major technology and content renovation process, leading up to the launch of a beta site in the spring of 2009 followed by continued enhancements and innovations.