9 Do's and Don'ts for Implementing a CMS
“That’s probably 90 percent of the failures,” Woods says. “IT plunges ahead and adopts a content management solution, or adopts something open source they know, but it doesn’t meet the needs of the organization, and when it’s deployed no one uses it.”
F+W discovered quickly that thinking backwards from ideal workflow scenarios made sense. “We needed to understand how this process could eventually be integrated into our production workflow,” Lerner says, while at the same time ensuring IT could support the initiative.
DO involve people early in the process.
Many content management systems fail because they are presented as a surprise to those employees who use them every day, Woods says.
“The CMS could be easier [than what was used before], but unless you do some change management, these people just won’t adopt,” Woods says. “There are two groups: There are the people who are desperate to use it because they are frustrated they can’t publish, but there’s always a group of laggards for whom this feels like an imposition. It’s a new task they have to add to their job, and you get pushback. If you involve people early and ask their opinion, they tend to be more open to participating when the time comes.”
Change management is critical, especially with organizations that have been in the publishing business a long time, agrees David Crouy, marketing director at Montreal-based CMS provider nStein. Using his company’s product as an example, he notes that if editors are not primed to understand the value of text mining, tagging tools and search engine optimization, there will be resistance to adding these elements to the system’s day-to-day functionality—even though it is absolutely critical that editors, as the content experts, be fully engaged and onboard.
Crouy reports that one client did 50 demos throughout its organization to demonstrate a new system and ensure the support of editorial staff.