9 Do's and Don'ts for Implementing a CMS
“There must be internal management of expectations,” he says. “You need to empower users, and make sure everybody understands why we are changing.”
DON’T underestimate the time needed.
“I think there’s a perception, not in the IT group but among business users, that you buy a system that meets your needs, and press a button and your Web site magically gets imported into this solution. That doesn’t happen,” Woods says.
Depending on the extent of a Web presence, it can take from three months to a year and a half to deploy a new CMS solution, he says.
Woods identifies three areas in which deployment timelines tend to get off track: making decisions on graphic design elements, writing new Web site content, and migrating content from an existing Web site.
DO budget twice as much training as you think you will need.
Becker stresses the importance of training—both initial and follow-up—as a key component of any successful CMS deployment, and recommends doubling any initial figure you may have set aside for the task. Comprehensive training helps ensure smooth transitions in the wake of staff turnover and full use of a product’s capabilities over time.
“It’s not uncommon to go back to a [company] a year after an installation is launched, and find that one of their problems that needs to be addressed is a feature within the software that has simply been forgotten,” he says. “No one has gone back to the documentation or made a phone call. What they do is just live with it. It’s crazy.”
Crouy recommends making sure IT is fully able to manage and maintain the system.
“They do not want to be dependent [on a service provider],” he says. “Give them the tools they need that allow them to own that solution.”