Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What is a Content Management Assessment?

Most organizations who struggle with content management blame their CMS for their woes. The only hope for relief they see is to replace the platform and start over. But without fully understanding the true nature of the issues, an expensive CMS replacement project is not likely to improve anything; it could even make matters worse. It is highly likely that the CMS doesn't need to replaced and better results can be achieved by reconfiguring the current platform and adjusting roles and processes. As Ian Truscott so eloquently confesses:

Having seen plenty of examples over the years of web content management replacement projects and a common perception that any problem is a tools problem. Also, I confess having been in sales situations as a vendor that have preyed on the fact that an organization perceived that their incumbent product couldn’t do x, y or z when, in truth you can be fairly sure something has gone wrong along the way.

Before you go into CMS selection mode, consider a content management assessment that takes a holistic view of your content management tools and processes. It highly likely that you could be using your current tools more effectively. If that is the case, your organization can solve its content management problems with much less expense and risk. A content management assessment covers a lot of the same ground as a CMS selection but leaves open the possibility that the best platform may be the one that you are already on. If it turns out that you do need to replace your platform you have a head start in a selection because you will already understand your requirements and will some made some operational improvements. Otherwise, you will have a nice list of enhancements that you can use to tune your current tools and processes and achieve better results.

This is the first in a series of articles that explains different aspects of a content management assessment. The following articles will dive into questions one should ask in a content management assessment and how to get to the correct answers. These topics will also help new implementations avoid problems before they occur. Stay tuned!