Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dynamite CMS Implementations

A "Dynamite CMS implementation" is when an I.T. group deploys a CMS and then runs like hell like it's a stick of dynamite. You can't deny that they have moved lots of material, but they have also created a mess that will take years to sort out — and they have conveniently left the scene for the cleanup.

I don't mean to bash I.T. here. If content management was in their queue, along with any number of enterprise technology initiatives, they need to move on to the next project. They don't normally have a choice. This gets back to idea of "Content Management is not a Project."

To get back to the Dynamite metaphor, Content management is not like making a hole in a mountain. It's more like an archeological dig. Like archeological artifacts, content must be preserved, organized, and continually re-assembled to create meaningful and cohesive stories. Archeologists and content managers use specialized tools that balance efficiency and precision. Content management is like archeology in real-time — new content artifacts are being produced every day. Some of what we find fits nicely into the organizational structures we have. Other content challenges our models and tools and forces us to adapt.

Whoever is responsible for a new content management initiative needs to understand that this is a program that cannot be walked (or run) away from when a new tool is deployed.