10 Do’s and Don’ts for Implementing a CMS
“For CMS implementation, you must get buy-in or acceptance not only from management, but from IT and end users,” Becker says. “Management has a budget. IT wants a certain performance out of the system, and users want certain feature sets. A project manager really helps to negotiate, to manage the common ground between the feature set, the budget and performance.”
Cincinnati-based enthusiast publisher F+W Media (formerly F+W Publications) knew exactly what it wanted to accomplish going into a recent major CMS revamp. Possessing many years of valuable content and user communities eager to access information in new ways, the company identified its first priority as monetization. “The initial goal is to create a repository that will be the catalyst for the development of new revenue-generating products,” says John Lerner, executive vice president of e-media. “Once that is in place, we will use the CMS to streamline our workflow process as well, but new revenue streams are first and foremost on our minds.”
Lerner describes implementation as a collaborative effort involving e-media, IT, production and leaders from the communities F+W serves—the sort of detailed, comprehensive planning, inclusive of all stakeholders, that lies at the heart of Publishing Executive’s list of do’s and don’ts:
DO try to find common ground among stakeholders.
Understand what people want, and work to smooth out any potential conflicts, Woods says.
“[Editorial] might want things that will let them make changes quickly and easily, and that they can understand intuitively, and IT wants something that is not going to break every month and a half so they don’t have to spend all of their time fixing a product,” he says. “They’re not necessarily conflicting things, but both sides of the puzzle have to be taken into account.”
Finding common ground need not mean compromising overall goals in order to please one constituency, notes Joe Ferrick, vice president of Web development at NewBay Media. An ongoing Web site redesign at his company has sometimes involved “steering [editors] in the direction they should go,” he says, with the goal of encouraging a more Web-centric approach.