10 Do’s and Don’ts for Implementing a CMS
Crouy reports that client Hearst Corp. did 50 demos throughout its organization to demonstrate a new system and ensure the support of editorial staff.
“There must be internal management of expectations,” he says. “You need to empower users and make sure everybody understands why we are changing.”
While building in familiarity with a new system is a good thing, don’t overestimate the extent to which various players want to be involved in planning, Ferrick says. “We’ve kind of taken the ball and to some groups we say, ‘Here’s your new site, here’s how it works.’ They might work on three different magazines and five different sites, and don’t have the time to get into the whole design aspect of it,” he says.
The key is to know when and how to engage each constituent in the course of the build-out, Ferrick says. The time to involve editors may be when the discussion turns to editorial direction, and how designs and tools can best serve that function, at which point excitement, rather than trepidation, can be created around a major redesign.
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.
Different content management solutions require different timelines. An out-of-the-box solution may take less time to set up initially, but require an extended “tinkering” phase.