WCXM Pitfall 1: Selecting a Web CMS package before developing solid requirements and a business case

  • 1-Apr-2014

You can take advantage of the lessons learned by those who went before you. Having led dozens of Web CMS implementations and after debriefing hundreds of practitioners, Real Story Group has seen much go wrong - and much go right.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be posting a distillation of twelve common pitfalls, along with best practices to follow to improve your likelihood of success.

Twelve Common Pitfalls to Avoid (and Best Practices to Follow) When Embarking on a Web Content and Experience Management Project

Pitfall 1: Selecting a Web CMS package before developing solid requirements and a business case

Best Practice:

Gather thorough requirements - but only after establishing a business case to shape and discipline the process - then select a package that truly meets your needs.

Talk to ten software integrators and nine of them will tell you that the biggest single predictor of a failed implementation is when a company chooses a specific package before requirements have been adequately established. The second biggest predictor? A requirements phase that drags on because no unified business strategy exists against which tough choices can be tested and measured.

When companies select CMS packages before they agree on business objectives and adequately plumb stakeholder needs, the technology inevitably ends up driving the system -- the people, the business rules, the editorial processes, even the content itself -- rather than the other way around.

You've probably worked amid systems like that, and you probably didn't like it.

Perhaps more importantly, you will find along the way that you have critical forks in the road with important decisions to make. Do we impel authors to use forms-based entry or focus on Word conversion? Do we integrate our catalog content using special connectors, or not? There are no simple answers to such questions, but a clear business rationale will help you make solid choices.

Pitfalls 2-12: Coming soon...

Our customers say...

"RSG covers the nitty gritty, behind-the-scenes, real-life "gotchas" that are important to help distinguish the various products. Your "requirements builders" are awesome - they give us some very clear ideas about how to start talking with our stakeholders. This is all wonderful stuff."

Leona Coffee, Director, Central Web Office National Academy of Sciences

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