WCXM Pitfall 11: Missing or underestimating internal change management issues

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

Pitfall 11: Missing or underestimating internal change management issues

Best Practice:

Recognize and clarify how new systems and tools are likely to affect people's jobs and enlist people's support for productive change.

Providing publishing and site management tools to line-of-business managers will be exhilarating and liberating to some, horrifying to others. Some content owners might not want to take direct responsibility and control for the timeliness and detail of their part of a website. Workflow tools and detailed auditing mechanisms in particular bring a whole new dimension to accountability.

Some will welcome the ability to directly affect visitor experiences.  Others may resent finding themselves suddenly unable to dictate the look and feel of their content.

Of course, that's just the idea. If the Internet is central to the way you do business, and content lies at the foundation of your web efforts, then you want a system of incentives, enablements, and controls to make sure content is managed well. You are not necessarily eliminating people's jobs; you're just asking staff people to focus more intently on their particular areas of expertise. Involve your best people in the design process and the new system should work well for you.

There is, however, a good specialization story to tell. Instead of spending time shoveling content through HTML converters or tracking down the correct version of the latest press release, former "webmasters" can free themselves to focus on higher value-added specialties:

  • Content-oriented webmasters can focus on the editorial quality, web suitability, and the substance of the subject matter, itself.
  • Technically-oriented webmasters can grow to manage a true online publishing system.
  • Design-oriented webmasters can focus on the visual effectiveness of the presentation, and multiply the value of their efforts dramatically by propagating their designs through broadly used (and enforced) templates.

So what goes away here? The generalist webmaster position.

In any event, many people's jobs are likely to change. Some will have more work; some will have less. On the whole, you should be able to manage more content, faster, and with better visitor experiences, but leadership will be needed to address the inevitable individual winnings and losses along the way.

Pitfall 1: Selecting a Web CMS package before developing solid requirements and a business case. Read the details of Pitfall 1 here.

Pitfall 2: Not getting a clear mandate from the top. Read the details of Pitfall 2 here.

Pitfall 3: Thinking a web content management package will provide a full CMS solution. Read the details of Pitfall 3 here.

Pitfall 4: Not involving internal Web CXM stakeholders from the very beginning. Read the details of Pitfall 4 here.

Pitfall 5: Involving only internal stakeholders. Read the details of Pitfall 5 here.

Pitfall 6: Spending insufficient effort describing and organizing content, and underestimating migration times. Read the details of Pitfall 6 here.

Pitfall 7: Picking a CMS package that doesn't play well with other company applications. Read the details of Pitfall 7 here.

Pitfall 8: Underestimating hardware needs. Read the details of Pitfall 8 here.

Pitfall 9: Underestimating integration and other professional service needs. Read the details of Pitfall 9 here.

Pitfall 10: Looking solely at the product and not enough at the vendor. Read the details of Pitfall 10 here.

Pitfall 12: Coming soon...

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Gil, Partner, Cancentric Solutions Inc.
iStudio Canada Inc.

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