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Five Crucial Lessons Learned in Content Management System Selections

Let’s say you are in marketing or IT and have just been handed a new project to select a content management solution (CMS) for the organization. As your boss describes the project, it sounds more complicated by the minute. Your mind is racing to identify any trust-worthy information sources that would help and/or well-qualified advisors who could shepherd your team through the process.

Here’s a recommendation.

One of the best places for help with the CMS selection process is to learn about what other organizations went through during their CMS selection projects. It’s illuminating to hear the insights that other firms gained to insure success and avoid failure. Plus, it’s hugely beneficial to learn about the mistakes they made along the way. There’s no better teacher than experience.

In that light, Digital Clarity Group interviewed the CMS champions and project leaders at fourteen organizations across a range of sizes, industry sectors (including government) and geographic regions. We talked with COOs, CIOs, marketing executives, brand managers, IT managers, CMS managers, and other business and IT professionals to hear from the source what to do — and not do — when choosing a CMS.

We asked questions like:

  • How did you identify the CMS requirements?
  • Who was involved in the requirements gathering and vendor selection?
  • What were the steps in the process?
  • How did you evaluate the vendors?
  • Was a consultant or integrator also involved before and/or after selection?
  • How did you get user and management buy-in?
  • How long did the selection process take?
  • Why did you choose your vendor and service provider?
  • Is the vendor’s product a good match? Why?
  • Do you consider the project a success?
  • Does the organization see it as a success?
  • What would you do differently if you could do it over again?
  • What would you recommend to others starting down this path?

From these discussions, we uncovered five essential lessons for a successful CMS project:

  • Lesson 1: Build a cross-functional CMS team of key stakeholders.
  • Lesson 2: Communicate strategically when making the business case.
  • Lesson 3: Cast a wide net when identifying CMS and business requirements.
  • Lesson 4: Use a consultant for the selection process, and a service provider
    for the implementation.
  • Lesson 5: Follow a well-understood, widely communicated, agreed upon
    process for selecting vendors.

To learn more, see the full Digital Clarity Group report, Five Crucial Lessons Learned in Content Management System Selections.

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