Content Management Systems Aren’t Just For Techies

Will your organization install a new content management system soon? Are you a part of the vetting process? I know the developers out there are, but I hope you content/marketing/design/etc. types are too.

Let’s face it, a CMS isn’t much good if its more painful than beneficial. The promises sound great, but the reality may not be realized unless you inject yourself into the process early. But don’t take my word for it, take Jeffery Veen’s advice: get your editorial process worked out before you do anything.

You need to know exactly how work gets done in your organization before you begin any CMS selection. Every organization has a unique mix of people, deadlines, dependencies, hierarchy, new requests, ongoing maintenance, visitor testing, stats analysis, strategy refinement, and on and on that affect editorial flow. If you don’t know how all of these pieces fit together to form your editorial process, then you have some homework before any CMS talk is begun. Editorial processes are not static, they allow for some wiggle room and that’s OK. But knowing where wiggle room needs to occur helps you determine what CMS will work well for you. The better you understand your work process, the clearer your needs become and the easier it is to see which CMS is right.

If you leave this decision to the tech department, you could be in for a long long trip. Now, please note that this isn’t a rant against developers. It’s a rant against a flawed process where the CMS is seen as a technology issue to be worked out by technology workers. Of course the developers should be central to the decision, but the CMS choice should revolve around the people who use it, how they use it and why. Anything less will result in just that- less. Less enthusiasm, lower morale, perhaps even less productivity.

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