Three Ways to Save Your Job with a CMS

Debbie Polishook, Accenture (System integrator)

Understand Content Strategy

  • Know your content.
  • Know your business model.
  • Strategy drives project decisions.
  • Think holistic, manage delivery.

Secure Project Sponsorship

  • Find a sponsor at the business executive level (influential person across the organization).
  • Sponsor keeps focus on business results.
  • Helps secure scarce resources.
  • Project advocate.

Involve All Stakeholders

  • Many stakeholders – executives, users, technology, customers, authors, vendors.
  • Organizational change management requires more effort than expected.
  • Front office vs. back office solution.
  • “Build it, they will come” will not work.

Scope, Solution Selections, Support, Scalability, Skills

  • Begin with an articulated strategy.
  • Identify and engage a project sponsor early.
  • Identify and manage key stakeholders.
  • Deliver something of value as soon as possible.
  • Consider scalability requirements.

Chan Preston KPMG (System Integrator)

Understand the Big Picture First (Clear Plan, With Buy-in)

  • Understand your workflow.
  • Understand your users.
  • Understand your content.

Don’t Trust Solutions Vendors

  • Do a financial analysis.
  • Coordinate with a business plan.
  • Focus on differentiations.
  • Evaluate with local data.
  • Check references (Ask for similar content and environment situations, then visit. Did they use an integrator?).


  • Seek experienced advice.
  • Include everyone (don’t let communications fall apart).
  • Develop measurements for improvement.
  • Recognize that DCM is difficult.

Nicole Gnutzman, Thomson Learning (Multimedia Education)


  • Reduce operating costs.
  • Revenue opportunities; new products.
  • Decrease cycle time.
  • Track rights.

Based on XML

  • Tag data once.
  • Update in real time.
  • Multiple products easily.

Success Factors

Business Case Development

  • Determine revenue opportunities and cost savings; multiple options:
    • Work with integrator (executives often trust integrators or consultants more).
    • Work with cross-functional team (including finance).
  • Still may not be enough because you are changing deep processes – change management.
  • Deep Bridge’s white paper “The Financial Case for Content Management”
  • Propose a pilot project; phase in the implementation.
  • Track details.

Communication Strategy Plan and Execution

  • Develop a strategic communication plan.
  • Involve potential users in development.
  • Ensure plan targets users, management, executive.
  • Create a formal “on-the-road” presentation: Video of industry expert, strategy, super-user demonstration.
  • Listen to feedback.

Standards Development

  • Set up a standards committee.
  • Develop standards and documentation for:
    • File naming.
    • Metadata.
    • Vocabulary management, keywording, and indexing.
    • Versioning.
    • Archiving and content accessibility.
    • Rights management.
    • Digital Object Identifier – unique identifying number for smallest elements.
  • Establish workflow standards and training based on those standards.
  • Change management (organizational development).

Actual Process for Thomson Learning

Six months for pilot project or phased implementation. Initial pilot not for production “aim small, miss small.”

  • Requirements gathering.
  • RFP.
  • Cost and Revenue analysis.
  • Business Case Development at the same time as DTD development.
  • Pilot requirements and workflow study (important).
  • Pilot (training and communication plan).
  • Communications plan execution.
  • Standards Development.
  • Workflow Analysis.
  • Phased implementation.

Document history: 2/21/02