The Biggest Reason Organizations Struggle with CMS
One of the most common questions I get about web content management is “how much ongoing investment is required after the platform launches?”
This is a difficult question to answer since the role of digital and CMS are so different inside each organization. However, I believe the inability to answer this question is the biggest reason organizations struggle with web content management.
I find it helps to frame the question by looking at two different sets of priorities: Operational and Strategic. This slide from my recent eduWeb presentation helps explain the differences.
Operational priorities represent the day-to-day activities required to keep the lights on, respond to requests, train end users, create and update content and patch bugs. The list goes on. They can be tedious, unpredictable, unrecognized, and time consuming. Some people call it firefighting, but it’s a lot more than that.
Strategic priorities often represent the most important new projects to an organization. These are usually budgeted for and actively prioritized to ensure resources are being allocated to the work that matters. Many strategic projects also evolve into operational initiatives that require ongoing active management.
Organizations struggling with CMS almost always underinvest in the operational priorities. They often lack the people, processes and maturity to handle day-to-day web operations management. This leads to juggling both operational and strategic priorities together with an understaffed team and inadequate resources. Nothing gets done well, if at all.
Here’s the reality: Organizations need to be able to deliver on both operational and strategic priorities simultaneously. This goes far beyond simply adding more people and money. It means isolating both types of priorities and right-sizing the approach and processes.
Determining the proper level of investment means answering two questions:
- What activities and people are required to properly operate and maintain what has been built?
- What new strategic initiatives are required to meet the business goals and how best should those be staffed/outsourced?
I recently consulted with an organization that had a single half-time person managing the CMS and all of the ongoing web activities (and you thought you were overworked). When we looked at what was really required to properly maintain the digital channel, it was determined they needed at least 3-4 new people and better defined processes.
We then looked at the second question to identify new strategic opportunities. This resulted in a 2-3 year roadmap of digital initiatives deemed necessary to achieve the desired results for the business.
With both of these plans in place, we developed a staffing model and total budget that could adequately support both ongoing operations and new strategic priorities. It the first time this organization ever had a real plan and was able to clearly communicate the priorities to the rest of the organization.
With the right supporting metrics and business cases, this type of planning can get the internal buy-in necessary to develop a more sustainable model for both supporting and growing a successful CMS-driven web publishing program and digital team.
Even in cases where the full funding isn’t available, it can provide a framework for prioritizing what matters most. And by getting more structure around the operational activities, you’ll be able to free your team up to focus on the projects that can really transform your company and get you that promotion you deserve.
Need help developing your own plan? Drop us a line and we’d be more than happy to talk.
What have your experiences been managing CMS post launch and getting the proper teams and budgets allocated? Leave us your thoughts below.