This is the fourth installment of a series of articles on content management assessment. The most recent article (“Is your workflow working for you?“) showed how to assess the effectiveness of the workflow that you configured in your CMS. In this installment, we will discuss how realistic your expectations for distributed content contribution are.
A common justification for a new CMS is to “remove the webmaster bottleneck” by enabling content contribution from across the organization. Baked into this reasoning is the assumption is that the organization is filled with stifled contributors who are banging on the door with content to publish. But that isn’t always the case; in fact, it often isn’t. More common is a situation where the webmaster needs to drag content out of departments who are prioritizing other work higher than contributing to the website. It is only after the CMS is deployed that the organization realizes that the webmaster’s key value wasn’t just coding HTML but was writing content based on whatever raw information he was able to drag out of the business units. I have written about this phenomenon a few times before in “The Myth of the Occasional User” and “Ways to Fail.”