Why content management fails. Jeffrey Veen has written an article on why content management fails. To quote: To have any chance of success, a content management project must follow the same user-centered design practices as any other project. Task analysis, rapid prototyping, usability testing… [Column Two]
I agree with Veen on several points: user-centered design practices are important, you shouldn’t buy the vendor pitch without due diligence, and you certainly don’t want to radically change your processes or your toolsets to conform to IT or vendor requirements without good reason. The solution needs to fit the process and the user community.
However, Veen’s suggestion that a business should tell IT, “Here are our processes and our toolsets and those aren’t going to change,” (I am paraphrasing) seems too extreme. Sometimes, processes need to be streamlined. Toolsets are dated or are being used inappropriately. Overlapping toolsets waste financial and human resources and may need to be consolidated. During a content management rollout, there are numerous reasons why the business should keep an open mind with regard to potential process and technology change.
I’m noticing a theme with Adaptive Path. Generally speaking, they seem to be major advocates for the practical implementation of content management solutions, which I am totally on board with. But, in my opinion, encouraging a business unit to take a hardline stance against change is something that has the potential to create/reinforce the rift that is usually present between business units and a centralized IT organization.