Situation: Publishers want a content management system to be flexible and adaptable at a low cost.
Reality: Unlike desktop applications, enterprise content management systems change and sometimes pretty often. Publishers are often surprised by the amount of changes a CMS requires after the initial implementation. That is because a CMS changes to meet the way your organization wants to work, not force you down a path such as Microsoft Word. Yes, Word can be customized, but a CMS can truly evolve as your organization evolves its processes and workflow. In the pure definition of a system, it is one that never stops changing. You can read between the lines here and either ignore the fact that a CMS will require a budget to make changes as your organization changes or you can budget the appropriate time and money to keep the system current and reflect user needs. Systems don’t change by themselves and the flexibility you get with a CMS comes at a cost. If you want a system that is inexpensive and inflexible, that is fine, but be ready for unhappy users.
Best Practice: In our experience publishers who budgeted between 25% and 50% of the original project implementation costs for changes after the initial launch were able to respond to user change requests in a timely manner.
Every publisher manages projects and budgets differently. As a CMS vendor we understand that. It is imperative for publishers to understand though that a system will require changes after it goes live and this is perfectly natural as a system is used by the staff. Those publishers who budget for and plan out a period of time after CMS launch to complete user change requests will ultimately have higher user adoption across the organization. Higher user adoption equals higher organizational efficiency.
What are your experiences with system changes post-launch?