Common Mistakes in WebCenter Content Implementations

By: Raoul Miller – Enterprise Architect

I just read a great white paper by Dmitri Khanine on mistakes people make with their Site Studio implementations (here) and it inspired me to respond with my take on some of the common mistakes clients make in their broader WebCenter Content / Universal Content Management implementations.

1.    Too Much, Too Soon

You’ve spent a lot of money on license and hardware and probably many months in the selection process, so it’s natural to want to jump in with both feet. Don’t. A phased approach is always better and TEAM always encourages our clients to start with a pilot / phase 1 to learn about the business and get quick returns on investment.  There’s nothing worse than having to explain to the CFO why you are 18 months into a project and still in design phase.

2.    Making it Too Complex

Project managers and internal implementers want to keep their colleagues happy, but too often this turns into managing exception after exception. In order to get any system up and running, you need to accommodate the normal business flows and only those common or vital exceptions. Is it worth spending $100,000 and 2 to 3 months to manage a once a decade exception? Only if the future of the business would depend on it.  Start with the out of the box functionality and watch your users adapt to it.

3.    Failure to Tune

Having encouraged you to go OOTB, don’t think that applies to the application level.  WCC/ UCM will run fine with a standard install, but it won’t run well – see my white paper here for tips on tuning and architecture to get the best performance.

4.    Lack of Participation

The greatest system in the world won’t provide ROI if your users don’t embrace it.  You have to involve users and demonstrate to them why using the new software will help them and your organization. Find out if there’s resistance and address the concerns.  In this challenging economy, people worry that if they submit all their “knowledge” to a new system they can be replaced.  If you got the ECM system so you could replace your experienced contributors, then you’re on your own as to how to address that.

5.   Leadership Vacuum

Someone in your organization made the decision to buy and deploy an ECM system – that person (or group) needs to continue in that leadership role and be visible during implementation. Otherwise the new content management system just becomes another burden or task to all involved.  Communication has to come from the internal project advocates. Why does your organization need to deploy records management (e.g.,cost, exposure, liability, best practice, knowledge sharing)? What are the advantages of an integrated digital asset management and web content management platform (e.g., speed, delegation, response, flexibility, etc.)?

TEAM can help you meet these and many other challenges head on.  Most organizations implement content management once – we do it every day and see the patterns that emerge.  We can bring that experience to your unique situation and guide you through the process smoothly and quickly and prevent you from making the same mistakes others may have made.

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