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Overcoming Resistance to Content Management

Why a Team Might Not Want CMS and How to Overcome the Resistance to CMS


Resistance to content management is more common than you might think. There are many reasons why a content management system would be useful for your website, but there are also many reasons why people might not want it. If you can recognize the issues and reasons why people might not find CMS valuable, you can be prepared to address them.

Web Developers will Resist the CMS

Often the Web developers will be the strongest voices in support or the biggest obstacle to implementing a Web Content Management System. They have both the most to gain and the most to lose from a content management system. Some of the common issues Web developers will have to content management systems are:

  • Speed of the CMS
    If you are expecting your developers to use the system, they will not be comfortable if it is not at least as fast as their current system. This includes both bandwidth of the system and time-to-publication. In other words, can they build a page and put it live as fast or faster in the CMS as they can in their current system?

  • Flexibility of the CMS
    Developers are used to using all different types of tools and languages to accomplish the goals of their websites. Content management systems that don't have the flexibility to support CGI, Java, JavaScript, Flash, XML, and other Web technologies (existing or brand new) are not going to get the support of the developers.

  • Job security
    This is probably the biggest fear that Web developers have regarding a content management system, and it's also the one they would be most loathe to speak of. These tools make websites much more efficient, and so there is much less need of large numbers of developers, and most developers recognize that. But the reality is that there will still be a need for Web developers, either for dynamic scripting or design, and explaining that to the developers will do a lot towards getting their support for the content management system.

Content Creators Resist the CMS

Content creators will see many valuable changes in the implementation of a Web Content Management System, but they are often too caught up in the day-to-day development and creation of their sites to recognize the value until it's actually live. Their resistance is going to mostly be in the nature of process and workload.

  • Adding to their work
    The first thing that content creators are going to see about a new Content Management System is that they now have more to do. Prior to the system they would simply create the content, images, text, or whatever and deliver it to the developers for publishing. With most CMS, content developers will have more direct access to the website content, but they will also be responsible for doing more.

  • Clear processes
    Adding a Content Management System will change the process of the content creators. This means there will be a learning curve for them (everyone) to learn the new system. The processes, unless clearly mapped out in advance will be hard to get used to and impact the efficiency of the Web team.

  • Approvals
    This can sometimes be a rude awakening for developers and content creators alike. Why? Because on many websites the developers simply publish the pages with little or no quality assurance or even review. But most Content Management Systems include approvals and verification into the process before a page is put live.

Managers will Resist the CMS

Managers generally see the value of the process, approvals, and management aspects of CMS, but the cost can be a sticking point. It's important to determine the return on investment (ROI) for the Content Management System you choose for your site and have good numbers available for management.

  • Costs
    This is usually the first hurdle. A good CMS is typically not cheap. Having a well thought out ROI is the key to getting past this hurdle.

  • Administration
    This is related to costs in that sometimes you will need a central administrator for the Content Management System, and hiring is often difficult. It's important to have several options for administration, including outsourcing, internal management, and shared administration.

While it's often easy to get seduced by all the great things that CMS can do for your site and your company, it's important to understand why others might not share your enthusiasm. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of CMS as well as some of the objections people might have will help you create a strong case for implementing itin your company.

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