Filed under: Content management
There are literally hundreds of content management systems in the marketplace. The goal of any selection process is to progressively cut these down until only one remains: the chosen solution.
Regardless of which type of evaluation process is being followed, there is a final short-list of typically three vendors. These vendors are asked to give a structured demonstration, and then the final decision is made.
Too often I’ve seen shortlists with remarkably different products on them, and if the requirements and selection criteria are working properly, this just shouldn’t be possible.
Having worked on dozens of CMS selection projects, this is a good “sanity check”:
The products in the final CMS short-list should be similar, or the selection process is in trouble.
- All shortlisted products meet core CMS requirements.
- All products should be strong candidates.
- They should be the same “type” of products (and not a mix of web CMS, collaboration tools, IT platforms, portals or document management systems).
- The products should be roughly similar in size and complexity (eg there should not be an “enterprise” CMS alongside a small-scale offering).
- They should all run on the same (preferred) technical platform (IT can easily knock out products because of the platform they run on, leaving just one or two).
- They should all be affordable within the budget, or close thereto.
Now, this is not to say that there can’t be some variation. There’s no problem with having a mix of closed source and open-source options, as long as it’s managed well. There can be both “mid-market” and “upper-market” offerings, as long as this is done deliberately to help understand what paying more would get you.
At the end of the day, you want three strong candidates to pick from so you can be confident that the best solution has been found. If the final short-list fails the criteria listed above, double-check the whole process, and if necessary, get some outside expert input.
Your thoughts and experiences?