Filed under: Content management
Just before my week away fishing, I started with a new client, a NSW Government department who are implementing a new intranet. They have all the tools, including a top-tier CMS and search tool. What they are not sure on is the best way to proceed with the very difficult task of addressing intranet issues, so I was called in as an “on-call expert” to answer questions, and help out as required.
From my perspective, this is a great little project, as it gives me exposure to some interesting challenges, without getting too bogged down in actual implementation. This is particularly the case as the the library & research people have been given charge of the intranet, and they are naturally doing some excellent work with metadata, for example.
As part of the initial half-day spent onsite gaining an understanding of their environment, they walked me through what had been done for the website. This had been implemented using the same tools, but by the IT and public affairs departments.
What I saw was scary. Despite having spent literally millions on implementing this very large CMS, authors were required to do things such as manually update the last-updated date metadata for topics (!). This, and many other, problems led me to say: “Even if everything else is done well, the poor design of the CMS will guarantee project failure“. Not an encouraging sign for the intranet project.
I’m heading across again tomorrow morning to see what the IT folks have come up for the intranet CMS. This has been developed entirely in isolation, and then sprung on the intranet managers as a big surprise. Needless to say, I’m a bit nervous about what I might see …
Possibly our only hope is that once the project is fully handed across to the library team (who understand the people & process issues), they can start to tackle the real issues …