Friday, October 14, 2005

Yawn - Going live with CMS

We went live with our Stellent CMS system on Monday. After almost three years of planning, design, etc. the day came and went with barely a ripple in the force. In fact, our change over was so boring that I took the day off, our administrator took two days off on the following Thursday and Friday. In other words, this was exactly what we had hoped for - a seamless (and unexciting) transition to a new system. We did celebrate with treats, but other than that an unremarkable day.

The keys to this success were - 1) staff helped build this system (buy-in and ownership, i.e. supportive culture), 2) we had an excellent in-house training program, and 3) we're starting easy only using the document management component with 50% of our legacy content being migrated into the system (the other 50% comes in 2 weekends). Preparation was the key!

Of course we are finding some things that could be better - these are:
1) Display - We have been using 800 X 600 pixel display. Stellent software is optimized at 1024 X 768. With our traditional settings, you can't see the file title without manipulating the column size each time you look at the directory (a real pain). According to Stellent support, there isn't a fix to this. I better get reading glasses.
2) Most of our legacy documents came over without much metadata, so the searching capability is limited. With time this will be cleaned up.
3) Much to the frustration of our administrator, there was still some ROT (redundant, outdated and trivial content) coming into the system. Some folks have arranged their files by how they work, i.e. multiple copies of the files in different project. We're going to have to accept this and work on little changes over time. People don't think in terms of the file (how it's managed, etc.), they only think about the message/content contained in that file. This mindset will limit the usability of CMS, so at some point we will need to implement more file management rules.
4) We can't attach files from the CMS to external e-mail message (i.e. to non-users of our CMS) . We need to first save a document onto our hard drive and then attach it to an e-mail. For internal e-mail, we can attach a link and this works great. Stellent is developing an integration with Groupwise that has been promised in November. Until that happens there will be some frustration.

At this point we're only live with the document management on our internal core-server. In two weeks we start using our external collaborative server. I hope that it's implementation is just as boring


At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Wow! This is helpful to me, as I am getting my first pair of reading glasses. Thanks for writing this!

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