Implementing Content Management System (CMS) Across UAMS Campus

By Bonnie Hipp posted 08-25-2010 18:02


Once a Content Management System has been installed, the next phase is to decide what area(s) within the department to begin the utilization phase and what project(s) to start with.  The utilization phase and project consideration are a very important aspect to consider when transitioning into implementing CMS. The department should decide the areas(s) best equipped for this transition, preferably one that is more visual and vocal in helping to promote the Content Management System and sing its praise.

Preparing the documents properly beforehand can ensure that the content management system is used to its best capacity and enables the department to achieve a ROI and a successful implementation.  This includes not only such items as removing staples, paper clips but also organizing the files in the order or structure that you wish to implement. 

When we learn of a department's interested in ApplicationXtender there are several steps that we take to make sure and build up the excitement regarding productivity and organization.  

Step 1 *  We meet with the department and Analyze their content
                 a.   Start by looking in their current filing cabinets and their organizational system
            *  Review  folders that have been active the longest, have the department define the following:
                  a.   What are the pages inside the folder
                  b.   What are they called
                  c.   Are there supplemental documents/pages
                  d.   Is this information shared
                  e.   Does this information have a termination date
           *  It's imperative to ask for input from management and the staff as well     

Step 2 *  Be sure to check existing applications and see if there is one that reflects what the department is wanting to implement.   
            *  Invite the new client to visit a department that is currently utilizing the CMS application.  Prefer they visit a department who is utilizing a similar designed application.  Being able to demonstrate the CMS capabilities can help create a better understanding of how the system can be utilized.  This also provides an opportunity for questions to be asked, showing the potential from a current working standpoint.

Step 3 *  It's recommeneded to start with one application; it’s imperative that the departments initially work with a single project to trouble shoot start-up issues.  With the initial start up we recommend the department consider the following items in order to assist them in determining the appropriate starting point with CMS:
         a.  Decide what is currently critical
         b.  Which current documents can they immediately benefit most if electronic
         c.  The impact to the department’s schedule or workload
         d.  Who will be prepping and/or scanning
         e.  Available time for training
         g.  Develop a training guide to assist with questions regarding indexing or structure. Consistency is very important when implementing a new system.  This may also be the perfect time to implement new departmental changes or modify/streamline current office procedures. 
         h.  Does all current and legacy content need to be converted
         i.  How far back should you go?  Are there federal law requirements to follow?
         j.  How are they expecting to proceed, my suggestion is always start with current and work your way back.  That way the system is being used and evaluated while implementing and issues can be caught and resolved before the department gets far into the project. 
        k.  Timeframe to complete the conversion process 

Step 4 *  After everything has been outlined, prepare a project plan and detail cost associated to the implementation. 

What were your experiences with starting a Content Management Project?  Please share your feedback, it may benefit and help others with similar issues/concerns.   

Bonnie Hipp
Senior Project/Program Director for ApplicationXtender
University of Arkansas for Medical Science

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