My Thoughts around Which Comes First: the Crew or the CMS?


While reading the post and comments over at Jon’s blog i was reminded of all the assessments i have done for products and all the projects i have met and i started thinking of the purity of the process and structure of it.
My comment to the article was:

*Note* – I work with Vignette, a CMS vendor. My opinions however are my ownĶ.but are obviously biased.
I will go on this later on my website but for the time been i think that we need to take the Selection process and asses Adriaan Bloem comment.
The selection process even if it is for a case 1 will need to be maintained by some workforce of the client. so the vendor selection should be at least reviewed by the current team of the client.
Preferably that part of the sales will include some introduction training over the product to enable assessments of the primordial capabilities of the product.
This assessment should not be a Business case assessment but a technical one since the product UX is not available at this stage on the demo product.
After this assessment the client will be much more aware of the products and their matching capabilities to the IT requirements they have. i have seen too many projects been pushed on the IT department as a finalized solution without their approval and making them support something they are unfamiliar with and unable to do so.
The Agency should do its own math as for what product is more suitable for the implementation of the UX and the success of the client and be focused on that.
Later in the process there should be a discussion over the best product matching both the Agency analysis and the Clients departments analysis, the product of this should be a ranking of products.
at this point the price should not be discussed and information should not be available to the teams.
Next there should be a discussion over the price and some fondling with the sales guys.
This will result in a product selection based on 3 criterias:
1. Implementation ease.
2. Matching to clients needs.
3. Price is right.
Now regarding the corruption
Since not everything is money in the world and we are dealing with people, my personal belief is that the Agency and the Client are both pushing for the easier path that will either pay them more or be safer or both.
Coming to see that will in fact reduce the corruption allegations to the ones that are at court at the moment.
It could be that some of the licensing deals have hidden agendas and friendly handshakes but not everything is money.

So what is the way to judge the purity of the CMS vendor choice?
I want to start analizing the choice from the correct timing of the choice.
In SDLC we have these processes when creating a new software:
Initiation/Planning – Generate a high-level view of the intended project and determine the goals of the project.
Requirements Gathering And Analysis – Determine where the problem is in attempt to fix it with a system. Engage business users to define definite requirements.

Design – Design functions and operations and describe them in detail.
Implementation – Based on all the design outputs (documents) build the system while documenting the process.

So where do we put the CMS vendor selection? my thoughts are to do it after you have the Requirements analyzed and before the Design process. but who will make the analysis and who will make the design? do we need to further complicate the business side of the engagements and put more vendors to the mix?
One of the most frustrating thing for me is the finger pointing game we see in many implementations when there are many agencies mixed up in the game.
The price in getting many agencies involved in the process to me outweigh the matching of the CMS Vendor and its matchability.
I wish that many agencies were as proliferate as they should be. their ability to cut the clutter of the process into one agency with one goal and one liability in the process and their vast knowledge of multiple CMS vendors makes them one of the best agencies you can contact.
But there is a risk when contacting a single agency, this is putting all of your eggs in one basket, the risk of them not putting the maximum effort and skils they have towards your implementation and stuffing it up. i have seen some implementations that are quite big and very knowledgeable put their apprentices and not the experts on a project to save the low ball offer they made.

Do we need an external company to process all the parameters collected in the analysis and decide for the customer and the implementer what will be the platform? i guess that is correct if you put the implementer choice right after the CMS vendor choice.

and if we point the spotlight to the implementer choice, what should be the process? do we put an RFP out just for the implementation? are we using an external analysis company to asses the success ratio of implementers and then go by the most successful?
If we do assess the success of the implementer shouldn’t we do it for the CMS Vendor also? and the Agency if we go to the one stop shop alternative.

So what should we do?
I guess there is no simple pathway covered with a red carpet waiting to be found.
I guess that the client should choose the best fitting option.
The only thing i think any company should have is a knowledgeable supervising company/individuals that will be able to asses the progress of the process, especially the implementers progress.