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How to choose the right CCMS?

A good information architecture is essential to manage your documentation properly. However, that alone is not enough when managing large amounts of documentation in an international context. In that case, you would be better managing your documentation in a Component Content Management System (CCMS).

Nowadays, information should be made available quickly and consistently on all kinds of platforms. As a result, it has in many cases become an absolute must not only to write your documentation in a structured way, but also to manage it properly behind the scenes using a CCMS. CCMSes can tell you which pieces of documentation have already been translated and exactly which version of a topic you used for a certain release. Intrigued yet?

Doing your homework

Compare the implementation of a CCMS to building a house. Of course you want a beautiful house, within budget, decorated nicely, but it also has to be sturdy and meet the latest standards. An architect will help you make the right decisions for your project and will also check whether everything is done correctly.

Similarly, you should make an informed choice when choosing your CCMS, but this will require you to do your homework first. You will need a list of requirements that are important to your company and will then need to follow an entire selection process before you can make your choice. That’s when an information architect comes in handy, an independent expert, who is aware of all the trends and possibilities in their field.

Building the foundations of the CCMS

An information architect will help you look beyond the standard functions of a CCMS so that you can choose the CCMS that suits your company’s needs best. In order to fully define your requirements, you will, among other things, need an answer to the following (and many more) questions:

  • Who is writing the documentation?
  • Do all writers work on the same location?
  • Does the documentation need to be officially approved before it is released?
  • Do you need to be able to publish older versions of your documentation at any time?
  • Do you need to be able to work on different releases of the same product simultaneously?
  • Do you want to invest in automation?
  • Do you want to work in the cloud?
  • Do you need to translate the documentation?
  • Do you need to be able to connect the documentation to another software, such as Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) or e-learning?
  • What is your budget?

The advice of independent experts

Since the many possibilities of a CCMS often create more questions than answers, you should definitely not rush into choosing your CCMS. It is often better to get guidance from independent  experts. They not only have experience with many different systems, but they can also help you find the CCMS that best suits your needs. In short, they can guide you on your journey to making the right choice. In a later stage, they can also assist you with the actual implementation of the CCMS.

This journey can consist of:

  1. Analyzing your current documentation
  2. Listing the requirements of the (desired) system
  3. Shortlisting CCMSes for a demo
  4. Setting up a pilot project that can be used during the different CCMS demos
  5. Choosing the appropriate CCMS
  6. Setting up the right information architecture within the CCMS
  7. Training
    • the writers in the new system
    • the internal information architect who keeps an overview of the technical implementation
  8. Optimizing the workflow where necessary

Interested?

Flow has experience with multiple component content management systems and has assisted many clients on their journey to finding the most appropriate CCMS.

Are you also looking for a CCMS? Contact us now and discover how we can help you find the right one.