Janus and his team at JBoye have released their latest report: "Best practices for selecting a CMS"
I got a sneak preview as I had provided input and feedback, as did lots of other members of the 250+ strong membership of the JBoye Community of Practice (CoP). The full table of contents is available at the link above, but this report is best described as "short and to the point"(37 pages plus appendices taking it up to 52) - which is a good thing ! However while its not a desk breaking volume if you print it, it is full of very good advice.........
Although I read things I review here from cover to cover, upside down and backwards, I don't like to give too much away, after all Janus and co' want paying customers so that they can put dinner on the table, so I won't give too much detail away.
The report is thorough, from a brief examination of why you might need a new CMS, through project management to the selection phase and advice on how interact with the vendors. What I really like about it though is that they advocate a 'scenario' based approach to selection.
The report suggests as one of its best practices that you don't develop the long list of mandatory or optional requirements that often characterise technology RFP's, and even more, that you don't develop a scoring methodology !
Although I think if your in government / public sector in some countries you will possibly have to do both these things, its always worth stressing that as long as your evaulation is open and transparent, and you can prove to a recalitrant vendor that their product truly does not meet your requirements, then you should be covered (but always check with your own legal department !).
So the JBoye solution is to develop scenarios that the vendor must walk you through in presentation sessions, or prove during a short 'Proof of Concept' demonstration. I totally agree with this approach and have done this, and although it requires a bit more concentrated effort on your part, as the assessor, it does provide much better insight into whether a product will really fit your requirements and meet your needs. The reports appendices include sample scenarios and 'testable stories'.
1 Caveat; what this is not is an in depth review of how to develop your selection criteria, neither is it a review of CMS systems - there is an appendix on references and additional reading, I would suggest starting with CMS Watch. For advice with what to do with your CMS once you have selected it, try Prescient Digital Media.
All in all, in my humble opinion this is well worth 135 Euros if your involved in, or about to be involved in a CMS selection it is packed with useful advice, suggested best practice and tips.
The full URL for the information on the report is: http://www.jboye.com/knowledge-base/reports/best-practices-for-selecting-a-cms/