Each year, CFOs review the costs expended by their companies to verify that the money being spent is worthwhile. The first question that any efficient CFO will ask when examining a cost item is, “Do we really need this?” If they find that spending cannot be justified with positive results, budgets may be cut for those departments. In that case, you may need to say good-bye to the tools, the support, and the services that you might rely on to do your job if you can’t prove its worth.
If you use a CMS, you may be asked to justify its use every year. Your ability to elaborate on the corporate content management system benefits could make the difference between keeping your CMS intact or watching it go by the wayside. Here are some tips to get you prepared for the CFO’s visit:
Determine the benefits of using a CMS.
If you created an executive summary presentation for your management when purchasing a CMS, then this is the easy part…use the recommendations you presented. The specific benefits of a CMS for your organization may be in translation cost savings, shortened production cycle times, larger volume of projects produced, or reduced levels of customer support due to a higher quality of content.
Determine how to measure the benefits of a CMS.
Remember that a CFO lives in the world of numbers. He or she will want to see a quantitative measurement of the benefits of a CMS in order to justify its existence. Decide on a way to measure each benefit. For example, use the CMS’s content reuse report as one indicator of the quality of your content…if content reuse is high across your publications, then your message is consistent and the accuracy of your content is better. Take advantage of the CMS’s reporting capabilities to gather information quickly and easily if possible.
Take benchmark measurements.
We’ve emphasized this point in previous tips, but it’s worth mentioning again because it is so important. Make sure you take measurements before you change anything so you have benchmarks to measure against as you make changes to track your improvements. This step is often forgotten, but it is the most critical in being able to prove that your CMS is valuable.
Track ongoing progress.
Once you know how to measure the benefits, create a schedule to pull and track those measurements on a regular basis (weekly, monthly…pick a timeframe that makes sense for you). If you maintain ongoing records of your progress, you will be prepared for that visit from the CFO at any time throughout the year.
Vasont Systems can provide more valuable tips for helping you explain the many benefits of a CMS. Call us at 717-764-9720 or visit our website for help in getting started with your content management strategy.