CMS Starter Kit


How to Build Your Business Plan for Content Management

Developing a plan for your content management initiative is essential to achieving success. Besides being a persuasive document to show your management team that content management is a solid investment, it also forces your team and your chosen vendor to lay out all the details necessary to meet your content management goals.

While the exact format and content of your plan will vary, there are some basic points that you should address. Use the outline below to structure your proposed plan and fill in information for your situation.


Executive Summary

Provide a brief description of the business problem (Ex.: "Our editorial department wastes too much time creating duplicate content, slowing down the production process."). Then provide a short description of the solution (Ex.: "A single-source content management system will eliminate the creation of duplicate content by enabling robust content reuse, thus freeing authors to focus on creating new content and improving production time."). Also, provide a summary of the estimated costs, projected savings, and new revenue streams.


Detailed Plan

I. Outline the current situation
  A. What is the current business problem?
B. How much is it costing the company?
C. If the problem is not resolved, how much will it cost the company in the future?
II. Description of the project
  A. What current problems will the project solve?
B. List goals, both firm and general expectations.
C. Define the projected measures of success/milestones in quantifiable terms, if possible (summarize here and provide detail in III.I.i).
III. Logistics of the project
  A. Locations/divisions
    i. What locations/divisions will the project initially affect?
ii. What are the potential expansion sites when the project is successful?
  B. Technology requirements
    i. What additional software/hardware will you need?
ii. What technologies and corresponding support fees can be eliminated?
  C. Staffing requirements
    i. Identify by title exactly who will be the key players in the project (i.e., administrator).
ii. Who will have access to the system?
iii. What additional positions will be needed?
iv. Which current positions do you predict will be eliminated or reassigned?
  D. Other resources required
    i. What will you need?
ii. What can you eliminate?
  E. Training
    i. Who will be involved in the training?
ii. Who will provide the training?
iii. How long will it take?
iv. When will it happen?
v. How often will it occur?
  F. Support
    i. Who will need support?
ii. Who will provide support and how?
  G. Security
    i. How will you determine and control who has access to each content collection?
ii. How often will access be reassessed?
iii. What other security measures will be in place?
  H. Continuity
    i. How does this project fit into your organization's overall business continuity strategy?
ii. If you organization doesn't have one, how will you protect your content from unforeseen natural or technical circumstances?
  I. Milestones/metrics
    i. What are your milestones?
ii. When do you anticipate meeting them?
iii. How will you measure them?
  J. Quality assurance
    i. How often will quality be assessed?
ii. Who will assess it and how?
iii. Who will ultimately determine what changes will be made, if needed?
  K. Deliverables
    i. What deliverables do you expect to produce and how often?
ii. What new deliverables/revenue streams do you anticipate?
IV. Financial aspects of the project
  A. What are the costs involved to implement the project?
B. What are the payment options?
C. What are the projected costs for the future (support, customizations, additional seats)?
    i. Detail by month for the first year; detail by quarters for the second and third years.
  D. What are the projected time and cost savings?
E. What assumptions did you use as a basis for your projections?

(Need help coming up with numbers? See actual results from our Vasont client base and use them as a basis for savings estimates.)
V. Supporting documents
  A. If available, attach copies of vendor RFIs or RFPs, agreements, licenses, and other legal documents.