As an analyst, I like to compare. Everything is compared to something similar to make a point or at least an interesting conversation. Selecting a CMS is compared to selecting a car, implementation to building a house, any town with hills or water to my childhood home town and so on.
I often say that our industry (CMS, portal, intranet, wiki, enterprise search whatever) is young and immature, in particular when compared to other IT segments, such as word processing, CRM or ERP. When I recently read an interesting article by Ismael Ghalimi called Don’t RFP, Just DIY, which covers problems with selecting a BPM (Business Process Management) product and the general state of the BPM market, it struck me how familiar the problems sounded. In fact if you just replace BPM with CMS in the article, it all makes entirely good sense. You can try it with ECM, Portal and so on as well.
According to the article the traditional Request For Proposal (RFP) process is to blame for many project failures. "In a nutshell, customers learn very little if anything when asking BPM vendors to go through such an RFP and bake-off process" says Ghalimi.
Reading the article was a comforting reminder that we should be able to extract learnings from other industries. As we are facing similar problems, it also suggests that what has worked well for other industries, should also work well in ours.