Back to all articles

7 challenges to delivering a global web content management capability

Jonathan Whiteside
Jonathan Whiteside
Global SVP Technology & Engineering
5 min read
25 November 2017

What are the biggest challenges to delivering a new global Web Content Management capability? It’s easy to use technology as a scapegoat, but having delivered many global CMS implementations over the past 10 years, we know that the challenges actually don’t lie in the technical implementation of the platform, but at the organisational level itself.

We’ve identified 7 common challenges our clients face when delivering a global web content management capability. If you’re currently in the midst of delivering a global web content management solution, or you’re due to start a project, we hope that by openly discussing these issues at an early stage, you can mitigate these potential risks too.

Challenge #1 – unrealistic expectations

The first and most important challenge you will face is managing scope. All projects will, and should, have some known constraints around time and budget. However in a global, multi-stakeholder environment, these constraints can often be overlooked when reviewing creative and functional ideas.

You will need to develop processes that allow you to manage and measure scope at the early stages of the project lifecycle. Our consultants will ensure that any recommendations are made within the context of these known constraints.

Challenge #2 – Is the project being championed at the highest level?

A global project requires a lot and time and effort from all involved, this is normally on top of “the day job”. If the project is not championed from the top down you will struggle to get traction and adoption at a local level.

The most successful CMS and global websites we have implemented have had strong senior stakeholder support in the project, with clear goals, objectives and KPIs.

Challenge #3 – sign off and project leadership

Despite the number of people that need to be consulted in a project like this there can only ever be one final sign off point. Your internal project leaders need to be empowered by the management to make quick decisions and for those decisions to be final.

Design by committee does not work, no decisions are made and the project gets delayed. The power of digital is that we can learn from decisions and if needed make changes later on.

Challenge #4 – content creation

Content creation is often left to the last minute. It can often just end up being a “copy and paste” of the existing website.

If you are planning to redesign and rebuild your website you also need to think about what you are saying to the audience.

Our advice, even at the earliest points of a new initiative, is to start developing the content immediately – as soon as you walk out of the meeting room.

The time it takes to create, edit and have approved engaging content can never be overlooked.

Challenge #5 – availability of key contacts

This is always a challenge in global organisations and is a real risk for this type of project. Attendance will be needed in workshops, for interviews etc.

This can be mitigated by planning well in advance and ensuring that any feedback that is needed from key contacts is condensed into a small period.

Challenge #6 – underestimating the time required for localising content

Consider who in the local markets is assigned to the creation, translation and upload of the local country content. Remember that localisation is not just translation. It’s about making the content relevant to the local audience. So leave time for sourcing local specific imagery and other assets.

If you assign these tasks to a local country editor who has other responsibilities, and who is only available for your project half a day a week and has never used the CMS, then they will take longer than someone dedicated to your project 100% and familiar with the tools.

Preparing a new website to go-live is not a small undertaking for a content editor and should not be underestimated. In our experience, it is usually the time required for completing content activities being underestimated that is the biggest risk to hitting your launch date.

Challenge #7 – post-project governance

You will invest a lot of time, effort and budget into a global roll out project. Therefore it is important to ensure you have the right governance structure in place to maximise your investment and guarantee long term best practice.

This could include:

Utilising workflow to ensure proper sign off

Creating content management guidelines

Creating Digital Creative guidelines

Defining and managing a BAU process

Implementing systems such as Jira for case
tracking and issue management

Importantly having someone in a role where these
standards and governance procedures can be
monitored and actioned.

Delivering a global web content management capability

If you’re managing the digital presence of global enterprise, you’ll need multiple websites, landing pages and microsites across multiple regions, territories and languages. We’ll create the framework to make this production quick and easy.

We’ll define the standards and policies, and we’ll set up the tools and technologies that you’ll need. From there, you’ll be able to create rich and consistent sites when you need them, as you need them.

Whichever technology you’re familiar with, here at DEPT® we have expert developers and project managers who are experienced in a wide breadth of leading CMS technology solutions.

If you’d like to discuss an upcoming project or simply find out more about our solutions, get in touch today.

More Insights?

View all Insights


Global SVP Technology & Engineering

Jonathan Whiteside