What *are* the requirements for your CMS?

Or maybe the title of this post should be “How do you discover CMS requirements?”

That is the major problem with the Request For Proposal: … whoever writes it, and whoever reviews it, are the folks who just made up the institutions requirements. How do they know they’re complete? How do they know they flow from the institutions’ goals?

In Notre Dame’s current CMS evaluation, we are not writing an RFP. First, we reviewed the marketplace. We interviewed other institutions of similar size and profile to ours for their satisfaction with their CMS. We chose 2 marketplace contenders whom our peers registered satisfaction with. Why two?

Because a 3-way comparison was all we could manage with available resources. We want to compare our current CMS against others of its kind in a live pilot, and in Scenario-based Usability Cases for which we’re recruiting faculty who are CMS novices, as well as experts.

We believe the data we collect will tell us what faculty at Notre Dame are really trying to accomplish with a CMS. We hope to find out just what the pinch points are.  We believe we’ll be able to collect more of our true requirements by seeing what the systems can actually do here in our environment than by taking in sales demonstrations.