In May I reported about an agency we have worked with that charged $100,000 for a content management system. A project that turned into 92 meetings just to spec it out.
Well, I have another story for you and this one is really bad.
Ok, so there is a multi-national company based here in Phoenix that wanted to have a new web site built and decided to use a company out of the Midwest. The development firm said they would provide this company with a content management system, backend office database systems, and of course a new web site. I’m sure the sales pitch was more elegant than that last paragraph.
Current situation is as follows:
#1: Development firm couldn’t do the design and so Tornado was pulled in to do the site design. Completed in December.
#2: Content management system is less about managing content than trying to be a hacked up version of Dreamweaver on the internet.
#3: Six months of piecemeal upgrades to site, attempts to deal with the CMS by building pages and now the multinational company is paying its staff to learn HTML.
#4: Midwest development company manages to explode budget from $30,000 to $102,000 with no end in sight.
#5: Five board meetings and several all nighters later, the multinational company decides they need help. They can’t even figure out how to work the CMS and the site is really ugly.
#6: Multinational company asks Tornado for help because they can’t figure out the CMS but they want to launch the site soon.
#7: Tornado recommends that multinational company consider dropping the CMS portion for the front end and picking something simple to manage CONTENT. Tells multinational company that they probably don’t need to be able to manage the style sheets dynamically for every page.
Sometimes knowing when to walk away from a bad deal is a sign of true leadership and while it takes guts, can often put you into a better position.
Sound familiar? It should, it’s the story of big corporations getting sold on robust technology that can do everything. Sounds good in the boardroom, works really bad in real life. I asked around and found out that this company expects to spend the same amount NEXT YEAR! Incredible waste.
I could go on and on but I won’t except to say that this company didn’t buy a content management system. They bought a complete site design and site management system. It’s something only web developers can figure out and this company is paying for it in a huge way.
Plus, their web site still isn’t up. And probably won’t be for another month or more!