You Want Collaboration, Not Workflow

The CMS sales cycle always talks about workflow like it’s a magic bullet for any of our content problems. But it’s usually not workflow we want — it’s collaboration.

  • Deane Barker
  • Jun. 01 2014

Workflow is one of the most over-purchased features in content management — simply because most people purchase it with the impression that they're getting something different. It's called workflow, but really what we want is collaboration.

Chief Strategy Officer Deane Barker wrote today at Gadgetopia about this very thing: "You Want Collaboration, Not Workflow." From that post:

Seemingly every project has grand plans around workflow. Editors are going to submit content to an approver, then it’s going to an editorial committee of which 60% need to sign off, then it’s going to a metadata specialist, then the legal department, and then it will be published when the temperature in Moscow hits 60 degrees and the Oakland Raiders win the Superbowl, etc.

None of this ever happens (especially the part about the Raiders and the Superbowl…)

In my experience, 95% of “workflows” are simple serial chain approvals, and 95% of those are one step. Someone can edit and submit, then someone else comes to review then publish. It’s barely even “workflow,” but that’s fine because it works and it’s what most clients really need.

For more, check out Deane’s blog: Gadgetopia.