The Gilbane Conference in Boston is well underway and already a raging success in my mind. Besides facilitating the “Enterprise Content Management: Myth or Reality” roundtable at the CMPros Summit, I have also moderated a session in the CM track titled “Avoiding the Big Mistakes in a CMS Project.” Both experiences were exactly the kind I hoped for — interactive, participant-driven, and enlightening. Summarizing my thoughts will likely take several blog entries — this one focuses on “the glue people” as related to the concept and in turn, the organizational reality of an enterprise content management strategy. Not software, not tools, not “which capabilities are applicable,” — just the strategy.

The glue people may very well be the answer to whether ECM strategy makes it to reality in an organization. What and who are they? The folks who manage to bridge the gap between the isolated goals and pressures of IT, business units with key content owners, and the C-level tier. As a former Business Analyst in the IT organization of a global insurance company, I know the pain of the glue people. Part psychotherapist, part geek, and part business person, glue people are often a rare breed. They must educate, facilitate, coordinate, smooth egos, see the bigger picture — the greater good, and make it home by 7PM if at all possible. They are often un-named, under-appreciated, and caught in the gaps themselves — resulting in the need to find their own psychotherapist.

BUT — the glue people can make an incredible amount of progress toward the organizational design, implementation, and evolution of an enterprise content management strategy. And — for those caught in the chaos of outsourcing, downsizing, re-organization, and downright unemployment — there’s likely never been a better time to become a glue person. (Read: technical writer, taxonomist, business analyst, etc.) If you peruse the professional services and consulting market for ECM and all its acronym children, what will you find? A lot of glue people.

Are you a glue person? What’s your title? What have your experiences been? How have you been able to gill the gaps with glue? Please step up and respond with comments! The opportunity to turn glue people into a formal, empowered, and acknowledged profession is now.

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