The Beauty of CCMS

Late last year, I injured my shoulder. It felt like I had pinched a nerve, so I decided to do the “guy thing” and completely ignore it, assuming it would go away. Well, it didn’t.

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Unconvinced that my pain merited a doctor visit, I tried everything in my power to work the injury out on my own—favoring it, not favoring it, stretching, tugging, twisting and even some occasional growling. All my hard work only made the situation worse, to the point where it seemed that my entire arm was battling with me.

It wasn’t until I had almost given up and decided to see a doctor that I realized my shoulder wasn’t the issue. I had actually injured a nerve in my elbow, and the shoulder pain was a symptom.

Throughout the process, my body was telling me that something was wrong, but instead of stepping back and thinking things through, I was reactionary. I felt pain, and I tried to make it go away.

My handling of the situation is a great metaphor for the reactionary way that many of us handle business problems—often with the same frustration.

When a proposal team is struggling to get a proposal out on time or a project team is repeatedly late with deliverables, what’s our first reaction? Usually, it’s immediately blaming other people, a reaction that can lead us down a rabbit hole of fruitless policy meetings, re-trainings and archaic document processes that border on the draconian.

Companies spend countless hours trying to find the correct version of a document or trying to make a proposal team more efficient, while allowing only one individual at a time to access a document.

When was the last time you received a document with more than one form of version ordering at the end of the file name, such as “Proposal Needed Tomorrow Draft Final version 3.0 Bob Edits 1 Susan v4.doc”?

Just like my arm, the whole business eventually causes pain, with no apparent solution. When we step back and look at the big picture however, the source of the pain usually becomes apparent, but what’s missing in our process?

Imagine what it would be like to stop chasing versions and deciphering who edited what.  What if you no longer had to re-format several pieces of various documents to make one semi-coherent document?

Instead, imagine an equally controlled collaborative process with the structure and content organized for you. Enter the Componentized Content Management System, also known as “CCMS.”

A CCMS begins with a predefined structure or template for the type of content you want to create. If you’re working on a regulated document with a defined structure and numerous clauses and pieces derived from a variety of sources, you need to make sure that legal statements, standard clauses and aesthetic content are correct and accurate with minimal review.

With a CCMS, all information is organized, ready to be selected and formatted with proper versioning, notation and references. Users can see when and how pieces were edited, as well as any mark-ups, without having to spend excessive time manually sifting through content or wondering if they’re reading the latest version. Content related to the business at hand is always exactly where it needs to be.

The CCMS also ensures content is ready to use, because it’s structured using an approved DITA standard. It’s no longer necessary to rewrite and reformat content to make sure it fits. The CCMS controls the structure according to approved document templates and designs. There’s no need to worry about missing sections, deviating from the correct order and format, or missing an all-important legal clause!

Content creators and editors can focus on exactly what they want to do: creating content.

To learn more about the CCMS, visit

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