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Building a Business Case 
for Content Initiatives
by 
@JackMolisani
President
ProSpring Technical Staffing
Executive Director
The LavaCon Conference
Author
Be the Captain of Your Career
Two Parts:
Organizational Positioning
Building a Business Case
Organizational Positioning
I searched the Internet for 
Product Development Lifecycle 
diagrams that included content 
dev...
What’s wrong with 
this diagram?
http://www.meierit.com.au/approach/process
It shows documentation 
at the end of the 
product 
development 
lifecycle
Better, but—
http://riskianawulan.net/2011/09/system‐development‐life‐cycle/
Content development is still
separate from 
product 
development
Plus Documentation is on the outside 
looking in
http://www.pddnet.com/articles/2009/05/project‐plan‐bible
And this one, what’s right?
Technical Publications is part of the 
Product Team—Yay!
What’s wrong with this 
diagram?
Development Strategy
Design
Information Architecture
Design
Develop
Develop
Test…
Content...
Content development is still
separate from product 
development
Development Strategy
Design
Information Architecture
Desig...
3
4
1
2
5
4
5
1
2
6
6
3
That’s how content development 
looks today.
How should it look?
CONTENT!
Reqmnts
Def’n
Design
Sales
Test
Build
Usability 
Test
P’type
Deploy
Support
Product 
Mgmt
• Total User Experience
• Total Info Experience
• User Interface Design
• Embedded Content 
‐ Field Names
‐ Embedded UA
‐ ...
So if we can’t have a content‐centric 
development process, at least 
we can influence the product 
development process,
e...
Especially if you are an embedded 
member of a Agile team, working 
side‐by‐side with the developers
http://tinyurl.com/k5...
So how do you build 
a business case for 
content projects?
Business Basics  
Companies exist to make 
PROFITS
for the owners/shareholders
To make PROFIT, 
companies must make more
MONEY
than they 
SPEND
Thus
MANAGEMENT
focuses on 
generating REVENUE
reducing COSTS
So how does this apply to 
CONTENT
projects?
You have to show how your 
EXPENDITURE
will 
INCREASE REVENUE
or 
DECREASE COSTS
EXAMPLES
STRUCTURED AUTHORING
Implementation
“Reducing the amount of time spent 
on formatting should translate into an 
increase i...
TECHNICAL SUPPORT
“Live‐agent customer service 
interactions costs between
$25 (for consumer electronics) 
and $150 (for c...
CMS+SOCIAL
Implementation
400% growth in user self help
51% reduction in costs per ticket/case
50% reduction in documentat...
CONTENT MANAGEMENT
Implementation
“GMAC used the Microsoft CM Server to 
support two key initiatives: transferring the 
co...
More
COST AVOIDANCE
Stories
“GMAC used the Microsoft CM Server to 
support two key initiatives: transferring the 
content ...
More
COST AVOIDANCE
Stories
TARGET
Accessibility Story
HOME DEPOT
Snow Blower Story
One survey estimated that the 
annual cost of searching for 
information and creating, 
recreating, and publishing 
inform...
LOST REVENUE
While you should 
ABSOLUTELY
chase cost reduction, 
lost potential revenue 
DWARFS
simple cost savings 
LOST REVENUE
Air
CARGO
Story 
INCREASING REVENUE
INVITROGEN
Cost‐of‐Sale Story
HTC
Automated Marketing Story
So where can you get 
NUMBERS
for your 
BUSINESS CASE?
FIND
online, from vendors, etc.
PROTOTYPE
record in a historical da...
What PROBLEM are you solving?
State the problem you are solving, 
the cost of the solution, and the ROI.
State why it’s a ...
RECAP
Position your department as a integral part 
of the product development team
Show how your expenditure will 
increase revenue/decrease costs
Find numbers to support your case
State why it’s a problem for the company, 
the cost (offer options), and the ROI
Do you have an example of how you fiscally 
helped your company?  Let me know!
Jack@LavaCon.org
@JackMolisani
Building a Business Case for Content Strategy Initiatives
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Building a Business Case for Content Strategy Initiatives

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Do you think it’s obvious that investing in content strategy/content management now will save your company money in the long run? Are you frustrated when Management doesn’t instantly agree?

Building a business case for resources can be challenging, especially if you have few (if any) credible metrics to quote. This session covers sources of metrics and ROI for building a business case for content strategy initiatives.

Published in: Internet, Technology

Transcript of "Building a Business Case for Content Strategy Initiatives"

  1. 1. Building a Business Case  for Content Initiatives by  @JackMolisani
  2. 2. President ProSpring Technical Staffing Executive Director The LavaCon Conference Author Be the Captain of Your Career
  3. 3. Two Parts: Organizational Positioning Building a Business Case
  4. 4. Organizational Positioning I searched the Internet for  Product Development Lifecycle  diagrams that included content  development.  I couldn’t find any that included  “content” development but I did find  some that included “documentation,”  so let’s start with those.
  5. 5. What’s wrong with  this diagram? http://www.meierit.com.au/approach/process
  6. 6. It shows documentation  at the end of the  product  development  lifecycle
  7. 7. Better, but— http://riskianawulan.net/2011/09/system‐development‐life‐cycle/
  8. 8. Content development is still separate from  product  development
  9. 9. Plus Documentation is on the outside  looking in
  10. 10. http://www.pddnet.com/articles/2009/05/project‐plan‐bible And this one, what’s right?
  11. 11. Technical Publications is part of the  Product Team—Yay!
  12. 12. What’s wrong with this  diagram? Development Strategy Design Information Architecture Design Develop Develop Test… Content Strategy Test… Content Plan Product Plan 3 4 1 2 5 4 5 1 2 6 6 3 System Architecture
  13. 13. Content development is still separate from product  development Development Strategy Design Information Architecture Design Develop Develop Test… Content Strategy Test… Content Plan Product Plan 3 4 1 2 5 4 5 1 2 6 6 3 System Architecture
  14. 14. 3 4 1 2 5 4 5 1 2 6 6 3
  15. 15. That’s how content development  looks today. How should it look?
  16. 16. CONTENT! Reqmnts Def’n Design Sales Test Build Usability  Test P’type Deploy Support Product  Mgmt
  17. 17. • Total User Experience • Total Info Experience • User Interface Design • Embedded Content  ‐ Field Names ‐ Embedded UA ‐ Error Messages • External Content ‐ Online Help  ‐ User Manuals  ‐ Training Materials ‐ Support Site  • Developer Docs • Content Management • Translation Management • Controlled Language and  Vocabulary Management • More DESIGN CONTENT! Reqmnts Def’n Design Sales Test Build Usability  Test P’type Deploy Support Product  Mgmt
  18. 18. So if we can’t have a content‐centric  development process, at least  we can influence the product  development process, every step of  the way Dev Strategy Design Develop Test… Product Plan System Architecture Information Architecture Design Develop Test… Content Strategy Content Plan
  19. 19. Especially if you are an embedded  member of a Agile team, working  side‐by‐side with the developers http://tinyurl.com/k5znhlq
  20. 20. So how do you build  a business case for  content projects?
  21. 21. Business Basics   Companies exist to make  PROFITS for the owners/shareholders
  22. 22. To make PROFIT,  companies must make more MONEY than they  SPEND
  23. 23. Thus MANAGEMENT focuses on  generating REVENUE reducing COSTS
  24. 24. So how does this apply to  CONTENT projects?
  25. 25. You have to show how your  EXPENDITURE will  INCREASE REVENUE or  DECREASE COSTS
  26. 26. EXAMPLES
  27. 27. STRUCTURED AUTHORING Implementation “Reducing the amount of time spent  on formatting should translate into an  increase in production, of course, but  the 200% increase in our output  surpassed all of our expectations.” Keith Schengili‐Roberts, Documentation & Localization Manager AMD http://www.ixiasoft.com/casestudy/case_study_AMD.pdf
  28. 28. TECHNICAL SUPPORT “Live‐agent customer service  interactions costs between $25 (for consumer electronics)  and $150 (for complex B2B software).” Jeffrey Tarter Executive Director Association of Support Professionals http://www.asponline.com
  29. 29. CMS+SOCIAL Implementation 400% growth in user self help 51% reduction in costs per ticket/case 50% reduction in documentation costs 47% reduction in mean time to resolution 37% deflection rates in support cases Corey Ganser Customer Experience Manager  MindTouch http://mndt.ch/2brief
  30. 30. CONTENT MANAGEMENT Implementation “GMAC used the Microsoft CM Server to  support two key initiatives: transferring the  content publishing function to content authors  and freeing up formerly burdened IT resources  to support more dynamic and personalized  customer‐facing Web portals.  ROI: 87%   Payback: 1.2 years” Nucleus Research, Inc. ROI ANALYSIS YOU CAN TRUST ™ http://nucleusresearch.com/library/microsoft‐roi/d96.pdf
  31. 31. More COST AVOIDANCE Stories “GMAC used the Microsoft CM Server to  support two key initiatives: transferring the  content publishing function to content authors  and freeing up formerly burdened IT resources  to support more dynamic and personalized  customer‐facing Web portals.  ROI: 87%   Payback: 1.2 years”
  32. 32. More COST AVOIDANCE Stories TARGET Accessibility Story HOME DEPOT Snow Blower Story
  33. 33. One survey estimated that the  annual cost of searching for  information and creating,  recreating, and publishing  information is over $30,000  per worker per year.  http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20090506005284/en/Hidden‐Costs‐ Information‐Work‐Enterprise‐Exposed‐IDC#.U3T4GCiowyo
  34. 34. LOST REVENUE While you should  ABSOLUTELY chase cost reduction,  lost potential revenue  DWARFS simple cost savings 
  35. 35. LOST REVENUE Air CARGO Story 
  36. 36. INCREASING REVENUE INVITROGEN Cost‐of‐Sale Story HTC Automated Marketing Story
  37. 37. So where can you get  NUMBERS for your  BUSINESS CASE? FIND online, from vendors, etc. PROTOTYPE record in a historical database
  38. 38. What PROBLEM are you solving? State the problem you are solving,  the cost of the solution, and the ROI. State why it’s a problem for the  company, not why it’s a problem  for you.  Give options, including the cost  and risk of doing nothing. 
  39. 39. RECAP
  40. 40. Position your department as a integral part  of the product development team
  41. 41. Show how your expenditure will  increase revenue/decrease costs
  42. 42. Find numbers to support your case
  43. 43. State why it’s a problem for the company,  the cost (offer options), and the ROI
  44. 44. Do you have an example of how you fiscally  helped your company?  Let me know!
  45. 45. Jack@LavaCon.org @JackMolisani
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