A Content Strategist's Toolbox: Cost analysis, resource models, and content plans

  • 971 views
Uploaded on

There are many “Content Strategy 101” resources, but what about “Content Resourcing 101” and “Content Budgeting 101”? This presentation shows how one Content Strategist planned resources and budgets …

There are many “Content Strategy 101” resources, but what about “Content Resourcing 101” and “Content Budgeting 101”? This presentation shows how one Content Strategist planned resources and budgets for dozens of real, shipped projects: small and large, single and multi-channel. Hear about strategies for creating non-traditional, scalable resource models and see the Excel-based budget-estimating methodology.

More in: Technology , Business
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
971
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
4

Actions

Shares
Downloads
18
Comments
0
Likes
2

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Content Strategist’s Toolbox: Cost Analysis and Resource Models Shawn Prenzlow @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon
  • 2. Shawn Prenzlow: The Reluctant Strategist With more than 20 years of experience as a team manager and content strategist in technical content and executive communications, I want to help you with your own strategy efforts. • • • 5 years at a non-profit as a one-woman show 12 years at Microsoft running content projects and teams, 1 to 20+ resources 3+ years as a Content Strategy consultant and industry speaker LinkedIn Twitter Blog Steyer • linkedin.com/in/shawnprenzlow • @RelStrategist • TheReluctantStrategist.com • Steyer.net © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon OVERVIEW About the Speaker
  • 3. OVERVIEW A Strategist’s Best Tools Why I approach projects with these tools: • One way to get a of handle on the situation • A starting place that includes a way to manipulate individual data points Cost Analysis Resource Model Content Plan © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon
  • 4. COST ANALYSIS
  • 5. COST ANALYSIS Cost models may be the most important tools in your kit
  • 6. Why do I begin planning with a cost analysis? • Historically, my budget planning began ~6 months before budget awards • Now, I’m creating estimates for potential customers; cost analysis is the obvious first step • It helps clarify and validate everything else © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon COST ANALYSIS Cost Analysis: Approach
  • 7. How do I approach cost analysis? Usually I begin by asking myself the following questions: • • • • • What information do I have to create my initial estimate? What do I need to know to make the project successful? What is most important to my decision-makers? How can I start simply? How can I add details as I learn them? © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon COST ANALYSIS Cost Analysis: Approach
  • 8. Step 1: Gather info for the initial estimate To begin an estimate, I need at least some information from each of the following areas: Types of work • Writing • Editing • Information architecture • Web development Volume of work • • • • Pages Words Blog posts Topics Timelines • Deadlines • Milestones • Quarters Metrics • • • • Planning Ramp time New content Revisions © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon COST ANALYSIS Cost Analysis: Initial estimates
  • 9. Step 2: Determine what info should be exposed A cost analysis needs to communicate key information. Some of this information is for myself (and my content team), but as many issues need to be clarified for managers, decision-makers, or C-levels responsible for budget allocations. Full and itemized budget Improvements (changes) from previous cycle Cost per resource or discipline How many people per discipline Margins for error How long is resource needed Task prioritization © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon COST ANALYSIS Cost Analysis: Answering key questions
  • 10. Step 3: Determine a structure for each analysis Different structures may be appropriate for each analysis. After completing the previous two steps, I usually can select 2-3 of the following pivots to define the worksheet structure. Timeline Project Resource type Content type © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon COST ANALYSIS Cost Analysis: Start simple, add detail
  • 11. Straw man defining “Project” by “Content Type” (in this case, by deliverable) © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon COST ANALYSIS Example 1(a)
  • 12. More complete worksheet, including discovered information per Content Type/deliverable © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon COST ANALYSIS Example 1(b)
  • 13. Another example illustrating Project by Content Type © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon COST ANALYSIS Example 2
  • 14. COST ANALYSIS Example 3 Illustrating Content Type by Timeline by Resource Writer type Amt of resources needed Tech Writer 3.3 Programmer Writer 0.6 UA Writer 0.6 Support Writer 0.6
  • 15. Illustrating Project by Discipline by Timeline (fiscal quarter). © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon COST ANALYSIS Example 4
  • 16. Bringing it all together; a cost analysis worksheet with all the details in one place Priority 1 Docs: (1500 total pgs) total total days hours # pages pp/day Create new Information Architecture (structure and content migration) New Info Architecture reviews Incorp IA Review changes Heavy content revisions for scenarios-based topics (10% = 150 pps) Light content revisions (10%) Tech review management Tech review incorp (15%) Copy Edit Edits review management Edits review incorp (5%) Create new project builds in authoring tool Manage iterative test builds and final release Manage build fixes (post-integration) resource type rate 1500 0 0 0 0 0 26 5 8 208.00 IA 40.00 IA 64.00 IA $ $ $ 150 150 0 21 3 5 0 5 50 30 4 4 400.00 LTW 240.00 TWb 32.00 LTW 33.60 LTW $ $ $ $ 1500 0 75 30 0 0 50 2 4 400.00 CE 16.00 CE 32.00 CE $ $ $ 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 8 5 item cost $ $ $ 20,800.00 4,000.00 6,400.00 40,000.00 24,000.00 3,200.00 3,360.00 100.00 $ 100.00 $ 100.00 $ $ 100.00 $ 100.00 $ 100.00 $ 40,000.00 1,600.00 3,200.00 8,000.00 6,400.00 4,000.00 $ 80.00 IA 64.00 LTW 40.00 LTW 100.00 $ 100.00 $ 100.00 $ $ 100.00 $ 100.00 $ 100.00 $ 100.00 $ 164,960.00 206 Total Priority 1 Content © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon COST ANALYSIS Example 5
  • 17. Cost Analysis – following up on your own Some things to consider for your own projects: 1. Select a real project you have coming up– you determine whether it’s a simple or complex project. 2. Pick a structure for your cost model: Calendar, product milestone, deliverable, resource type, or your own structure. 3. Using Excel or your favorite spreadsheet app, customize one of the Workshop examples or start build your own. • Frame out at least the main row and column structures. • Add more info if you have time. © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon COST ANALYSIS Thinking it through: Creating a Cost Model
  • 18. RESOURCE MODELS
  • 19. RESOURCE MODEL Alternative resource models can stretch your budget and volume of output
  • 20. What’s your best model configuration? You don’t need FTEs to get content done. What about other options? Vendor (outsource) Shared Service Temporary (short or long) FTEs Crowdsource Best model Prepackaged solution © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon RESOURCE MODEL What resource types might work in your model?
  • 21. Considering various resource types Temporary staff Hire buffers to cycle with project milestones Onsite/offsite Intentionally build teams in geographies that allow work cycles to feed into each other Smart cycling Stagger temporary or vendor end dates so teams do (or don’t) all transition at one time Shared resources Load balance across projects or teams if you don’t need a consistent resource during a given time period © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon
  • 22. Resource Model – following up on your own What are 2-3 Resource Models that you want to explore in more depth over the next few months. What is it about each model that incites you to explore them? For example: • • • How might they enable a new way of creating content? How might they save you money? How might they make a significant change in your process? © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon RESOURCE MODEL Thinking it through: What Resource Model?
  • 23. CONTENT PLANS
  • 24. BASELINE PLAN Successful content plans reduce ambiguity and bring everyone into alignment © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon
  • 25. Important reasons for publishing a plan Be smart about ROI – it’s easy to overdo it. Plan complexity should match project complexity. But use your plan to solve issues such as: Inform Expose misalignment Identify unknowns Match scope with project complexity © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon BASELINE PLAN Plans as communication tools
  • 26. How much plan? Remember: The complexity of the plan should match the complexity of the project. The more that is going on, the more you’ll want to capture in your plan. Brief memo Cost analysis Timelines + deliverables Detailed plan © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon BASELINE PLAN Plan complexity and scope
  • 27. What’s in the plan Each plan I create is different, uniquely created for the project. However, I usually include these sections in anything that needs more than a memo’s-worth of communication. Production (Authoring) Environment Schedule Goals (nongoals) List of Deliverables Localization Requirements Writing Guidelines Tech Review Processes Legal Issues Product Integration Requirements Publishing channels Change Request Process Open Issues © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon BASELINE PLAN Items I typically include in a Plan
  • 28. There are endless options Only you can determine what is needed in your plan. Even more sections to consider. Overview Change Management Executive Summary User Research Production Environment User Profiles Distribution Channel Pricing and Fees Globalization Editing Guidelines Stakeholders Localization Glossary Writing Guidelines Product Integration Requirements SWOT Art Requirements Build Plan Milestones Authoring Environments Authoring Tools Goals/non-goals Technical Review Processes Programming Languages Legal and Copyright Issues User Testing Social Media Guidelines Open Issues Video Documentation Change History Update Strategy Signoff Records List of Deliverables Exit Criteria Project Reporting Requirements Bug Filing or QA Process Change Request Process © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BASELINE PLAN What sections might be important for your plan?
  • 29. The complexity of the plan should match the complexity of the project. Is your project not that complex? Communicate simply. An email that details who’s doing what, and when things will be delivered, may be enough. © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon BASELINE PLAN Example 1
  • 30. Is yours a simple project, but with lots of hand-offs or deliverables? Consider a memo-length plan. Be sure to itemize each work item and it’s deliverable date. © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon BASELINE PLAN Example 2
  • 31. CREATE YOUR BASELINE PLAN Example 3 This plan was for a multi-stage project involving content revision and edit (less than 10% new content) for approximately 1600 pages. © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon
  • 32. Content Plans – following up on your own Some things to consider for your own content plans: 1. For the project you used in the cost model exercise, what plan type will work best? 2. Evaluate the list of possible plan sections. What items are most important for you to include? Identify at least 5 and jot down some notes on why they are important for you, your content team, or your customer. If you have more time, evaluate more sections. Or, draft a quick outline of what your full plan might include. © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon BASELINE PLAN Thinking it through: What to include in your Plan
  • 33. If you have questions or are looking for help with your content strategy and technical documentation projects, you can find me and many more resources on our company site at my blog: Experts in Technical Communications Staffing http://steyer.net/ sprenzlow@steyer.net http://thereluctantstrategist.com/ © 2013 Shawn Prenzlow and Steyer Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. @RelStrategist @SteyerTalent @LavaCon THANK YOU Thank you!