Creating a Content Strategy Ecosystem
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Creating a Content Strategy Ecosystem

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Andrea Ames and Alyson Riley at the Oct 2013 LavaCon preconference workshop.

Andrea Ames and Alyson Riley at the Oct 2013 LavaCon preconference workshop.

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  • Only 10% of total mass above water; 90% underwater is what ocean currents act on and what creates the iceberg’s behavior in the 10% <br /> Just below the water line, start to see patterns or recurrence of events, which indicate that an event is not an isolated incident <br /> Deep beneath the patterns are the root causes that create or drive the patterns <br /> At the base of the iceberg are assumptions and worldviews that created or sustained the structures that are in place <br /> In solving problems, the greatest leverage is in changing the structure--applying deep ocean currents to move the iceberg, which will change the events at its tip <br />
  • “[T]he leading edge of the economy in developed countries has become driven by technologies based on knowledge and information production and dissemination. … We define the knowledge economy as production and services based on knowledge-intensive activities that contribute to an accelerated pace of technological and scientific advance as well as equally rapid obsolescence. The key components of a knowledge economy include a greater reliance on intellectual capabilities than on physical inputs or natural resources, combined with efforts to integrate improvements in every stage of the production process, from the R&D lab to the factory floor to the interface with customers.” From The Knowledge Economy, Walter W. Powell and Kaisa Snellman, Stanford University, 2004. http://www.stanford.edu/group/song/papers/powell_snellman.pdf <br />
  • “[T]he leading edge of the economy in developed countries has become driven by technologies based on knowledge and information production and dissemination. … We define the knowledge economy as production and services based on knowledge-intensive activities that contribute to an accelerated pace of technological and scientific advance as well as equally rapid obsolescence. The key components of a knowledge economy include a greater reliance on intellectual capabilities than on physical inputs or natural resources, combined with efforts to integrate improvements in every stage of the production process, from the R&D lab to the factory floor to the interface with customers.” From The Knowledge Economy, Walter W. Powell and Kaisa Snellman, Stanford University, 2004. http://www.stanford.edu/group/song/papers/powell_snellman.pdf <br />
  • http://www.klipfolio.com/resources/kpi-examples <br />
  • http://www.klipfolio.com/resources/kpi-examples <br />
  • http://www.klipfolio.com/resources/kpi-examples <br />

Creating a Content Strategy Ecosystem Creating a Content Strategy Ecosystem Presentation Transcript

  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Creating a content strategy ecosystem Part 1: Introduction Andrea Ames (@aames) IBM Content Experience Strategist/Architect/Designer Alyson Riley (@ak_riley) IBM Content Strategist LavaCon (@LavaCon) 20 October 2013 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon © IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) About us Technical communicator since 1995 Areas of expertise: Content strategy Content metrics—the business value of content Information architecture (my first love!) Interaction design for content delivery vehicles, and interactive content Content and product usability User-centered processes for content strategy and scenariodriven information architecture Senior Content Strategist on corporate Client Technical Content Experience team, IBM CIO Senior member of STC, and Intercom columnist (with Andrea Ames) of The Strategic IA Technical communicator since 1983 Areas of expertise: Content experience design: strategy, architecture, and interaction design Architecture, design, and development of product-embedded assistance Information and product usability User-centered process for content development and experience design Senior Technical Staff Member on corporate Client Technical Content Experience team, IBM CIO University of CA Extension certificate coordinator and instructor STC Fellow, past president, former member of Board of Directors, and Intercom columnist (with Alyson Riley) of The Strategic IA ACM Distinguished
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Systems thinking, part 1 from wikipedia (of course ;) The process of understanding how things, regarded as systems, influence one another within a whole An approach to problem solving Viewing “problems” as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to specific part, outcomes or events, and potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences A set of habits or practices within a framework that is based on the belief that the component parts of a system can best be understood in the context of relationships with each other and with other systems, rather than in isolation Focuses on cyclical rather than linear cause and effect 3 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Systems thinking, part 2 from wikipedia (of course ;) And most importantly for our purposes… Attempts to illustrate how small, catalytic events that are separated by distance and time can cause significant changes in complex systems Acknowledges that an improvement in one area can adversely affect another area Promotes organizational communication at all levels to avoid the silo effect 4 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) The Iceberg Model Summarized from It's All Connected: A Comprehensive Guide to Global Issues and Sustainable Solutions, Benjamin Wheeler, Gilda Wheeler and Wendy Church. www.facingthefuture.org Events (react) What happened? Increasing leverage Trends/patterns of behavior (anticipate) What’s been happening? Systemic structure (design) What is contributing to the patterns? Mental models (transform) What keeps these patterns going? 5 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) A systems thinking model from ecomind.wikidot.com, Ecology, Mind, & Systems 6 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Habits of a “systems thinker” 7 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) What is a “content strategy ecosystem?” Ecosystem: A community of living organisms (people) in conjunction with the nonliving components (processes) of their environment, interacting as a system (modified from wikipedia) Content strategy ecosystem: The community of people and processes interacting as a system to conceive of, develop, justify, drive, validate, and implement your content strategy; Key components People—the living organisms Roles Power structures Culture Processes—the nonliving components Models Dependencies Communication Products—outputs of the interaction within the system Content Packaging Artifacts 8 These components permeate the ecosystem and can’t easily be teased apart (hence our project approach) @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) A content ecosystem: System view 9 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) What is an “information experience?” 10 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) To users, often experienced more like this… 11 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) References Ames, Andrea and Alyson Riley. “Strategic information architecture: The information user experience.” Intercom (October 2012). 28-32. Wheeler, Benjamin, Gilda Wheeler, and Wendy Church. It's All Connected: A Comprehensive Guide to Global Issues and Sustainable Solutions: www.facingthefuture.org Ecology, Mind, & Systems: ecomind.wikidot.com Checkland, Peter. Systems Thinking, Systems Practice. 1999. 12 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Creating a content strategy ecosystem Part 2: Assess and analyze the “today-state” Andrea Ames (@aames) IBM Content Experience Strategist/Architect/Designer Alyson Riley (@ak_riley) IBM Content Strategist LavaCon (@LavaCon) 20 October 2013 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon © IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) 1 Analyzing business data 1. 2. 14 Before you begin Identify sources and gather data  A closer look at some specific inputs… @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing business data Step 1: Before you begin Make sure that you are well-grounded and well-connected in the product or information experience that is your focus Show that “you belong” by building enough knowledge of the domain to ask intelligent questions—at this phase of the game, you don’t have to have the answers, but you do need to ask the right questions Be sure you are experienced in using the current version (if it exists), its information experience (IX), and the content ecosystem that supports that IX Gather and absorb any development plans and designs Find out where thought leaders are connecting and making decisions, and get involved! Be assertive! Join any relevant product development, product management, or user experience design teams to stay informed and advocate for content strategy and the value of information Network extensively with the extended product team (marketing, support, test, sales, and so on)—let them see your value 15 Find and enlist a “sponsor” to help you get connected if this is new territory; a mentor to help you navigate these waters is even better @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing business data—Step 2: Gather data Step 2: Identify sources and gather data Business plans and priorities: Business strategy Market intelligence Target customers Development plans and priorities: Product, solution, or service development plans Existing functional requirements, scenarios, use cases, etc. 16 “But I can’t find this stuff!” Your company MUST have this data somewhere. You just haven’t made the right contact yet. Don’t give up. Keep fighting the good fight. “Why?” When you analyze data from development, try to figure out why the plans are what they are. Where did the requirements come from? How do you know they’re valid? @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing business data—Step 2: Gather data A closer look at business strategy, part 1 Your company’s business strategy might be layered: Enterprise-level strategy Business unit strategies that support the enterprise strategic intent and focus items Product or portfolio strategy that delivers on business unit and enterprise strategy Mine business strategy data to discover: Customer priorities Company priorities Investment areas for future growth Plan for balancing competing opportunities and focus areas Roadmap for growth 17 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing business data—Step 2: Gather data A closer look at business strategy, part 2 Look for the “Why?” behind your company’s business strategy. WH Y? Is your strategy a response to: Change, challenge, or opportunity in the marketplace? Change in the IT landscape? Change in financial realities or global dynamics? The answers to “Why?” will help you figure out what matters : Discern strategic priorities from point-in-time tactics Distinguish high-value investment and innovation from low-value “traditions” Identify high-impact opportunities where information can contribute to the success of market plays, key initiatives, or customer requirements Identify areas where you can demonstrate that content strategy maps precisely to the priorities of the enterprise, the business unit, and the product or portfolio Identify areas where you can demonstrate that content is a high-value product that customers want 18 Identify business metrics to which you can connect content strategy outcomes @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing business data—Step 2: Gather data A closer look at market intelligence Market research happens at every layer of an enterprise Find channels into each layer and investigate things like: Sales support resources Customer references Market insights and intelligence Find the people who are the keepers of this information—build your network Ask colleagues in product management, user experience design, marketing, development, sales, etc. Do your own sleuthing! See what’s going on in industry literature and blogs, customer groups and social media Use market intelligence data to determine: What’s important to our customers What problems our customers are trying to solve 19 What our competitors are doing and how you measure up (and does this vary by things like geographic location or industry?) @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing business data—Step 2: Gather data A closer look at target customers Depending on your industry or the size of your business, your company may have a layered view of its target customers The business data that you uncover may refer to specific customers—”Company X” or “Client Y” Tease out which client layer the data address in order to understand what the data show about the target customer Take note of the way that specific messages in the content ecosystem target specific client layers 20 A layered view of “the client” The Big Cs: Executives—CEO, CIO, CTO, CFO, etc. Buyers: People who make purchase decisions Deployers: People (experts?) who plan solution roll-out Users: End users, the focus of the user experience What do the decision-makers care about? What do the users care about? What issues concern the people who have to integrate the solution into the company environment? @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) 2 Analyzing client data 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 21 Before you begin Find critical client data Identify any known client issues Mine client data Research and understand client metrics @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing client data Step 1: Before you begin Get connected and build deep relationships with your user experience (UX) design team, if you have one If you don’t have a UX design team, it’s critical that you network with other members of the extended product team who have insights into the nature and needs of your client. (This is a good idea in general). Examples of these kinds of people include: Marketing reps Sales reps Trainers and education teams Beta programs Support reps Customer advocates or account reps Development team members who interact frequently with clients Your work to gather and analyze client data depends on good data about the client. If you can find the data you need, then prepare yourself: you need to do the research to get the data. Prepare to become an agent of change! 22 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing client data Step 2: Find critical client data Do the hard work to really know your client! Find: Personas that define client/buyer/user goals, wants, needs, knowledge, motives, etc. Business scenarios that define the target customer, their organization, their business goals and pain points, the users and the tasks that those users perform with the product or solution—in particular, their reason for buying your product Task scenarios that define how users interact with the offering to complete the tasks that contribute to solving the larger business goals Examples of architectures, topologies, deployments, usage scenarios, application, or whatever to achieve a particular business result with your product User stories or use cases that fill in the details of each scenario and highlight how the client will actually use your product 23 (optional) Integration scenarios that define how the task scenarios of multiple products fit together to solve the most important or difficult problems “But I can’t find this stuff!” Your company likely has this data somewhere—it just might look a little different than you’re used to. For example, it might look like support call summaries, business intelligence, or marketing reports. “No really. I can’t find this stuff!” Create it. Validate it. Share it. @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing client data Step 3: Identify any known client issues You may already have a collection of known client issues. (Validate and document them—quotes are great; videos are better.) Use your network! Ask Support: “What kinds of customer calls are you getting? Any trends?” Ask Sales: “What’s the hardest part of your job selling our product? What do your customers like least about the product? How do we measure up to the products and people you’re competing against for the sale?” Ask your product management and development leads: “What kinds of customer issues are you hearing about most? What keeps you up at night?” Ask your Marketing representatives: “Are your market messages working as you had hoped? What kind of feedback are you getting? What ideas are taking hold?” Mine known client issues for data, such as: 24 How the product compares to other products The success and quality of the product once it’s in real customer hands How content contributes to the success and quality of the product Opportunities for improvements in the information experience to contribute to improvements in the total offering or product user experience Requirements for content, both strategic and low-hanging fruit @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing client data Step 4: Mine client data Content strategists mine client data to determine: The identity of the target clients The business goals for which clients purchase the product, solution, service or whatever in the first place The tasks that clients must do to achieve their goals The tasks that clients have to do as a result of product or solution design Connections to other products, solutions or information Current and potential problem areas 25 Connect dots & synthesize: Client business goals + Client problems + Business strategy = A great way to identify opportunities where high-value content can make a difference that matters to business!! @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing client data Step 5: Understand client metrics We’ve talked about relevant business metrics and development metrics thus far What about the client? What are your clients’ metrics? Do your clients value the same things that your business values? How do you know? Can you prove it? Key idea: think of yourself as a partner in your clients’ success (this is one of IBM’s core leadership competencies) Leverage network relationships with client-facing personnel. (Better yet, develop those relationships yourself.) Use those relationships to discover, prioritize, and validate client concerns. Here’s a simple list to get you started: ROI Time-to-success Time-to-value Ease of use Ease of maintenance and support Functional priorities 26 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) 3 Analyzing the current content ecosystem 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 27 Before you begin Analyze content Analyze “packaging” Analyze people Analyze processes @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the content ecosystem Step 1: Before you begin, part 1 Like any ecosystem, the content ecosystem is comprised of interdependent elements While it’s tempting to focus solely on the content facet of the ecosystem, you must see the system To gain a nuanced and true understanding of how the ecosystem works (and where you’ve got work to do), you need to analyze each element and how the system functions as a whole people packaging z content process To learn about the ecosystem as a whole, you need to build and leverage a network that includes subject matter experts from every facet and entity that participates in the content ecosystem—you need their expertise both to gather and interpret data 28 Wherever possible, use metrics to distinguish opinion from fact—but don’t try to interpret the data you collect without others’ insights and experience @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the content ecosystem Step 1: Before you begin, part 2 Your systems thinking skills are really getting a workout! A generalized view of IBM’s product lifecycle Another system impacts the content ecosystem: the product lifecycle When assessing your content ecosystem, view it as the client/buyer/user sees it: an interconnected series of product interactions facilitated by content Interpret the effectiveness of your content ecosystem by asking: How well does the ecosystem function in and between each phase of the product lifecycle? 29 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the content ecosystem Step 1: Before you begin, part 3 Remember what the content ecosystem is for… In the knowledge economy, profit is created by “stuff” but value is created by content: old economy Effective content ecosystems generate profit for the business and value for the client: * material objects, actions— owned, controlled, repeatable commodities made of scarce resources new economy Companygenerated information immaterial knowledge, competencies, emotions — not owned, boxed, or controlled available in abundance *Adapted from Miikka Leiononen’s “Melt,” here 30 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the content ecosystem Step 1: Before you begin, part 4 A word about assessing a content ecosystem… When you analyze the content ecosystem, you look at: Content Packaging People Processes When you measure the content ecosystem, make sure you identify or define measurements for: Content Packaging People Processes Only measuring content will not give you a complete assessment of the effectiveness of the ecosystem Think about: 31 Metrics for external effectiveness Metrics for internal efficiency @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the content ecosystem Step 2: Analyze content, part 1 To assess content health, do a heuristic evaluation: How well does the content meet client/buyer/user needs ? Go back to your client data—are the high-priority client business goals, scenarios, and tasks thoroughly covered? Can you easily see the value propositions for the product in the content ecosystem? Is the content client-centered, task-focused, and high-value? How thoroughly does the content cover the full product lifecycle ? Are there gaps or disconnects between the phases of the product lifecycle? Are there content redundancies or inconsistencies that could derail or confuse a client? Does the content enable client success in the typical tasks within each phase? How well does the content address typical client content needs ? How well does the current information experience address product content such as up-and-running, getting started, preventing or recovering from errors, and so on? Does the information experience include embedded assistance where appropriate? 32 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the content ecosystem Step 2: Analyze content, part 2 Continued… How well does the content address typical information-seeking behaviors ? Starting: identifying relevant sources of interest. Chaining: following and connecting new leads found in an initial content source. Browsing: scanning contents of identified sources for subject affinity. Monitoring: staying informed about developments in a particular subject area. Differentiating: filtering and assessing content sources for usefulness. Extracting: working through a source to find content of interest. How well does the content contribute to a delightful client experience ? Is the information experience elegant in its presentation, visual design, etc.? Are there opportunities to simplify or innovate? Are there opportunities to improve the information experience, such as: Improvements to the product that result in a need for less content? Tighter integration between interaction (UI) and information? Simplified information architecture—fewer sources, fewer pages, designed paths? 33 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the content ecosystem—Step 2: Analyze content What is high-value content? As you analyze today-state content, spot the high-value content—track ! it, measure it, note its impact on the information experience High-value content is content that: Speaks directly to client/buyer/user business goals Includes only the tasks necessary to achieve those goals Aids the client in making decisions or applying concepts in their own situations Is technically rich in the sense that it includes validated real-world samples, examples, best practices, and lessons learned High value content does not: Focus on manipulating elements of a user interface (those things that everyone should know by now, such as "Type your name in the name field") Describe tasks that can't be mapped to a meaningful goal or objective Describe what to do without explaining how to do it 34 Describe how to do it without explaining why to do it @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the content ecosystem—Step 2: Analyze content Assess today-state content metrics, part 1 How do you measure high value content? That depends! If your goal is to convince others that high value content matters, look at: How does my content contribute to clients' purchase decisions? Is there click-through data and contributions to conversions on marketing pages that I can reference? How does my content contribute to clients' perceptions of product quality? What's the relationship between quality problems in my content and known quality problems with the product? How does my content contribute to client satisfaction with our products? How does my content contribute to the product visibility (and thus the sales cycle and revenue streams) in the marketplace? What kind of social capital is being generated around my content? Who's active, and how active are they? How frequently and with what impact am I engaging with customers through my content? What are they talking about—nits, or requirements for content or broader product strategy? Does the sum of the social conversation support IBM business strategy and advance the eminence of our brand? If your goal is to assess the effectiveness of your content and experience, look at: Heuristic evaluations (we just talked about this) Traditional web statistics 35 We’ll talk more about business metrics later on— let’s look at web stats now… @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the content ecosystem—Step 2: Analyze content Assess today-state content metrics, part 2 Web metrics are one way to assess the effectiveness of content Content strategists use web metrics to gain a clear picture of client/buyer/user activity in the current information experience that the content ecosystem supports: Historical data: Number of visitors to the site or page over time User data: Who is visiting your site and where they are located Page popularity: Most and least accessed pages File types: Files that have been loaded as opposed to viewed Operating systems and browsers: Browsers and devices used to view content Referrers: Who is pointing to your stuff, and who isn’t as expected Referrals: How people are getting to your stuff Search terms: Words with which users describe and try to find your content 36 Robots and spiders: Programs that have crawled your site in order to provide information about site contents to search engines @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the content ecosystem—Step 2: Analyze content Assess today-state content metrics, part 3 Interpret current web statistics to understand how clients: Search for the information—whether the content is optimized for search engines (SEO); what click-through and bounce rates show about user paths and success Enter the experience—whether designed entry points are effective Think about the information space—what search terms they enter, what topics they pick as they browse found content Navigate the information space—whether user paths make sense relative to your understanding of their business goals and tasks Use the information—how actual usage patterns differ from designed or predicted usage patterns; how much time they spend on certain pages; whether they’re accessing content on mobile devices, etc. Value the information—any social interaction to consider? Web usage statistics give us hints at the core issues: Is my content ecosystem performing in the ways that I expect it to, based on user actions? Is the information experience effective? Is my content high-value, or just highly-findable? 37 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the content ecosystem Step 3: Analyze “packaging” In the information experience, several mediators come between the client/buyer/user and the content. We call these mediators “packaging”: Presentation—the visual design of the content Delivery—the vehicle used to publish the content for client access Navigation—the various ways in which the user finds the content Consider “packaging” aspects of the ecosystem: Is the presentation of content effective and predictable across the ecosystem? Does the visual design of content support the branding strategy for the product? Where and how is your content delivered to the client? Lots of places? One place? Do the delivery vehicles integrate well with each other? Is the content easily accessible from the client’s context or point of need? How findable is your content across delivery vehicles? Are the signposts for wayfinding visible, usable, and predictable across the ecosystem? Is your content progressively disclosed in support of clients’ need for increasing depth or breadth of content? 38 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the content ecosystem Step 3: Analyze people Who are the human players in the ecosystem? Internal players Professional content producers Marketing team Sales enablement content team Education teams Beta programs teams Support teams Product documentation teams Non-professional content producers Look for:  Strengths—these are your assets!  Mission overlap—these are your pitfalls!  Ways to maximize organizational capabilities—this is your vision! Subject matter experts Client-facing personnel External players Business partners Clients, with all their social networking tools and capabilities What unique value does each player contribute to the ecosystem? 39 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the content ecosystem Step 4: Analyze process The processes at work in the content ecosystem have as profound an effect as the content itself. Analyze: What processes are present in the ecosystem? Business processes Corporate-level processes Business unit-level processes Content design and delivery process Processes that span all content producers Processes unique to individual content producing teams Are the processes effective? Do processes make it easier or harder to package content for publishing? Do processes make it easier or harder for people to work together? Do process make it easier or harder to produce high-value content? 40 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) 4 Analyzing history 41 1. 2. 3. Before you begin Do a little archaeology Assess the treasure you find @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing history “Those unable to catalog the past are doomed to repeat it.” —Lemony Snicket Step 1: Before you begin Find people who represent multiple perspectives Your view of history depends on who you are Get multiple views to triangulate upon “truth” Go in with humility You may have the latest tools, techniques, and technology, but these alone will not guarantee your success Start from the assumption that people have good motives and are doing their best Dig deep, and wear your systems-thinking hat Pay attention to organizational dynamics, significant relationships, cause-and-effect, and systemic issues Look past obvious issues—try to understand pressures, motives, and circumstances Don’t let it drag you down Learn from the past—but don’t believe everything you hear 42 “History is bunk.” –Henry Ford @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing history Step 2: Do a little archaeology on the content ecosystem 1. 2. What did they do? 3. Why did they do it? 4. What worked well? 5. What didn’t work so well? 6. 43 Who was here before? What challenges did they encounter? 7. What did they learn? @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing history Step 3: Assess the archaeological treasure you find What did you learn? Any lessons from history that can help you form a strategy? Did develop a better appreciation for why things are the way they are? What failures from the past can you turn into future opportunities? Use your new historical perspective Show respect for—win the respect of—those who have been there before Identify potential roadblocks—politics, resources, schedules, skills, people Identify potential heroes and pre-heroes (read: villains that you haven’t won over yet) Go in fore-warned and fore-armed Prepare effective messages to counter arguments that history suggests you are likely to encounter 44 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) 5 Analyzing the political landscape 45 1. 2. 3. Before you begin Consider political factors that may influence your success Manage stakeholders @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the political landscape Step 1: Before you begin—get your head in the game If you’re not there already, content strategy requires you to step into the world of politics Think of it as a game—moving pieces on a board You can’t touch the pieces directly to move them where you want them You have to inspire them to move You inspire them by figuring out what they care about, and speaking to that It doesn’t have to be an evil game Look for win-win alliances and opportunities Discover and play to people’s strengths Enjoy finding kindred spirits in the game—don’t get bogged down by pieces on the board that refuse to move Enjoy the wins—be sure to share the rewards Learn from the losses—keep your eye on the end game on not on emotional setbacks Make smart for the greater good—but remember who you are 46 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the political landscape Step 2: Consider political factors that may influence your chance of success 1. Do I have the right big picture view of what my organization cares about? Executives? Visionaries? Management? The proletariat? (political metaphor, you know) 2. Where are there opportunities for me to connect my strategy to initiatives in which the organization is already investing? Keep asking: What are my options? Where are my opportunities? What problems does my strategy help solve? What opportunities does my strategy help maximize? 3. Whose agendas do I need to understand to be successful? Which influencers can help me? What are their agendas? Which influencers could block me? What are their agendas? 3. Put it all together—which path forward seems most promising? Where do you need to campaign? Where do you need to gain allies? 47 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Analyzing the political landscape Step 3: Manage your stakeholders Your best political asset—your stakeholders! A rigorous stakeholder management process will help you take rigorous advantage of this key asset Think through the ways that your stakeholders can help you —start by identifying and analyzing: Their status relative to your project—advocate, supporter, neutral, critic, blocker Their top interests and hot issues Their key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics The level of support you desire from them The role on your project that you desire for them The actions that you want them to take (and their priority) The messages that you need to craft for them to enable the outcome you want The actions and communication that you need to make happen with each stakeholder to achieve your desired outcome 48 Keep your stakeholder management plan current “Stakeholder management is critical to the success of every project in every organization … By engaging the right people in the right way in your project, you can make a big difference to its success... and to your career.” —Rachel Thompson Source and free stakeholder management worksheet here: Thompson, Rachel. Stakeholder Management: Planning Stakeholder Communication. MindTools. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/8UnUdj @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) References Ames, Andrea and Alyson Riley. Strategic information architecture: The information user experience. Intercom (October 2012). 28-32. Ellerby, Lindsay. Analysis, plus synthesis: Turning data into insights. UX Matters (27 April 2009). Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/C2vQ6 Ellis, David. (1989). A behavioural model for information retrieval system design. Journal of information science, 15 (4/5): 237-247. Johnson, Steve. Writing the market requirements document. Pragmatic Marketing. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/SiTrF2 Kalbach, James. “Designing for Information Foragers: A Behavioral Model for Information Seeking on the World Wide Web.” Internetworking, Internet Technical Group newsletter. Web. 20 April 2013. http://bit.ly/11Ryc15 Kalbach, James and Aaron Gustafson. Designing Web Navigation: Optimizing the User Experience. Cambridge: MA: O’Reilly Media, 2007. Plowman, Kerry J. Five pitfalls of requirement writing. Pragmatic Marketing. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/RWKbUY Sehlhorst, Scott. Writing good requirements—the big ten rules. Tyner Blain blog. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/13Y7t0 49 Thompson, Rachel. Stakeholder management: Planning stakeholder communication. MindTools. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/8UnUdj @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Creating a content strategy ecosystem Part 3: Identify requirements Andrea Ames IBM Content Experience Strategist/Architect/Designer Alyson Riley IBM Content Strategist LavaCon 20 October 2013 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon © IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) 1 Identifying and prioritizing requirements 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 51 Before you begin Extract requirements from the business, user, historical, and political data you collected Articulate requirements effectively Group requirements Prioritize requirements @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Identifying requirements Step 1: Before you begin—procedural overview all the data you collected business priorities, market plays, competitive analysis, target customers [why your company produced the product] client goals, tasks, work context, wants, needs, and motives [why clients purchase the product in the first place] become requirements what the business needs and values (and doesn’t) what the client needs and values (and don’t) that you prioritize to identify strategic focus areas determine the importance of individual requirements to user success — to product success — to business success 52 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Identifying requirements Step 2: Extract requirements from data Think deeply about what the data you collected shows you—mine the data for: Themes or systemic issues Problems Opportunities Reflect on history and the current state Don’t think about the future just yet Consider: What is the want or need? Who wants or needs it? Why do they want or need it? How might the want or need be addressed? (Caution: don’t get too far into implementation details at this stage.) 53 Each need is a requirement! @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Identifying requirements Step 3: Articulate requirements effectively Write requirements as simply as possible:who what why where when how X Pragmatic Marketing recommends (and we like) this approach: [Persona] has [problem] with [frequency]. [Alyson and Andrea] have [a hard time focusing on the task at hand when they are having fun making charts for LavaCon] [pretty much all the time]. Pragmatic Marketing also says that the best requirements are SMART: Specific—precisely what to achieve Measurable—all stakeholders can determine if the objectives are being met Achievable—attainable objectives Pragmatic Marketing’s 5 Pitfalls of Requireme 1. Not knowing the audience 2. Ambiguity 3. Squeezing a solution into the problem 4. Not making form follow function 5. Not having a holistic approach Realistic—doable with available resources 54 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Identifying requirements Step 4: Group requirements Group requirements into categories to make prioritizing them a little easier Pick the group that makes the most sense for your work—here are some examples: of impact (from these charts): By area Card sort image thanks to UX Matters Requirements to fulfill client/buyer/user wants and needs Requirements to support business strategy and objectives (and all that entails) Requirements that address historical issues Requirements that address issues in the political landscape By type (suggested by Pragmatic Marketing): Functional requirements—capabilities needed Performance requirements—capacity, speed, ease-of-use, etc. Constraint requirements—conditions that limit the strategy or design Interface requirements—interactions needed 55 Security requirements—such as client privacy or government mandate @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Identifying requirements Step 5: Prioritize requirements, part 1 Prioritizing requirements is an art—but we can follow a repeatable process to ensure rigor and high-quality outcomes: 1. Assign each requirement a low, medium, or high priority according to its: Value to the client Helps achieve the business goal for which the product was purchased in the first place (speeds time-to-value) Helps complete a goal or task (speeds time-to-success) Solves a problem—better yet, prevents a problem (increases customer satisfaction) Improves user experience (increases customer satisfaction) Simplifies; delights (increases customer loyalty) Value to business strategy Contributes to product visibility and success in the marketplace Contributes to brand recognition and mindshare Value to development Supports product functionality or capabilities 56 Saves resources (political note: content band-aids don’t save money long-term!) @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Identifying requirements Step 5: Prioritize requirements, part 2 …continued: 2. Identify the “must-do” items, and mark them high priority. Caution: Think critically about those must-do items! Why are they must-do? Ask yourself: Do these requirements support user needs or business strategy? Or are they “because we’ve always done it this way” requirements? Or “because I think it should be like this” requirements? Do the requirements yield high-value content that maps to clients’ real-world business goals? Can you prove it? Or are they “because we must have one help topic per user interface panel” kinds of requirements? Is it because “development told me to” or “marketing insisted?” That doesn’t necessarily mean the requirement is really a high priority one. What does your analysis tell you? 2. 57 3. Ensure that requirements high in value to your clients, your product strategy, and your overarching business strategy are marked higher in priority than those items that are only valuable to one or two of those areas. Group items by priority, from high to low. @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Identifying requirements Step 5: Prioritize requirements, part 3 …continued: 5. Rank high-priority items by doability: Identify any low-hanging fruit (easy or quick to address). Do you have the necessary time, skill, and technology resources? Does the team have the resources to implement the solution? 5. 6. 7. Do the same for medium priority items. Hang on to the low-priority items for now; depending on time and resources, you may be able to incorporate them into your information strategy and architecture. Share and validate your focus area prioritization with stakeholders: Start at home first: get feedback from your content team. Use this time to: Help the team think strategically about the future Collaborate with management about resource requirements and the best ways to deploy skills strategically against high-priority work Help your executive management chain think about the business value of content through discussions of your focus items and priorities. 58 Then get feedback from your extended offering team and your users. @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Identifying requirements Step 5: Prioritize requirements—summary 1. Absorb—synthesize—summarize into requirements and groups of requirements 2. If you get stuck, try a free-form card sort or an old-fashioned SWOT analysis: Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats 1. Prioritize: critical vs. nice-to-have Define a scale to communicate impact—high impact, low impact Define a scale to communicate effort—high effort, low effort Get as close to the ideal as you can—high impact, low effort Do this for all the kinds of requirements that your data revealed 1. Be prepared to show evidence for all of the above Quotes are good Videos are great Numbers are better (provided they’re the right numbers) 59 Numbers AND videos are best @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) References Ames, Andrea and Alyson Riley. Strategic information architecture: The information user experience. Intercom (October 2012). 28-32. Ellerby, Lindsay. Analysis, plus synthesis: Turning data into insights. UX Matters (27 April 2009). Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/C2vQ6 Ellis, David. (1989). A behavioural model for information retrieval system design. Journal of information science, 15 (4/5): 237-247. Johnson, Steve. Writing the market requirements document. Pragmatic Marketing. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/SiTrF2 Kalbach, James. “Designing for Information Foragers: A Behavioral Model for Information Seeking on the World Wide Web.” Internetworking, Internet Technical Group newsletter. Web. 20 April 2013. http://bit.ly/11Ryc15 Kalbach, James and Aaron Gustafson. Designing Web Navigation: Optimizing the User Experience. Cambridge: MA: O’Reilly Media, 2007. Plowman, Kerry J. Five pitfalls of requirement writing. Pragmatic Marketing. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/RWKbUY Sehlhorst, Scott. Writing good requirements—the big ten rules. Tyner Blain blog. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/13Y7t0 60 Thompson, Rachel. Stakeholder management: Planning stakeholder communication. MindTools. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/8UnUdj @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Creating a content strategy ecosystem Part 4: Using metrics to drive success Andrea Ames IBM Content Experience Strategist/Architect/Designer Alyson Riley IBM Content Strategist LavaCon 20 October 2013 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon © IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) 1 Defining success 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 62 Before you begin—rethinking metrics Plan to sell to two different audiences Map stakeholders to metrics Map content metrics to stakeholder metrics Set metrics-based goals Plan for a closed-loop process Plan for story-telling @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success Step 1: Before you begin—rethink metrics, part 1 Problem: Metrics have gotten a bad rap Numbers can be hard for word people The right numbers are hard for everyone Getting metrics to work for you requires a significant shift in thinking Solution: Rethink metrics Metrics are another form of audience analysis (who cares about what?) Metrics are another form of usability testing (what works for whom?) Motivation for change: Metrics are a powerful tool for getting what you want (and making sure you want the right things) Metrics transform opinion into fact Metrics remove emotion from analysis and decision-making Strategize with metrics: Use metrics at every phase Beginning: identify opportunity, prove the strategy is right Middle: show incremental progress, course-correct End: to prove value and earn investment for the future 63 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success Step 1: Before you begin—rethink metrics, part 2 A strategist is (among other things) a story-teller: Define the right vision Tell a compelling, true story that inspires people to buy into your vision. What makes a story true? Facts—things you can prove. What makes a story compelling? It speaks to what matters most. What matters most? Depends on your audience. Duh, right? We prove the value of content with metrics Value is in the eye of the beholder. Who’s your “beholder?” Understand who your beholders actually are—that is, the real decision-makers and influencers in your world. (Remember the stakeholder management plan from Part 1?) Use metrics that target actual decision-makers. Your actual decision-makers are probably business people—executives, managers, and others who hold the purse-strings. 64 Figure out what your audience values—their metrics for success. @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success Step 1: Before you begin—rethink metrics, part 3 So what audience are we speaking to when we talk about things like this? Site visitors Page hits Visitor location Most popular pages Least popular pages Bounce rate Time spent on page Referrals and referrers Search terms Etc. 65 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success Step 2: Plan to sell to 2 different audiences Audience 1: Business people Unless you can make a direct connection between your content metrics and the metrics that drive business, you are telling the wrong story for this audience. You need this audience! The business community funds us. We have to sell our vision to them, with a metrics story that resonates with them. We must learn to speak “business”—that is, prove the value of content using metrics that matter to business. Audience 2: Content producer people A enterprise content ecosystem typically includes many kinds of content producers Content producers across the ecosystem tend to reflect the values of their leadership and business unit in which they’re located This means that even kindred spirits—other content people—can have widely different goals and metrics 66 Your job is to define common ground by speaking to what matters most to this audience, too. @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success—Step 2: Selling to two audiences Selling content strategy to a business audience The kinds of metrics that we use to build effective content strategies don’t resonate with most executives, managers, and finance people. Sometimes we “talk to ourselves”—that is, use metrics that resonate with content people, not the actual people we need to support our strategy. “Page hits” resonate with us. “Sales leads” resonates with business. You cannot directly connect things like page hits and bounce rates to core business metrics. You need an informational professional’s intuition to know how content supports business metrics—most business people don’t have that intuition. The business audience funds us. We have to sell our vision and prove our value to them, with a metrics story that speaks to what they care about most. 67 Example business metrics: Revenue streams Sales leads Cost per lead Customer satisfaction Customer loyalty Return on investment (ROI) Time to value Market share Mindshare @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success—Step 2: Selling to two audiences Proving the business value of content—IBM example At IBM, we’re learning to tell a better story for a business audience We conducted a survey from 2010-2012 with clients and prospective clients about the value of content—here’s the hot-off-the-press data: Shameless ad: Watch for the May issue of STC’s Intercom magazine for a new article that we wrote on proving the business value of content. 68 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success—Step 2: Selling to two audiences Selling content strategy to a content audience Analyze each organization or team that contributes to the content ecosystem In what business unit are they located? Who are their executives, sponsors, and stakeholders? Who “grades them” on their performance? Who funds them? What matters to them? How do they measure their progress or results? What are they doing well (both in your analysis and theirs)? Where can they improve (both in your analysis and theirs)? Identify areas of similarity and difference 69 Where do their goals align with yours? build bridges! Where do their goals conflict with yours? build business cases! Use metrics to craft a story that: Shows problems and opportunities that each content team cares about Maps in key areas to their goals for content Diverges from their current goals in ways that would increase their value to sponsors and stakeholders @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success Step 3: Map stakeholders to metrics Remember the stakeholder management plan from “Assessing and analyzing the todaystate?” Here’s another place where it provides value. Be highly intentional about making sure that your metrics plan includes data that map to the things your key stakeholders care about. This mapping activity will help you: Validate your strategy—does your work align with mission-critical organizational objectives? Prepare persuasive communications for your key decision-makers—do you have the framework for a strong story to connect in meaningful ways with your various stakholders? 70 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success—Step 3: Map stakeholders to metrics Metrics for a business audience Use the research you did during the today-state analysis phase Target the key decisionsmakers—those who hold the purse-strings Stakeholder Example metrics VP Marketing  ROI  Cost per lead  Campaign performance VP Sales Identify what the key business decision-makers care about Use language that resonates with that business audience 71 Remember: unless you can tie a particular goal or result to a measurement that the stakeholder cares about, that result ultimately doesn’t matter  Conversion metrics  Viable leads  Sales growth VP Support  Product performance  Call volume  Call length VP Development  Customer satisfaction  Development costs  Market share  Lines of code  Compliance  Quality and test results @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success—Step 3: Map stakeholders to metrics Metrics for a content team audience Now map players in the content ecosystem to the metrics they care about Remember that each content team has their own decisionmakers who: Approve their goals Determine their funding Determine their futures 72 Stakeholder Example metrics Example associated content teams Example content metrics VP Marketing  ROI  Cost per lead  Campaign  Web team  Social team  Event team         performance Conversion metrics Viable leads Sales growth Product performance VP Sales    VP Support  Call volume  Call length  Customer  Sales enablement  Education & training  Beta programs  Web support team  Call center team    satisfaction VP Development      Dev cost Market share Lines of code Compliance Quality and test      Product documentation team  Developers who publish whitepapers and case studies  Product community forums and wikis Web traffic Click-throughs Likes and shares Conversions Collateral distributed Cost per unit produced Proofs of Concept (PoCs) to sale Number of classes Beta program participants Cost per unit produced Amount of web information produced Number of calls reduced Time of calls reduced Cost per unit produced  Lines of text, number of pages, etc.  Cost per unit produced  Web traffic  Number of forum participants @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success Step 4: Map content metrics to stakeholder metrics Tie your content strategy metrics to the metrics that matter most to your stakeholders so you can tell a story that inspires the outcomes you want. This means researching how content influences the metrics that are most important to the specific people you need for success. Start your research with these hints: How does content drive purchase decisions? How does content impact product quality ? direct link to customer loyalty How does content influence customer satisfaction? direct link to ROI How does content shape clients’ perceptions of your company ? 73 direct link to the revenue stream direct link to mindshare @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success Step 5: Set metrics-based goals So what are the goals for your content strategy? Express those goals in the form of business metrics and content metrics. Some examples: Business metrics Sample content metrics Sample content goals Purchase decisions  Reach—visits, etc.  Engagement—referrals, etc. Contribute to revenue stream through referrals from technical content that become sales leads. Contribute to product quality through by simplifying the amount of content in the user experience. (revenue) Product quality (customer loyalty) Customer satisfaction (ROI) Perceptions of company (mindshare) 74  Reach—visits, etc.  Engagement—referrals, etc. Web traffic Direct feedback Ratings Shares (social) Sentiment—nature of social dialogue, etc.  Direct feedback      Create high value content that speeds customer time to success. Create high quality, highly usable content delivered in an elegant information experience. @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success Step 6: Plan for a closed-loop process Closed loop: end up at the beginning! Start with metrics—use at project outset to: Identify problems and opportunities Define the vision Prove that the vision is right Continue with metrics—use during implementation to: Measure the success of your progress in small increments Stay on-target through implementation Determine when it’s time to course-correct (before change gets expensive) Keep your sponsors and stakeholders engaged throughout the long haul Ensure that you remain connected to the broader goals and metrics of the surrounding business Ensure that you stay responsive and adapt to change End with metrics—use at project conclusion to: 75 Prove the business value of cultivating an effective content ecosystem Prove the business value of your work—enhance your credibility and career Encourage future investment in the content ecosystem @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Defining success Step 7: Plan for story-telling What your metrics give you: The “black and white” part of your strategy The facts that prove your strategy is a good one An argument that speaks to the analytical mind What your metrics don’t give you: A guaranteed successful “sell” to your stakeholders EXPERT A vision that inspires people to believe A story that speaks to the emotional heart Think through the content, tactics, and rhetorical devices that will sell your vision Aristotle had it right: Ethos—your credibility as a speaker (professionalism; authority) Logos—the logic of your argument; the clarity of your message and evidence, using either inductive (bottom-up) or deductive (top-down) reasoning Pathos—an emotional appeal, vivid storytelling, creative envisioning 76 The point? Be sure that your metrics help you gather all the data you need to tell an ethos—logos—pathos story @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) References Bhapkar, Neil. 8 KPIs Your Content Marketing Measurements Should Include. Content Marketing Institute. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/Wnb7Cy Klipfolio. The KPI Dashboard—Evolved. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/LhzeL9 Muldoon, Pamela. 4 metrics every content marketer needs to measure: Interview with Jay Baer. Content Marketing Institute. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/X8IvMJ Thompson, Rachel. Stakeholder management: Planning stakeholder communication. MindTools. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/8UnUdj 77 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Creating a content strategy ecosystem Part 5: Building a business case Andrea Ames IBM Content Experience Strategist/Architect/Designer Alyson Riley IBM Content Strategist LavaCon 20 October 2013 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon © IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) 1 Building a high-level business case 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 79 Before you begin Specify the issue Depict the outcome Articulate your recommendation Provide justification Identify the team Tell a good story @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Building a business case Step 1: Before you begin—embrace the case The beauty of black-and-white—a business case helps you: Ensure that your strategy is complete and that you’ve thought through every potential issue Fight the battle for content strategy by equipping you with powerful ammunition Transform your message from “I want this” to “These critical data show that…” Demonstrate rigor and professionalism Assert your credibility—it is the lingua franca of the business world Lots of mental roadblocks out there about writing business cases! Let’s demystify business cases a bit! There are lots of approaches and templates out there for building good business cases—but for our purposes today, let’s pare down the content in a typical business to a few key ideas… 80 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Building a business case Step 2: Specify the issue Describe the business problem—clearly, briefly, factually What business problem does your content strategy solve? What is the impact of this business problem—today, and tomorrow? Go back to your metrics and stakeholder management plans—state the problem in those terms, mapped directly to business priorities “Management is concerned with decreasing costs and increasing revenue, so state the problem in those terms.” —Jack Molisani “Don’t assume that management can see the ‘pain’ of this problem as clearly as you can.” —Jack Molisani Do not describe how the problem will be addressed—merely define the problem. 81 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Building a business case Step 3: Depict the outcome What would an ideal tomorrow-state look like? What would success look like? This is the spot where you help your audience imagine the possibilities that your solution will address! Your vision! 82 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Building a business case Step 4: Articulate your recommendation So how do we achieve the outcome you described? Describe your solution and how your solution solves the problem Describe the benefits of your solution (another spot where you can use those metrics and stakeholder management plans) Revenue? Customer satisfaction? Client ROI? Mindshare? Marketshare? Cost reduction or avoidance? You get the idea… Describe how moving forward with your strategy will achieve desirable results. 83 Use your skills as a technical communicator—write your justifications using why? and for whom? and how much? @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Building a business case Step 4: Provide justification Let your audience see how you arrived at this solution: Describe all viable/meaningful alternatives (including doing nothing) Use your metrics plan to evaluate each option Calculate ROI (where you can): amount returned / costs Estimate how long it will take to see those returns on investment Identify any risks and communicate a plan to mitigate those risks Specify why you selected your approach over alternative options 84 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Building a business case Step 5: Identify the team Who do you need in order to achieve your vision? Leaders of the project? Sponsors? Stakeholders? What skills do you need? Leadership/strategy/vision Project management Technical End-to-end information experience skills Information development skills Etc. Make a clear and concise request for resources, and be sure that these resources have been accounted for in your cost assessments 85 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Building a business case Step 6: Tell a good story Remember good old Aristotle? Use your skills as a technical communicator to tell a compelling story with your business case! Ensure your story speaks to: Ethos—your credibility (professionalism; authority) Logos—the logic of your argument; the clarity of your message and evidence, using either inductive (bottom-up) or deductive (top-down) reasoning Pathos—an emotional appeal, vivid storytelling, creative envisioning Use all the techniques you can to help your audience visualize the future! Show, don’t tell—include imagery, video, and audio as appropriate to show the challenges of the today-state and help your audience imagine tomorrow Keep your packaging professional—high-quality, visually-appealing charts and documents will enhance your ethos Help your audience learn—start with the big picture (an executive summary), then feed them the details 86 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) References Bhapkar, Neil. 8 KPIs Your Content Marketing Measurements Should Include. Content Marketing Institute. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/Wnb7Cy Carliner, Saul. Ten tips for building a business case. Intercom (June 2012). Klipfolio. The KPI Dashboard—Evolved. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/LhzeL9 Molisani, Jack. How to build a business case. Intercom (July/August 2008). Muldoon, Pamela. 4 metrics every content marketer needs to measure: Interview with Jay Baer. Content Marketing Institute. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/X8IvMJ Thompson, Rachel. Stakeholder management: Planning stakeholder communication. MindTools. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/8UnUdj 87 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Creating a content strategy ecosystem Part 6: Communicate! Andrea Ames IBM Content Experience Strategist/Architect/Designer Alyson Riley IBM Content Strategist LavaCon 20 October 2013 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon © IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) 1 Identify and capture expectations 1. 2. 3. 4. 89 Before you begin Identify who needs to know something Define what they need to know Describe why they need to know it @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Identify and capture expectations Step 1: Before you begin Choose a capture method Expectations matrix List all of your constituents—take a 360-degree look around Determine what they need to know—talk to them Define what they want to do—and what you want them to do—as a result of the knowledge 90 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Identify and capture expectations Step 2: Identify who needs to know something Who needs to know something—anything—about your initiative? You likely have the beginning—if not the entirety—of a list from your analysis activity! Again, consider: Content producers, for evangelism, implementation Marketing team Sales enablement content team Education teams Beta programs teams Support teams Product documentation teams Subject matter experts Client-facing personnel Business partners, for evangelism and validation Clients, for validation and evangelism Look for stakeholders, colleagues, team members, etc.: With strengths that can further your mission (so that you can leverage them) With missions that overlap this initiative (so that you can meet objections and get them on board) In organizations with capabilities to deliver the mission (so that you can leverage them) 91 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Identify and capture expectations Step 3: Define what they need to know Use your business plan for input List the topics will you need to communicate For each of your constituents, describe what they need to know about each topic How does each audience relate to the communication themes? Responsible Accountable Consulted Informed 92 From RACI blog post, See resources @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Identify and capture expectations Step 4: Describe why they need to know it Use your business plan for input, as well as what you know about your climate from analysis For each constituent and topic, consider why you are communicating For you: What will you get for the effort of communicating? Is there a specific action you want them to take? For them: What will they get for the effort of paying attention? Is there specific knowledge they need to do their jobs? Are there actions they want to take but cannot until they have your information? 93 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) 2 Summarize the communication process 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 94 Before you begin List your communication customers Identify the output of the communication Define the process for how the communication will happen Describe the input required Identify the suppliers who will communicate the information @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Summarize the communication process Step 1: Before you begin Choose a capture method COPIS matrix List the customers who will receive the information Identify the output messages that will be communicated Describe the process and delivery mechanisms used to communicate Define the inputs to the messages List your suppliers of information 95 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Summarize the communication process Steps 2&3: List the customers and identify outputs Step 2: List the customers Who will receive the communication  Use the “constituents” dimension of your expectations matrix. Step 3: Identify the output (what they need to know) What messages/information will be communicated  Use 96 the “needs/to” dimension of your expectations matrix. @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Summarize the communication process Step 4: Describe the process you will use to communicate How will you communicate? What channels/delivery mechanisms will you use? Each audience and type of communication might warrant a different communication approach It is very likely that you’ve already discussed some of this during analysis, metrics, and business case work Don’t feel they all need to be unique; leverage what already exists (or is identified) when possible Consider Internal, external, or both? “Mass” communication, such as e-mail blasts, blog posts Targeted and more controlled communication, such as live presentations 97 Highly targeted and controlled communication, such as one-on-one discussions @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Summarize the communication process Step 5: Define the inputs to the messages Dependencies: What do you (or other suppliers) need to know to ensure you are communicating the correct message? It is likely that you’ve already discussed some of this during analysis, metrics, and business case work Consider Team member information that rolls up Changes in the organization, org climate, or initiative that could (should?) trigger communication Events in related organizations to which you should respond 98 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Summarize the communication process Step 6: List your suppliers of information The messenger Who is the right person to deliver the message? You might have already discussed some of this during analysis, metrics, and business case work Sometimes your suppliers are also your constituents! Consider Team members to whom you want to give credit Other teams’ leaders or members with whom you want to share credit Leaders who need to take responsibility Stakeholders for appropriate visibility 99 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) 3 Communicate for buy-in 1. 2. 3. 4. 100 Before you begin Determine how to best sell your vision Talk to the right audiences You’re on! @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Communicate for buy-in Step 1: Before you begin Nurture your inner influencer by cultivating your emotional intelligence and appropriately leveraging your power  Do your homework through analysis Define the right vision—your requirements and unified content strategy, validated by the right metrics Tell a compelling story by measuring the right things What makes a story true? Facts—things you can prove. What makes a story compelling? It speaks to what matters most. What matters most? Depends on your audience. Capture your story in a way the business can understand— your business case 101 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Communicate for buy-in Step 2: Determine how to best sell your vision Think through the content, tactics, and rhetorical devices that will sell your vision…remember Aristotle Ethos—your credibility as a speaker (professionalism; authority)—your inner influencer Logos—the logic of your argument; the clarity of your message and evidence, using either inductive (bottom-up) or deductive (top-down) reasoning— your metrics Pathos—an emotional appeal, vivid storytelling, creative envisioning—what’s in it for them 102 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Communicate for buy-in Step 3: Talk to the right audience What’s in it for them? Business people We must learn to speak “business”—that is, prove the value of content using metrics that matter to business. They fund us. We must sell our vision and prove our value to them. Content producers We must define common ground by speaking to what matters most to them. Their implementation will realize the vision of the ecosystem. We must sell our vision and get their buy-in. 103 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Communicate for buy-in Step 4: You’re on! It’s just another communication project! Approach it that way! Leverage the business plan outline/sections to develop the presentation structure 104 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) References COPIS/SIPOC on iSixSigma—instructions and template: http://bit.ly/yz9mtc How a RACI Matrix Can Help Your Project Succeed by Shannon Navin from Cardinal Solutions blog: http://bit.ly/QuaWOi 105 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Creating a content strategy ecosystem Part 7: Conclusion Andrea Ames IBM Content Experience Strategist/Architect/Designer Alyson Riley IBM Content Strategist LavaCon 20 October 2013 @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon © IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) Themes from today’s session 1. The importance of systems thinking—analyze and strategize at the ecosystemlevel 2. The importance of metrics—tell the right story in the right way to the right people 3. The value of knowing who you are—play to your strengths 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 107 The value of knowing who influences your success —identify the real decision-makers The importance of soft skills—communication, evangelism, assertive outreach, networking, breaking down barriers The critical role that community plays in your success—managing your stakeholders, building relationships with key players in your content ecosystem The wisdom of crawl-walk-run —don’t boil the ocean, but rather envision the run phase, start with crawl, and plan for walk The critical importance of audience analysis —every phase of the content strategy process, every deliverable, every communication @aames @ak_riley @LavaCon
  • IBM Client Technical Content Experience (CTCX) thank you may your content ecosystem thrive andrea ames (@aames) & alyson riley (@ak_riley) 108