Introduction to Content Strategy, Technology, Engineering, Management and Solutions (STEMS)
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Introduction to Content Strategy, Technology, Engineering, Management and Solutions (STEMS)

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Workshop that digs into the nuts and bolts of content...

Workshop that digs into the nuts and bolts of content...

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Introduction to Content Strategy, Technology, Engineering, Management and Solutions (STEMS) Introduction to Content Strategy, Technology, Engineering, Management and Solutions (STEMS) Presentation Transcript

  • Copyright © Joe Gollner 2014 Content Strategy, Technology, Engineering, Management & Solutions (STEMS) @joegollner
  • Content STEMS: A Practical Introduction Workshop Objectives Provide grounded definitions for the terminology used when discussing: • Content Strategy • Content Technology • Content Engineering • Content Management • Content Solutions Provide an integrated framework that connects these definitions into a coherent whole that can be used to organize discussions & projects
  • Intended Audience Technical Communicators People with many new terms, tools & techniques swirling around them Content Strategists & Solution Providers People who are creating & swirling the new terms, tools & techniques Tenth Cybernetics Conference (1953) View slide
  • A Changing World for Communicators Core Definitions Fundamental building blocks The Content Life Cycle A Structured Approach to Content Strategy The Road to Effective Content Solutions Workshop Topics Albert Einstein by Yousef Karsh (1948) View slide
  • A Changing World for Communicators Frederick Winslow Taylor – Scientific Management
  • A Global Economy calls for Continuous process improvement Maximized automation Dynamically tailored products Localized delivery & support Reconfigurable supply chains This Demands Standardized parts Flexible & dynamic assembly for products, services, information & therefore content The Facts of Business Life The Practice of Management (1954) Peter F. Drucker
  • The Industrial Context Design & Manufacturing of Products is changing Driven by flows of digital information Product Information is an integral part of the product itself Product information • Complex & dynamic • Aggregated from Suppliers • Shared with Customers • Evolved by Users Escalating precision • Automated processes • Continuous collection & use of analytical data • All product components tracked & handled using automation…
  • Extreme Localization Product localization is taken to its logical conclusion Products need to be completely localized • Hardware • Software • Services & support Increases configuration complexities Increases rate of design change Product information localization reflects Language differences Market differences Cultural differences Legal differences Global Shipping Patterns
  • Competitive Pressures Competitive forces are driving down tolerances Savings and reductions must be found everywhere • Cycle times • Transaction costs • Inventory needs • Administrative overheads • Support demands • Modification expenses • Legal liabilities Product information is one area where savings must be found Modernization of product information processes is one mechanism for realizing broad savings & improvements
  • Fiscal Pressures The All-Seeing Eye of Financial Management Nowhere to hide Insatiable thirst for performance data Limited taste for innovation Declining tolerance for risk Technical Communication Must be integrated into the business & product life cycles Must adopt prevailing patterns Must provide data metrics Must be continually optimized Must work with existing capabilities Charlie Chaplin – Modern Times (1936)
  • Technical Pressures Infrastructure rationalization Standardization of technology environments Outsourcing of technology development & support The Technology Environments used by Communicators Come under intense scrutiny • Too specialized for mainstream resources • Too different from mainstream technologies Run the risk of becoming orphaned investments Often seen as a cost & complexity that should be “externalized”
  • The business of communication is changing at an accelerating pace All these changes are converging & happening at the same time Previous tools & techniques of communication will not suffice We actually have to consider what it is we need to actually manage It’s the Content…. The Birth of Content (1932)
  • Content Information Publishing Documents Related Terms Back to Basics: Key Definitions Richard Feynman
  • Content & Information Content Is what we plan, design, create, reuse & manage so that we can deliver effective information transactions Content is potential information (an asset) Information Is the meaningful organization of data communicated in a specific context with the purpose of influencing others Information is a transaction (an action) that contains & delivers Content
  • Content Components Text Modules Media Resources Data Sources Relationship Links Metadata Properties Concept Taxonomies Assembly Maps Governing Models Validation Criteria Processing Rules Distribution Rights Formatting Instructions Authority Precedents This is the implication of the phrase “potential information” An information transaction is composed of numerous content components coming together to create an effective information experience Content & Information: In Practical Terms
  • Contentus / Contenta / Contentum: that which is assembled & contained Ingredients Tools Procedures Packaging Presentation The Definition of Content
  • Web Content The content delivered to the web Component Content Modular & reusable content Intelligent Content Portable & Processable Adaptive Content Retains intelligence when published so as to be responsive to devices & user needs Content – properly considered – covers them all Variations on the term Content
  • Publishing The process of transforming content assets into information products that can be effectively transacted. From “to make public”. Documents Documents are the persistent form of information transactions that are exchanged as part of a business event. Documents are a fact of life. They provide evidence of decisions, processes & events. Documents can take many forms. Publishing & Documents
  • Information Disciplines Seattle Engineering Plan Vault (1936) Information Technology Tools for moving, processing & tracking information transactions Information Security Protecting information transactions Information Management Governance & Accountability Information eDiscovery Meeting court requirements Information Architecture Frameworks for discovery Information Experience Ensuring effective usability Note: These disciplines only consider the content indirectly & only in its published form
  • Content is defined as “potential information” - as what we manage in order to deliver effective information transactions Information is a transaction that delivers content to a specific audience in a specific form in order to influence (inform) its behaviour These definitions make a very fine distinction between content & information. This distinction is important because it makes management & sustainable improvement possible – first for content & then for information Review: Core Definitions
  • Background Regulatory Agency for the Energy Sector managing: • Regulations • Process Documentation • Submissions • Public Consultation Outcomes • Judgments Pressures: • Growing volume & complexity of regulations & submissions • Growing complexity of the consultation process • To bring costs under control or even reduce them • Maintain or even shorten the process cycle times Case Study: Regulatory Structured Content
  • Three Key Ingredients Top Tier Management Consulting Firm • Conducted a comprehensive process review • Collaborated with stakeholders to re-envision the future Content Management Consulting Firm • Facilitated a wide-ranging analysis & modeling activity • Developed target content models with rich semantics Content Management & Publishing Technology Vendors • Engaged to tailor their tools to support • The re-envisioned business process • Fully-customized content authoring environments • Sophisticated shared management & publishing services Case Study: Regulatory Structured Content    What Happened? Complete Disaster! But why?
  • The Content Life Cycle Norbert Wiener Lecturing on Cybernetics (the Science of Communication and Control)
  • Needed a Model that would Align with the fundamental definition of content as potential information Provide a prominent & practical position for the ascendant practice of “Content Strategy” Properly situates the historically prominent practice of “Content Management” Provides a prominent position for “Content Engagement” to reflect the rise of social media, user generated content, user analytics, and linked open data sharing The Content Life Cycle Norbert Wiener
  • Content Life Cycle: Core Activities Content Acquisition Content Management Content Delivery Content Engagement
  • How we acquire the content assets that we need to deliver the necessary information transactions Content Acquisition encompasses Designing content Creating content Converting content from legacy sources Licensing content from third parties Content Acquisition Content Acquisition Key Focus Points: - Maximize quality - Minimize costs - Support authors - Streamline conversion - Formalize & optimize supplier channels
  • Content Delivery Assembles then Publishes content to deliver information products that can be effectively transacted Starts from information needs and works backward to expedite the delivery of the necessary renditions Content Delivery Content Delivery Key Focus Points: - Satisfy user needs - Enhance the confidence of users - Exploit the capabilities of available technology - Contain costs & complexity
  • Content Engagement Content Engagement Content Engagement Tapping into user experiences Soliciting user feedback Incorporating user contributions Leveraging user analytics Measuring user effectiveness Facilitating user collaboration Sharing content with others Key Focus Points: - Establish a vital link between the content & its users - Encourage & facilitate user contributions - Monitor user activity to see how content is being used - Drive content evolution with user feedback - Push feedback to Product Management
  • Content Management Content Management Content Management Protecting content value • Security • Recovery / Roll-back Facilitating Reuse • Discovery (what can be reused) • Reference (designating reuse) • Reporting (monitoring reuse) Facilitating content workflows • Editorial • Production Managing links to dynamic data sources Reporting on content & content processes Key Focus Points: - Control access - Facilitate reuse - Formalize processes - Facilitate change - content - processes - users
  • Best Practice: Maintaining Life Cycle Balance Content Acquisition Content Management Content Delivery Content Engagement Over-emphasis on any one area can be a problem
  • Introducing Content Strategy
  • A strategy is a plan of action directed towards achieving a long-term goal through the coordination, integration and application of the resources and capabilities available to an enterprise Key Points - It is a plan of action - Seeks to achieve a long-term business goal - Leverages available resources & capabilities Content Acquisition Content Management Content Delivery Content Engagement Content Strategy Content Strategy
  • A Content Strategy seeks to make content a strategic asset that can be leveraged by state-of-the-art technology to achieve concrete business goals. Critically, it will determine what content is needed and it will explain why. It will justify the investments that need to be made. The Tao of Content Strategy
  • Introducing a Measurement Framework Content Delivery Content Acquisition Content Management Content Engagement 1 10 1 1 1 10 1010 For a Content Strategy to be a genuine plan of action, it must deploy measurement in order to target & monitor investments.
  • Content Metrics reflect the measurements that an organization deems important. The first step is determining what needs to be measured. Content Delivery Content Acquisition Content Management Content Engagement 2.4 4.2 As Is 2.8 4.0 8.3 8.77.8 To Be 1 10 1 1 1 10 1010 8.8 Content Metrics “As Is” Current Score: 45 “To Be” Target Score: 281
  • Content Strategy: Example Evaluation Framework Evaluation Criteria Competitiveness Consistency Responsiveness Maintainability Measurability Usability What is being Evaluated Benchmark comparisons against comparable organizations The consistency of content details across the collection (measure of reuse) The extent to which new demands can be met quickly & affordably Maintainability & supportability of the overall solution Completeness & quality of the measurement data provided Efficiency & intuitiveness of all user interactions (supporting user success) Score Assigned 0 – No Score 2 – Poor 4 – Weak 6 – Fair 8 – Good 10 – Excellent Optional Weighting Scheme Applied to Evaluation Criteria 0.5 – Less important 1.5 – More important Every criterion weighted as more important must be balanced by one that is rated as less important Capability Level None Minimal Inadequate Adequate Competitive Industry Leading Evaluation Method Scoring Method Scores are assigned to each criteria for each quadrant & averaged. The area of the polygon that results is the total score. CDQuadrantCMQuadrant CEQuadrantCAQuadrant Content Delivery Content Acquisition Content Management Content Engagement P1 P2 P3 2.4 4.2 As Is 2.8 4.0 8.3 8.77.8 To Be 1 10 1 1 1 10 1010 8.8 P1: Phase 1 P2: Phase 2 P3: Phase 3
  • Content Strategy: Planning Summary Worksheet CA CD CM CE ImprovementPhase 1: Demonstration Capability Budget: CA CD CM CE Phase 1 ScorePhase 1 CA CD CM CE As Is ScoreCurrent State: Key Shortcomings CA CD CM CE ImprovementPhase 2: Working Capability CA CD CM CE Phase 2 ScorePhase 2 CA CD CM CE ImprovementPhase 3: Production Capability CA CD CM CE Target ScorePhase 3 Business Priorities User Priorities System Priorities Content Strategy: Planning Summary Worksheet A summary of planning details that can be used to distill key ideas and details. The discipline of identifying principle objectives in each phase, and matching these to schedule and budget boundaries, can be a very effective way to focus project activities. Schedule: Budget: Schedule: Budget: Schedule: The Demonstration Phase of a project should focus efforts on delivering business capabilities that will engage executive stakeholders who will have the authority to support & sustain the full range of investments that will be required. The Working Phase of a project should focus on enhancing the productivity of all users within a redesigned content process. The Production Phase of a project should focus on establishing a cost-effective, sustainable and scalable environment that makes the most of open standards and adaptable technologies. Content AcquisitionCA Content DeliveryCD Content ManagementCM Content EngagementCE + + + The key innovation to be implemented during each phase and in each quadrant (CA, CD, CM, CE) should be identified briefly (e.g., Browser-based editing for CA) Total Budget Total Schedule:
  • Migration to Structured Authoring Tool CA 1.6 CD 2.0 CM 1.4 CE 1.3 ImprovementPhase 1: Demonstration Capability Budget: $85,000 CA 7.3 CD 4.8 CM 3.9 CE 5.3 Phase 1 ScorePhase 1 New Web based online deliverable Introduce standardized metadata & workflow Provide online feedback & discussion capability Proprietary Authoring Tool with moderate discipline CA 5.7 CD 2.8 CM 2.5 CE 4.0 As Is ScoreCurrent State: Key Shortcomings PDF Deliverables provided online Custom In-house Management Database Customers provide feedback using PDF comments Introduce Refined Reuse Practices CA 0.9 CD 2.2 CM 1.1 CE 1.5 ImprovementPhase 2: Working Capability CA 8.2 CD 7.0 CM 5.0 CE 6.8 Phase 2 ScorePhase 2 Provide dynamic tailoring of content by user type Introduce enhanced quality assurance processes Introduce improved analytics & success measures Provide authoring assistance tools CA O.9 CD 2.0 CM 3.1 CE 1.1 ImprovementPhase 3: Production Capability CA 9.3 CD 9.0 CM 8.1 CE 7.9 Target ScorePhase 3 Introduce mobile version of deliverables Introduce new content management system Introduce user profiles & reputation status Business Priorities User Priorities System Priorities Content Strategy: Planning Summary Worksheet A summary of planning details that can be used to distill key ideas and details. The discipline of identifying principle objectives in each phase, and matching these to schedule and budget boundaries, can be a very effective way to focus project activities. Schedule: 4 months Budget: $100,000 Schedule: 4 months Budget: $200,000 Schedule: 4 months The Demonstration Phase of a project should focus efforts on delivering business capabilities that will engage executive stakeholders who will have the authority to support & sustain the full range of investments that will be required. The Working Phase of a project should focus on enhancing the productivity of all users within a redesigned content process. The Production Phase of a project should focus on establishing a cost-effective, sustainable and scalable environment that makes the most of open standards and adaptable technologies. + + + The key innovation to be implemented during each phase and in each quadrant (CA, CD, CM, CE) should be identified briefly Content AcquisitionCA Content DeliveryCD Content ManagementCM Content EngagementCE Total Budget Total Schedule: $385,000 12 months Content Strategy: Sample Project Worksheet
  • Grounded Content Strategy Content Delivery Content Acquisition Content Management Content Engagement 1 10 1 1 1 10 1010 Content Strategy A grounded Content Strategy is one that identifies concrete & measurable objectives for balanced investments in the Content Life Cycle.
  • Content Strategy & the Content Life Cycle Content Acquisition Content Management Content Delivery Content Engagement Content Strategy A continuously evolving Content Strategy will drive a continuously improving Content Life Cycle which delivers continuously increasing benefits to the enterprise
  • So How does a Content Strategy become Reality?
  • Content Technology > Engineering > Solutions Content Technology Content Acquisition Content Management Content Delivery Content Engagement Content Strategy Content Engineering Content Solutions
  • Content Technology Technology that has been specifically designed to create, store, manage & process content with all its complexity including content that has been optimized for portability & processability using open standards Content exhibits highly complex structures • Data arrangements (tables) • Integrated media resources • Cross-references • Pattern nesting • Variable occurrence • Rhetorical framework & techniques designed to guide users Content Technology
  • Content Acquisition Adapting to the actual structures encountered in content Facilitating acquisition tasks Content Acquisition Content Acquisition Authoring tools: XML Editors / Augmented Word Processors / Online Editing Environments Conversion services: Full Service Providers / SaaS Options External sourcing: Aggregation & validation processes
  • Content Delivery Content Delivery Print Delivery Deliver - Resolve - Compile - Publish Content Resolve Publish Deploy Digital Products Deploy Printable Products XML XHTML HTML5 OOXML PDF / EPS InDesign Quark MS Word Templates Output Plan (Map & View) Assets Rules OutputVariants Render Transformations Compile Content Digital Delivery Content Delivery Selecting what content to include Resolving all reuse relationships Filtering content for each “view” Compiling content into a form that can be efficiently rendered Rendering formatted representations Deploying delivery packages Open Source Options: DITA OT / FOP Transformation Tools: Saxon / MSXML / OmniMark Formatting Tools: AntennaHouse / RenderX / FrameMaker / InDesign…
  • Content Engagement Content Engagement Content Engagement Numerous options for engaging users • Wikis • WCMS facilitating • Comments • Rating • User Tracking • “Smart” online help • Dynamic delivery solutions • Commercial • Custom Dynamic Delivery: SDL LiveContent / SuiteShare Help Publishers: WebWorks / MadCap / RoboHelp XML Databases: Ixiasoft TextML / MarkLogic / EMC Dynamic Server Social Media / WCMS: MindTouch, Ingeniux,… The most complex scenario arises when content is published into partner application environments and usage data & feedback is harvested from those systems
  • Content Management Content Management Content Management Wide-range of implementation options Numerous commercial offerings • Different price ranges • Different storage architectures • Different levels of product maturity • Different levels of internal integration • Different levels of external integration • Different levels of portability across industries Key Criteria: Adaptability CCMSs: Trisoft / Ixiasoft / Bluestream / Componize / Astoria + Vasont / … Augmented CMSs: DITAExchange with SharePoint / Documentum / … SaaS Alternatives: EasyDITA / DocZone Customization of Existing Infrastructure: Common approach but not without problems
  • Content Engineering Content Engineering: The application of engineering discipline to the design, acquisition, delivery, management, and use of content and to the technologies deployed to support the full content life cycle The Language of Content Strategy
  • A Definition of Engineering Engineering: Engineering is the application of scientific principles to the design, development, support and use of systems which are themselves made up of structures and processes. Engineering entails the methodical & documented use of  precedents  standards  experiments  measurements  tests  best practices  past experience  state-of-the-art technology
  • Content Engineering: Building Content Solution Content Acquisition Content Delivery Content Engagement Content Management • Analyze information requirements • Analyze content sources • Model content structures & semantics • Determine validation criteria • Design information products • Model content processes • Implement content processes • Implement validation processes • Design information interactions • Validate usability against user task success • Design, implement & deploy content engagement platform • Implement validation processes • Design & implement management regime • Design & implement workflows • Design & implement reporting services • Design & implement user support services
  • Content Standards Defined & maintained by a community with common or shared interests to facilitate interoperability & better overall results Prominent Content Standards Extensible Markup Language (XML) A very widely used standard for interchangeable data Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) A popular protocol for implementing topic-based XML content XML Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) Widely used method for transforming XML into other forms HTML5 Ascendant format for web content with an XML serialization Focus: Content Standards
  • Focus: Content Conversion Interaction Modify Conversion Process Source Analysis Source to Target Mapping Subject Matter Experts Execute Conversion Process Result Analysis Identified Issues Validation & Verification Application Tests Interaction Legacy Source Content Modified Conversion Rules Example Set Sample Set 10% Complete Set 100% 1 2 3 Target XML Schema Manual Editing Guidance Complete Existing Conversion Rules There is no magic but organizations typically underestimate how well this can be done
  • Taxonomy metadata metadata Link Network Ontology Topic Topic Topic Topic Focus: Ontologies, Taxonomies & Metadata The Meaning of Metadata Metadata categories and values relate content to aspects of an Ontology The Ontology provides the context for metadata Ontologies Describe a domain of knowledge Can be used as the basis of: • Taxonomies (classification schemes) • Composition Trees (part-ologies) • Link networks • Context driven navigational aids
  • Focus: Link Management Increasingly important Increasingly complex Link Analysis Demands significant processing Often a point of solution weakness Link generation becoming a more common tactic metadata metadata Outbound Link Transclusion Link Inbound Link Link Base Bidirectional External Link Link Analysis: Outbound Links: Intact or broken Transclusions: Where used Inbound Links: Track-back / Where cited External Links: Network participation
  • Focus: Validation & Transformation Content Validation & Verification Schema structural rules Rules governing content values Establishing conformance Content Transformation Continuous process of improvement Parse, validate, align, verify…repeat Manipulation of many content types Validated Outputs Inputs to rendition processes HTML outputs & XML outputs Data outputs for applications Transformation Processing Outputs Content Instance Schema   Rules Structure Validation   Content Verification    
  • Content Engineering marshals the capabilities of the available Content Technologies to realize a Content Solution that delivers tangible business results Content Solution support the efficient operation of the Content Life Cycle & its ongoing evolution Content Solutions Technology Knowledge Business Content Solutions Content M anagement Knowledge Management Business Systems Documented & Integrated Global&Dynamic Open&Extensible
  • 2002 – Initiative to Digitize Drug Information Products Case Study: Pharmaceutical Portal Single Source of dynamically published content Online information about medications proved to be much more useful than the older printed reference books. Publishing revenues increased. Content timeliness improved.
  • Highly successful project Rapid development of prototype allowed • The opportunity to be validated with customer community • New requirements to be refined & incorporated into portal Content conversion challenges overcome • Initial strategies introduced to provide “good enough” results • Long-term strategies designed for more advanced results Emphasis placed on delivering a new capability & engaging users Key Success Indicators Same solution in use more than 10 years later Same solution supported addition of a new mobile channel Challenges: Customer was drawn into several expensive rounds of investment in inflexible CMSs… Case Study: Pharmaceutical Portal
  • Data > Information > Knowledge > Content? How does content fit in? Data The meaningful representation of experience. The building blocks of communication. Knowledge The meaningful organization of information expressing an evolving understanding of a subject and establishing the justified basis for judgement and therefore the potential for effective action Information Data Knowledge Content Substantiated Information Content is the most valuable asset an enterprise has – it is Liquid Knowledge
  • Content Solutions ultimately impact high-level business operations Customer experience Customer-driven Product Management Supply chain integration Business Process Management • Lean manufacturing & Six Sigma Innovation Management • Intellectual Property Management • Cross-enterprise collaboration This is not what most Technical Communicators see themselves doing but this is where the future lies… The Importance of Content Solutions
  • The world in which communicators work is changing rapidly These changes are forcing organizations to revamp how they design, process & manage their content Leveraging open standards & automation in order to integrate content, and content processes into the business landscape These changes cannot be avoided but they can be positive if embraced & leveraged… Summary Alan Turing & Colossus
  • Making Connections Joe Gollner Gnostyx Research Inc. www.gnostyx.com jag@gnostyx.com Twitter: @joegollner Blog: The Content Philosopher www.gollner.ca