Preparing For Successful Content Management


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Presented by Rob Hanna at the 55th Annual STC Conference in Philadelphia, PA (June 2, 2008)

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  • I am… a knowledge management specialist at RIM While RIM has had a successful CM deployment, I have not had a hand in it I formerly worked as a consultant with SiberLogic helping many large companies transition to CM including Sun, Fujitsu, Northrop Grumman, and Innovatia to name a few. As a technical communicator I have prototyped many CM solutions.
  • Preparing For Successful Content Management

    1. 1. Preparing for Successful Content Management STC’s 55 th Annual Conference June 3 rd 2008, Philadelphia, PA Rob Hanna Knowledge Management Specialist Research in Motion Limited
    2. 2. Why do we need to prepare? <ul><li>Nature of communication is changing </li></ul><ul><li>Corporations face a content crisis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2002 alone, 92% of all new content was online representing close to 5 exabytes of date (or 37,000 times the size of the Library of Congress) – Berkley Study </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Business requirements regularly change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Companies are acquired </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer needs change </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Managing content is essential to single-sourcing best practices </li></ul>
    3. 3. Dispelling myths about Content Management <ul><li>A Content Management system is a magic-bullet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There may be other ways to get there </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content Management should be easy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content Management is efficient – it isn’t easy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content Management is all about reuse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reuse is one small benefit of CM </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If we stick with what we know, we’ll be fine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ There are things we do not know we don’t know.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We can save money by building it ourselves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build now but buy later </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Situations and risks <ul><li>What do you do when? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your group inherits technology and is expected to make it work for their needs; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demand for a quick fix forces you to cut corners; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is a lack of understanding of what is involved in adopting content management; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restrictive budgets force you to short cut the consulting budget to preserve the procurement budget; or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inadequate or incomplete information leads to rush in judgement? </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Situations and risks <ul><li>You may well face </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project delays </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost overruns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Failed implementations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of continued/future support for CM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Failure to ever get the software out of the shrink wrap </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Componentized Content Management <ul><li>Content is complex </li></ul><ul><li>Content source is managed like software source </li></ul><ul><li>Follow principles of configuration management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Configuration identification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Configuration change control (or change management) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Configuration status accounting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Configuration verification and auditing </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. The ideal path to success <ul><li>Prepare your team </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare your content </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare your prototype </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare your business case </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare for vendor selection </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare for vendor engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Develop solution </li></ul><ul><li>Roll out </li></ul><ul><li>Review </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Prepare your team </li></ul><ul><li>You will need to develop or acquire new talents </li></ul><ul><li>Your team will be required to function as a team </li></ul><ul><li>Some will get left behind </li></ul>
    9. 9. Anticipate losses <ul><li>There is a predictable level of attrition to be associated with any of the following transitions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>linear to modular architecture (regardless of tools) 5-10% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>unstructured info to structured info (any DTD) ... 5-10% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>manuals to help systems (online info systems) ... 5-10% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Larger teams have more flexibility to move people around </li></ul>
    10. 10. Assess the mix of skills and experience <ul><li>A mix of talents is a good thing </li></ul><ul><li>Range of experience in content management practices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical writers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical writing leads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Infrastructure support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project manager </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information architects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indexer/Taxonomist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Editors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assign a lead architect to manage the development </li></ul>
    11. 11. Assess the maturity of your business unit <ul><li>Set your own expectations for success </li></ul><ul><li>Several models exist to measure the process maturity of your information development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CIDM: IPMM (Information Process Maturity Model) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stilo Int’l: CEMM (Content Engineering Maturity Model) </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Learn together <ul><li>Build important collaborative skills </li></ul><ul><li>Engage all members of your team </li></ul><ul><li>Find the leaders within your team </li></ul><ul><li>Regularly attend conferences, workshops, and webinars </li></ul>
    13. 13. Build relationships with your SMEs <ul><li>If you are not already embedded in your production processes, get started making in roads into development </li></ul><ul><li>Your SMEs will be effected by your CM initiative </li></ul><ul><li>SME content is a rich source of content for your solution </li></ul>
    14. 14. 2) Prepare your content <ul><li>Walk through the various aspects of your content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take a complete inventory of all living content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine naming conventions and version/state conventions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complete metadata analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe the document lifecycle(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine how content is sourced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine how content is consumed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine your content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do you need to move to topic-based writing? </li></ul><ul><li>How and when will legacy content be converted? </li></ul>
    15. 15. What is Topic-Based Authoring? <ul><li>“ Topic-based authoring is a modular content creation approach…” </li></ul><ul><li>“ A topic is a discrete piece of content that is about a specific subject, has an identifiable purpose, and can stand alone…” </li></ul><ul><li>http://en. wikipedia .org/wiki/Topic-based_authoring </li></ul>
    16. 16. Opportunities for Topic-Based Authoring <ul><li>Speed to market </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced maintenance effort </li></ul><ul><li>Better opportunities for reuse </li></ul><ul><li>Balancing workload </li></ul><ul><li>Finer control over project management </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Clearer, more concise minimalist content </li></ul>
    17. 17. Challenges for Topic-Based Authoring <ul><li>Writing process requires greater discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of content ownership for authors </li></ul><ul><li>Less control over look and feel </li></ul><ul><li>Responsibilities redefined </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of context for SMEs and authors </li></ul><ul><li>More to manage </li></ul>
    18. 18. Topic-Based vs. Book-Based <ul><li>Topic-Based Authoring </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple authors per book </li></ul><ul><li>Topics serve multiple products and audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Content development is iterative </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation layout can be template-driven </li></ul><ul><li>Well suited for modular hardware/software products with short lifecycle or long life span. </li></ul><ul><li>Book-Based Authoring </li></ul><ul><li>One author per book </li></ul><ul><li>Books serve a single product and audience </li></ul><ul><li>Content development is linear </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation layout requires manual work </li></ul><ul><li>Well suited for highly technical or one-of-a-kind products with a long development cycle and/or short life span. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Topic-Based Authoring - Changing how we work <ul><li>The number of files your team will be working with will increase dramatically. </li></ul><ul><li>Over time it will be more difficult to identify and track these files </li></ul><ul><li>You may be required to track successive versions of files </li></ul><ul><li>To manage your files effectively, you will need to introduce and manage metadata </li></ul>
    20. 20. 3) Prepare your prototype <ul><li>Select a suitable pilot </li></ul><ul><li>Start with tools you already have: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structured authoring editors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web servers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spreadsheets and databases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Code management tools </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Develop requirements for CMS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember that this is only a proof-of-concept </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Prototyping with a File System <ul><li>Controlled access to central repository folders </li></ul><ul><li>Consider serving source content through a web server – revisions managed manually through a single point of contact </li></ul><ul><li>Serve metadata and access through a database-driven website (SharePoint). </li></ul>
    22. 22. Using Excel to Manage Metadata <ul><li>Excel allows you to capture and manage metadata about each topic in the repository </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced Excel development will allow you to control transactions in the repository and metadata creation </li></ul><ul><li>Excel can be used to organize and aggregate content stored in the repository </li></ul><ul><li>Excel can be used as a source for database-driven web interface </li></ul>
    23. 23. Using a Source Code-Management Tool <ul><li>Source-code management tools allow you to manage revisions and releases of content </li></ul><ul><li>Working with XML, you can use these tools to show differences between revisions </li></ul>
    24. 24. 4) Prepare your business case <ul><li>Define the problem(s) CM will solve for your company </li></ul><ul><li>Engage your IT department </li></ul><ul><li>Establish methods for collection of metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Find a champion </li></ul><ul><li>Engage outside help to bring your case to the highest levels of your company </li></ul><ul><li>Set realistic expectations </li></ul>
    25. 25. 5) Prepare for vendor selection <ul><li>Have your requirements well defined </li></ul><ul><li>Do your homework </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to the user community </li></ul><ul><li>Invest the time to prepare a focused RFP </li></ul>
    26. 26. 6) Prepare for vendor engagement <ul><li>Get your IT group on board early </li></ul><ul><li>Identify your project team and get their commitments. </li></ul><ul><li>Know your security policies </li></ul><ul><li>Line up procurement and training for authoring and publishing tools </li></ul><ul><li>Book training facilities and commit trainees </li></ul><ul><li>Review demos, whitepapers, and tutorials </li></ul><ul><li>Sign off on project plan </li></ul><ul><li>Clear your schedule </li></ul>
    27. 27. 7) Develop solution <ul><li>Be careful about including too many customizations </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on available functionality </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the product roadmap </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinate all of your service providers </li></ul>
    28. 28. 8) Roll out <ul><li>Limit the roll out to the most suitable products or teams </li></ul><ul><li>Set criteria for other groups to join in on production </li></ul>
    29. 29. 9) Review <ul><li>Develop an annual or semi-annual review to compare benchmark data and look for ways to improve </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on top of vendor technology </li></ul><ul><li>Work with the vendor to deliver optimal performance on your systems </li></ul>
    30. 30. Summary <ul><li>Prepare </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare now </li></ul><ul><li>Set reasonable expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Critically assess the preparedness of your team and your business </li></ul><ul><li>Continuously gather and analyze metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Continuously evolve your process and approach to CM </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation never ends </li></ul>
    31. 31. Top Ten Secrets of Content Solution Success <ul><li>Don’t underestimate your content or your business </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t underestimate the power of good automation </li></ul><ul><li>Chose an appropriate tool set and validate your choices </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t invest in content management technology too early </li></ul><ul><li>Carefully plan and execute migration activities </li></ul><ul><li>Take a “customer service” focus in delivering tangible benefits (new products / services) from your investments </li></ul><ul><li>Be demanding of your suppliers (expect quality) </li></ul><ul><li>Engage your stakeholders and “take control” of the solution </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage standards, don’t be enslaved by them </li></ul><ul><li>Be an active part of the community as a way to learn and as a way to share what you have learned </li></ul>Courtesy of Joe Gollner © 2008 All Rights Reservied
    32. 32. Content Management at RIM <ul><li>2005 BlackBerry device documents </li></ul>formats languages conditions classes variables 5 11 13 15 20
    33. 33. Content Management System project - Before
    34. 34. Content Management System project - After
    35. 35. Getting content into the CMS <ul><li>Emphasis on manual analysis and conversion </li></ul><ul><li>Goals of manual process include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased understanding and adoption of new writing style </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities for early corrections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continued sense of ownership of content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved legacy content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduction of redundant or unnecessary content in CMS </li></ul></ul>
    36. 36. Results <ul><li>60-75 percent translation cost savings </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced translation time </li></ul><ul><li>Improved document customization </li></ul><ul><li>Process integration and automation </li></ul>
    37. 37. Questions? <ul><li>Contact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rob Hanna Knowledge Management Specialist [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Presentation Slides </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Preparing for Successful Content Management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Process Re-engineering for Topic-Based Authoring </li></ul></ul></ul>