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Preparing For Successful Content Management
 

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)

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 Preparing For Successful Content Management Presentation Transcript

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