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Confab 2016: Content Teamwork Workshop


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People and process: How to get content teams working effectively

Published in: Leadership & Management

Confab 2016: Content Teamwork Workshop

  1. 1. Content teamwork: Aligning your people and process Kathy Wagner and Melissa Breker Content Strategy Inc. #CSITeamwork #ConfabMN @Team_CS_Inc
  2. 2. We need to align people + process. The truth is…
  3. 3. In a study of one hundred top management – driven “corporate transformation” efforts, more than half did not survive the initial phase. Harvard Business Review, Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail by John P. Kotter; Mar/Apr 1995.
  4. 4. Enterprises fail at execution because they neglect the most powerful drivers of effectiveness: decision rights & information flow. Harvard Business Review, The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution by Gary L. Neilson, Karla L. Martin, Elizabeth Powers; June 2008.
  5. 5. We need to align people + process. We need to align people and process.
  6. 6. Melissa’s Bio Today I help change the way people think about content through teaching, mentoring, partnering with others, and running workshops. • Grew up body surfing in Australia • Moved out of marketing into content strategy • Fell in love with supporting change • @melissabreker on Twitter
  7. 7. Kathy’s Bio • Grew up reading and daydreaming • Moved through technical communications & customer experience • Have been doing content strategy my entire life • @Kathy_CS_Inc on Twitter Today I help businesses reach more customers, more efficiently, by shining a light in dark corners and cleaning out content cobwebs.
  8. 8. And what about you?
  9. 9. And what about you? • 80% Work in a company • 15 % Work in an NGO | Government • 5% Work as an independent consultant
  10. 10. And what about you? • 65% are just getting started in content governance. • 15% are already awesome at it and want to swap notes. • 20% don’t know where they fit, but seem pretty worried about content governance.
  11. 11. Small Group Introductions • Personal intro • One thing you love • What’s important to you about content governance and why
  12. 12. We need to align people + process. What’s up for today?
  13. 13. Overview Morning 1. Content governance & maturity 2. People: team structures 3. People: roles & responsibility Afternoon 4. Content process 5. Managing change
  14. 14. Overview Morning 1. Content governance & maturity 2. People: team structures 3. People: roles & responsibility Afternoon 4. Content process 5. Managing change
  15. 15. We need to align people + process. We need you. Be involved Be respectful Be responsible
  16. 16. We need to align people + process. Content governance & maturity1 ©2016 Content Strategy Inc #CSITeamwork #ConfabMN @Team_CS_Inc
  17. 17. What people want
  18. 18. What people think
  19. 19. What people need
  20. 20. How mature are your content practices? 5 min: Share
  21. 21. Where are you? Stand at the zone that best represents your organization.
  22. 22. What are content practices?
  23. 23. Content strategy
  24. 24. Content governance
  25. 25. How mature are your content practices? 3 min: Share
  26. 26. This is the piece we’re talking about today
  27. 27. Three questions. Three minutes.
  28. 28. What could your organization do to mature its content practices?
  29. 29. What could your organization do to move up a level? What could be the positive business impact of maturing your content practices?
  30. 30. What are the six content pillars? (Three front stage and three back stage)
  31. 31. Questions? Short stories?
  32. 32. True story…
  33. 33. We need to align people + process. People: Team structures2 ©2016 Content Strategy Inc #CSITeamwork #ConfabMN @Team_CS_Inc
  34. 34. Organizational content governance models
  35. 35. There are 4 different models: • Informal • Centralized • Decentralized • Hybrid
  36. 36. Advantages: • Easy to identify content champions • Low cost Disadvantages: • Too many to list
  37. 37. Advantages: • Harness the efforts of many authors • Costs and resources are spread throughout the organization • Reduces content publishing bottleneck • Easier to publish and update quickly Disadvantages: • Editorial and quality control checks are difficult to implement • Global and strategic coordination is difficult • Often, non-writers need to acquire content and CMS skills.
  38. 38. Advantages: • Strategic alignment • Global consistency • Quality content • Content reuse and repurposing • Simplified project management • Skill building • Accountability Disadvantages: • Needs considerable staff and resources • Relies on process for cross- functional communication • Can form a bottleneck if not efficient and responsive.
  39. 39. Centralized and decentralized content models refer to the reporting structure, not physical distribution. In a centralized model, writers can sit within different product teams or in different locations.
  40. 40. So that a centralized content team… …can actually sit within multiple other teams.
  41. 41. Can be the best (or worst) of both worlds.
  42. 42. How do you decide? • Business goals • Maturity model goals • Organizational culture • Scalability • Ease of execution (readiness for change).
  43. 43. As content specialists, we often prefer the idea of a centralized model. It allows for maximum control over content strategy, quality, and functionality. BUT…
  44. 44. It’s usually hybrid. It’s about finding the right lines to draw between centralized and decentralized.
  45. 45. Let’s hear from you. What’s worked, and what hasn’t?
  46. 46. Content team structure
  47. 47. Content teams can be effective with different structures: • Self-managed • Cross-functional • Matrix
  48. 48. A SELF-MANAGED team structure is: • Centralized • Able to make decisions • Able to implement • Responsible for the outcome Team members need to be motivated and driven to create positive change.
  49. 49. Self-managed content teams are good when your primary business purpose is to produce content.
  50. 50. A CROSS-FUNCTIONAL team structure is: • Any governance model • Built from different business functions • Designed to achieve a common task • A working (rather than reporting) structure Team members need to trust each other, work together, and share a common vision.
  51. 51. Cross-functional teams are good for planning content, developing larger projects, and determining success metrics.
  52. 52. A MATRIXED team structure: • Is centralized or hybrid • Formalizes cross-functional involvement • Means content team members have two (or more) “bosses”: a content manager and functional business managers Effective in complex and interdependent environments.
  53. 53. A matrixed content team enables content creators to develop deep expertise in specific business areas.
  54. 54. A matrixed content team:
  55. 55. Factors for team success: • Strong leadership and trust • Enough resources • Adequate incentives • Team composition • Conflict management • Team processes
  56. 56. Three questions. Three minutes.
  57. 57. Which governance model is your organization currently using? How do you know?
  58. 58. Which content team structures are present in your organization?
  59. 59. What changes could be made to improve team impact and efficiency?
  60. 60. Table discussion: • Discuss the various governance models and team structures you all have. • How could changing the governance models or team structures, or offering more team support impact things?
  61. 61. Share
  62. 62. Lunch Take a break
  63. 63. We need to align people + process. People: Skills, roles, and responsibilities 3 ©2016 Content Strategy Inc #CSITeamwork #ConfabMN @Team_CS_Inc
  64. 64. Building your content team
  65. 65. Know your goals, audience, and strategy!
  66. 66. What we know for sure...
  67. 67. All teams need a strong leader. Managers Strategists
  68. 68. All teams need skilled content creators. Writers Photographers Videographers
  69. 69. All teams need skilled content organizers. Information architects Taxonomists
  70. 70. All teams need easy access and interaction with other expertise. Researchers Analysts Designers Subject matter experts
  71. 71. All teams need someone to keep things on track. Project managers Producers
  72. 72. This is just as true if you have a team of two, or twenty, or two hundred.
  73. 73. Titles are not roles! In practice, titles are often meaningless or confusing. Ideally, titles should provide information about that person’s primary role.
  74. 74. True story…
  75. 75. Exercise: What are all of the different ways in which you impact content? 2 minutes: Silent brainstorming 5 minutes: Share with table. As a group, how many different things do you do?
  76. 76. Share
  77. 77. What happens if roles are not clear? • Concern over who makes decisions • Out of balance workloads • “Not sure, so take no action” attitude • Questions about who does what • Blaming others • A “we-they” attitude • A reactive work environment • Poor morale • Don’t know where to go to get answers.
  78. 78. True story…
  79. 79. How do you assign roles?
  80. 80. What does the job require?
  81. 81. Consider skills, experience, interest.
  82. 82. Just a few writing- specific skills Web writing Marketing Journalism Technical writing Creative writing Blog writing Business writing Editing
  83. 83. Levels of experience. Junior Intermediate Senior Management Director
  84. 84. Interest Passionate about what?
  85. 85. Decide and communicate roles
  86. 86. Responsible One or more people need to be responsible. Things to think about: • If one person has many Rs, they may have more work than they can handle. • If one deliverable or activity has many Rs, can tasks be more streamlined so team members have more autonomy?
  87. 87. Accountable Ideally, only one person should be accountable. Things to think about: • If nobody is accountable, then there is a high risk of not meeting project or strategic goals. • For complex situations, there may need to be more than one person accountable. This will simply take longer to move through approvals.
  88. 88. Consulted Several people may be consulted. Ensure two-way communication. Things to think about: • Too many Cs lead to swirl and slow down the process. • Too few Cs can result in poor quality through lack of accuracy or strategic alignment.
  89. 89. Informed Several people may be informed. Communication only goes one way. Things to think about: • If there are a lot of Is, find ways to inform people in batches, at logical intervals. • Develop a system (preferably automated) to inform people.
  90. 90. For example: • Organizational content RACI • Channel-specific content RACI • Project-specific content RACI
  91. 91. Example: Organizational content roles
  92. 92. Example: Channel-specific content roles
  93. 93. Example: Complex project content roles
  94. 94. Example: Simple project content roles
  95. 95. What do we hear from clients? “Nobody wants to give up control.” “We don’t know what anyone else does.” “We’re all executers. There are no leaders.”
  96. 96. Three questions. Three minutes.
  97. 97. Who leads and provides content oversight for different areas in your organization?
  98. 98. Does everyone know what they’re supposed to do?
  99. 99. Does everyone have the skills and support to be successful?
  100. 100. Learning Exercise
  101. 101. Complete the RACI quiz • Think about your work environment. • Share your answers and discuss with a partner.
  102. 102. In different groups of 3 or 4: 1. As a group, brainstorm some content project scenarios you could use RACIs for. 2. Choose one. 3. Create a RACI for this project. Refer to the Sample RACI Template handout
  103. 103. Share
  104. 104. Questions? Short stories?
  105. 105. Lunch then change tables
  106. 106. We need to align people + process. Content processes4 ©2016 Content Strategy Inc #CSITeamwork #ConfabMN @Team_CS_Inc
  107. 107. Welcome back • Personal intro • One thing you learned this morning • What’s your favorite kind of cake?
  108. 108. In nature, we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else. Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe
  109. 109. How does it all work?
  110. 110. What is a business process? Process Sub-process 1 trigger result “A process is a collection of interrelated activities, initiated by a triggering event, which achieves a specific, discrete result.” Sub-process 2 Sub-process 3 Sub-process 4 ~ Alec Sharp, Workflow Modelling, 2008
  111. 111. Table races 1. Trigger 2. Process 3. Result Trigger Process Result
  112. 112. Why formalize and standardize processes? • Align operations with business strategy • Improve team and cross-team communications • Increase control and consistency • Improve operational efficiencies • Make training faster and easier Basically, so that people know what they’re supposed to do.
  113. 113. Eg: Strategize & plan content process
  114. 114. Eg: Plan content process
  115. 115. Eg: Design & create content process
  116. 116. Eg: Maintain content process
  117. 117. Eg: Evaluate content process
  118. 118. Detailed processes Lines of visibility: Who does what when they hold the work.
  119. 119. Start high-level. Provide more detail as needed.
  120. 120. Start with common scenarios. Define alternative or uncommon processes only as needed.
  121. 121. What do we hear from clients? “We don’t really follow any organized process.” (But they actually do!) “Our team needs autonomy, so they don’t want process.”
  122. 122. Three questions. Three minutes.
  123. 123. What business problems can be solved by better content processes?
  124. 124. Which content processes are most important in your work environment?
  125. 125. Which variations or sub-processes are part of these important processes?
  126. 126. Table-Top Workshop: Designing high-level content processes
  127. 127. Table-Top Workshop: 1. Choose a work scenario 2. Choose a content life-cycle stage 3. Choose a facilitator 4. Design a best-practice process 5. Repeat steps 2 - 4
  128. 128. Share
  129. 129. True story…
  130. 130. Questions? Short stories?
  131. 131. Lunch Take a break
  132. 132. We need to align people + process. Managing change5 ©2016 Content Strategy Inc #CSITeamwork #ConfabMN @Team_CS_Inc
  133. 133. What is your readiness for change?
  134. 134. We need to align people + process. Change is a process, not an event.
  135. 135. Build a business case
  136. 136. Identify and neutralize project risks
  137. 137. We need to align people + process. Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” ~HENRY FORD
  138. 138. Find an internal champion
  139. 139. How you’ll recognize one: Has authority and passion.
  140. 140. What they’ll do: Get you on the road. Get budget, break down silos, and support progress.
  141. 141. Start small.
  142. 142. Pilot projects and bite-sized chunks.
  143. 143. Small wins. Big voice.
  144. 144. Know your budget. Grow your budget.
  145. 145. Create a roadmap.
  146. 146. Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Define & test-drive: New processes & roles CMS workflow Success metrics & toolkit Expand & refine Goal: Select teams & pilot projects Start authoring in CMS Start measuring Roll out throughout organization Educate & advocate Roadmap.
  147. 147. Take people along for the ride! Know your resources. Grow your resources.
  148. 148. 1. Implement strong content practices 2. Demonstrate positive results 3. Provide tools and resources 4. Become expert content advisors 5. Advocate and educate No control or authority? Influence like crazy!
  149. 149. Prepare for change
  150. 150.
  151. 151. Use stories to inspire, educate, and persuade Harvard Business Review, Structure Your Presentation like a Story by Nancy Duarte; October 2012
  152. 152. Tips for communicating change • Communicate in person • Talk about emotions • Be as honest as you can • Talk in plain language • Talk from the heart • Understand their perspective • Be prepared for frustration
  153. 153. What do we hear from clients? “People don’t want to give up control.” “It’s hard to make time for change.” “We’ve tried before, but we slip back to our old ways.”
  154. 154. Three questions. Three minutes.
  155. 155. Who will be your content champion?
  156. 156. What budget and resources do you have to work with?
  157. 157. How can you get people excited?
  158. 158. Learning Exercise
  159. 159. Individual exercise Determine your organization’s readiness for change by completing the following questions…
  160. 160. Planning and preparation 1. There’s planning with clear goals and metrics. 2. Appropriate team training is provided at all levels. 3. Teams have sufficient “tools and techniques” skills. 4. People-building is emphasized. Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Adapted from 40 Tools for Cross Functional Teams by Walter J. Michalski;1998.
  161. 161. Roles and practices 1. Existing policies and procedures are clear for the team. 2. Members’ roles and responsibilities have proper definition. 3. Team members are not dominating or overbearing. 4. There is a clearly defined reward system. Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Adapted from 40 Tools for Cross Functional Teams by Walter J. Michalski;1998.
  162. 162. Vision, goals, and team objectives 1. Goals or expectations are realistic. 2. There are clearly defined goals and objectives. 3. Views, interests, and goals are similar. 4. Missions, goals, and tasks are clear and shared by the team. Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Adapted from 40 Tools for Cross Functional Teams by Walter J. Michalski;1998.
  163. 163. Support 1. Management is active and visibly supportive. 2. There is trust within the team. 3. The team has timely support or resources. 4. Team members are considered productive. 5. The team is focused on one problem at a time. 6. The team is the right size with minimal turnover. Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Adapted from 40 Tools for Cross Functional Teams by Walter J. Michalski;1998.
  164. 164. Share
  165. 165. What are you going to do? Next week Next month In the next 3 months Think about: • What is your goal or desired outcome? • What challenges do you expect? • How can you overcome the challenges? • What can you control? • What can you influence? • How can you influence? Post-workshop roadmap
  166. 166. We need to align people + process. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity.” ~ AMELIA EARHART
  167. 167. Final activity • Take a sheet of paper • Write your name on the paper (for a special draw!) • Write down your top 3 insights • Stand up
  168. 168. We need to align people + process. Share… • The insights you put into the circle • The insights you took from the circle • One thing you’re committed to doing next week
  169. 169. Questions? Short stories?
  170. 170. Things to do next week 1. Review these slides and your notes. 2. Think about your commitment for next week. 3. Take action! 4. Send us a tweet to let us know what you did: @Team_CS_Inc #CSITeamwork
  171. 171. On our blog: • Understanding the content maturity model • How to use a RACI chart to define content roles • Content RACI templates • Best practices for archiving and deleting content
  172. 172. Other resources
  173. 173. Let’s stay in touch! Kathy Wagner and Melissa Breker @Kathy_CS_Inc @MelissaBreker