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Content Governance and Workflow - Confab Intensive 2015


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Defining the content strategy is the easy part. But how do you actually make it work? Not just today, but tomorrow, and next year, and the year after that? How can you continually evolve and mature your content practices, create rock-star content teams, and produce better content faster? Sound magical? Nope, it’s just good content governance.

In this introductory workshop, we’ll use group discussions and debates, thought-provoking exercises, and real-world client stories to build your knowledge and awareness of content governance.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

How to identify where your organization fits in the content maturity model, and how to progress
Different options for content governance within an organization
The five pillars on which you need to build your content governance
How to advocate and influence for content governance changes
The steps to take to get you started towards better governance

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Content Governance and Workflow - Confab Intensive 2015

  1. Kathy Wagner & Melissa Breker Co-Founders, Content Strategy Inc @Kathy_CS_Inc + @ melissabreker #ConfabINT
  2. What’s up for today?
  3. Session overview 1. Maturity Models 2. Governance Models 3. 5 Pillars of Content Governance 4. Change Management 5. Road Map
  4. Have a scenario in mind…
  5. Melissa’s Bio • Grew up wrestling crocodiles in Australia • Transitioned out of marketing into content strategy • Fell in love with supporting change Today I help change the way people think about content through teaching, mentoring, partnering with others, and running workshops.
  6. Kathy’s Bio • Grew up reading and daydreaming • Moved through technical communications & customer experience • Have been doing content strategy my entire life Today I help change the way people think about content by shining a light in dark corners and cleaning out content cobwebs.
  7. Company Clients
  8. And what about you?
  9. And what about you? • 72% work in a company • 10% work in an agency • 10% work in government • 8% work in higher education
  10. And what about you? • 60% are just getting started in content governance. • 25% are already awesome at it and want to swap notes. • 15% don’t know where they fit, but seem pretty worried about content governance.
  11. • Personal intro • One thing you love • What’s important to you about content governance and why? Small Group Introductions
  12. Content Governance
  13. Content governance provides a framework for content decisions, roles, and, responsibilities.
  14. Project X Process √√√√
  15. Content Maturity Model1
  16. What are we trying to achievewith governance, and why?
  17. Content Process Maturity Model Get a detailed version of this model here: Inc-Content-Maturity-Model-2014.pdf
  18. What do we hear from clients? “This is so embarrassing. We’re the worst.” “But nobodynobodynobodynobody does it well, do they?” “In some ways we’re managed and sustained, and in other ways, we’re ad hoc.”
  19. True story… Get a detailed version of this model here: Inc-Content-Maturity-Model-2014.pdf
  20. 3 questions in 3 minutes
  21. Where is your organization on the maturity model?
  22. What could your organization do to moveup a level?
  23. What could be the positivebusiness impact ofmoving up a level?
  24. Learning Exercise
  25. At your table: Discuss at your table. Where is your department? Where are you as an organization? Content governance environment Where are you in the maturity model? How can you progress to the next level? Why is it important to progress?
  26. Questions? Short stories?
  27. Content Governance Models2
  28. A governance modelis how the governing responsibilities are assigned and distributed.
  29. There are 4 different models: • Informal • Decentralized • Centralized • Hybrid
  30. What about a matrix model?
  31. Adapted from Jason Mogus’s four governance models for managing digital:
  32. Adapted from Jason Mogus’s four governance models for managing digital:
  33. Adapted from Jason Mogus’s four governance models for managing digital:
  34. Important to note: A centralized content team… …can actually sit within multiple other teams.
  35. Matrix model(True story… )
  36. Howdo youdecide? Business goals Maturity model goals Organizational culture Management style Scalability Ease of execution (readiness for change)
  37. As content specialists, we often prefer the idea of a centralized model. It allows for maximum control over content strategy, quality, and functionality. BUT…
  38. “A hybrid model works best for us.” What do we hear from clients?
  39. 3 questions in 3 minutes
  40. What governancemodel is your organization currently using? Howdo you know?
  41. What governancemodel would be mosteffective for it to use, and why?
  42. If those two things are different, what are the obstacles in changing governance models?
  43. Learning Exercise
  44. At your table… Debate • Which governance model works best for your situation? Or, Discuss: 1. What are the barriers to changing your content governance models? 2. What are the benefits of changing your content governance models
  45. Questions? Short stories?
  46. 5 Pillars of Governance3
  47. How?
  48. People
  49. Just a fewwriting-specific skills Web writing Marketing Journalism Technical writing Creative writing Blog writing Business writing Editing
  50. True story…
  51. True story…
  52. True story…
  53. True story…
  54. 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.”
  55. 1 question in 1 minute
  56. Do you know what skillsets are needed to achieveyour vision?
  57. Content Success Metrics
  58. Think about Governance success, not just content success.
  59. Business success: • Align with business strategies • Reduce costs and time to publication • Improve consistency of customer experience Employeessuccess: • Do good work and grow their skills • Feel ownership over their work • Understand the bigger picture
  60. Breaking it down
  61. Plan to communicatelevelofsuccess
  62. 1 question in 1 minute
  63. Howwill you know if your content governance is working?
  64. Decision-Making & Support
  65. “If you chose not to decide – you have still made a choice!” Neil Peart
  66. Why create standards and guidelines fordecision making?
  67. To make sure that decision making is: • Strategic • Consistent • Scalable • Learnable • Sustainable • Measurable
  68. A content support tool communicates decision points that have already been made, or provides strategic guidance for making ongoing decisions.
  69. What do we hear from clients? “The squeaky wheel gets their content on the home page.” “We keep inventing the wheel again and again.” “We have a style guide. It’s on the shelf. It’s outdated.”
  70. 1 question in 1 minute
  71. What decisions need to get made?
  72. Brainstorm As a group, write as many content support tools as you can think of. Use 1 stickie per idea. Post the stickies on the wall on your way to break.
  73. Piano
  74. Content Processes
  75. What is a businessprocess? 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
  76. Design & create content process
  77. Detailed processes Lines of visibility:Lines of visibility:Lines of visibility:Lines of visibility: Who does what when they hold the work.
  78. Start high-level. Provide more detail as needed.
  79. Start with common scenarios. Define alternativeor uncommon processesonly as needed.
  80. 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.”
  81. 1 question in 1 minute
  82. What processes and variations are important throughoutthe content lifecycle?
  83. Content Information Systems and Workflow
  84. Basically, they’re technologies that support people in getting work done. InformationSystems ~ Wikipedia
  85. Some examplesofcontent informationsystems: • Content management systems • Data asset management systems • Email • MS Word • Dropbox
  86. Howdo youknow which are the right systems to use? It depends! On: • Business and content goals • Budget and resources • Management and working style • Use cases
  87. Lookfor opportunities to consolidateand integrate.
  88. A workflowis how the workmoves within and between information systems. This includes both human/technology interactions and automated processes. Eg: CMS authoring workflow
  89. t4 Simple CMS workflow
  90. Start high-level. Provide more detail as needed. Start with common scenarios. Define variationsas needed.
  91. What do we hear from clients? “Email is our primary communication tool.” “Our systems don’t speak to each other.” “Our CMS is designed for developers, not authors.”
  92. 1 questionin 1 minute
  93. What content problems does your business have that informationsystems and workflowcould help with?
  94. Learning Exercise
  95. Pick up a handout package. Choose one ofthe five worksheetsto complete.
  96. Questions? Short stories?
  97. Managing Change4
  98. Commonchallenges • Lack of resources • Lack of cooperation or collaboration • Lack of clear leadership and support • Inability to set priorities • Difficulty hiring skilled employees • Lack of organizational maturity
  99. Adoption curve
  100. Lewin’s change model
  101. Find an internal champion
  102. What they’ll do: Get budget, break down silos, support progress.
  103. Start small.
  104. Pilot projects and bite-sized chunks.
  105. Small wins. Big voice.
  106. Know your budget and resources. Grow your budget and resources.
  107. Give incentives and rewards. Give incentives for changing old behaviors and rewards for adopting new behaviors.
  108. 1. Practice content strategy 2. Demonstrate positive results 3. Provide tools and resources 4. Become expert content advisors 5. Advocate and educate No controlor authority? Influence like crazy!
  109. True story…
  110. 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
  111. 3 questions in 3 minutes
  112. Who will be your content champion?
  113. What budget and resources do you have to workwith?
  114. Howcan you get people excited?
  115. Getting it done5
  116. Create a roadmap.
  117. Q1Q1Q1Q1 Q2Q2Q2Q2 Q3Q3Q3Q3 Q4Q4Q4Q4 DefineDefineDefineDefine &&&& ttttestestestest----drive:drive:drive:drive: New processes & roles CMS workflow Success metrics & toolkit Expand & refine Goal:Goal:Goal:Goal: Select teams & pilot projects Start authoring in CMS Start measuring Roll out throughout organization Educate & advocate True story…
  118. Individual exercise. Create a roadmap for yourself. Refer to the Content Roadmap handout.
  119. Questions? Short stories?
  120. Wrap Up
  121. Things to do next week 1. Review these slides and your notes. 2. Identify one small step forward. 3. Take action! 4. Join our mailing list: 5. OR email me:
  122. Books about processes Other resources
  123. Thanks! Stay in touch. @MelissaBreker @Kathy_CS_Inc
  124. Let’s hear from you. Final thoughts? Questions?