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The Content Revolution: 
Managing the Move to a CCMS 
Leigh White 
DITA Specialist 
Congility June 2014 
“I just think 
we...
The Industrial Revolution
The Content Revolution 
• A perfect blend of variation and standardization 
• Produce lots of versions/variations of your ...
Human vs. machine 
• Humans need the machine 
• But humans fear the machine 
• Humans will automatically feel the loss of ...
So really, this is just another cleverly-disguised 
presentation about
What are the obstacles? 
• Black hole syndrome...writers can't "see" their stuff 
• Other writers making changes without t...
Begin at the beginning 
• Outline the problems you need to solve and the 
improvements you want to implement 
• Know your ...
Have a champion 
• Someone at the highest levels who believes in 
what you’re doing and will support and defend your 
effo...
Select the CCMS democratically 
• Or at least neutrally 
 A third party to help you evaluate is helpful 
 Outline your r...
Have a plan 
• Before you present the CCMS to the team, cover 
all your bases 
 Anticipate every question and opposition ...
Be honest 
• The learning curve will be steep 
• There will be extra work in the short term 
• Be honest about what will c...
Don’t get sidetracked by naysayers 
• Address their general concerns 
• Don’t get led down the garden path 
• Stress that ...
Enthusiasm is not necessarily 
contagious 
• Even though you explain the problems and how a 
CCMS will solve those problem...
Talk to individuals 
• Completely open discussion 
• Get to the root of resistance 
 It might not be about the current si...
Create ownership 
• Identify key people and let them help you 
 Every team has natural leaders outside management … 
peop...
Summary 
• Understand the problem 
• Have a champion 
• Select the CCMS based on your requirements 
• Have a plan 
• Be ho...
Reality check 
• Understand that a CCMS is not your strategy...it is 
a tool to help you implement your strategy
Questions? Comments? Cabbages? 
leigh.white@ixiasoft.com
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The Content Revolution: Managing the Move to a CCMS

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The Content Revolution: Managing the Move to a CCMS

  1. 1. The Content Revolution: Managing the Move to a CCMS Leigh White DITA Specialist Congility June 2014 “I just think we're living in a time of massive, amazing change, like the Industrial Revolution on acid.” —Kelly Lynch
  2. 2. The Industrial Revolution
  3. 3. The Content Revolution • A perfect blend of variation and standardization • Produce lots of versions/variations of your content • But produce them in the same way with the same content and using the same processes every time • The best of both worlds • BUT…you can’t have both variation and standardization with traditional publishing processes
  4. 4. Human vs. machine • Humans need the machine • But humans fear the machine • Humans will automatically feel the loss of  Ownership  Creativity  Control over the process • How to make them see the gains as well?
  5. 5. So really, this is just another cleverly-disguised presentation about
  6. 6. What are the obstacles? • Black hole syndrome...writers can't "see" their stuff • Other writers making changes without their knowledge • Seemingly endless unaccounted-for cases when in fact their old process is the one-off that needs to be made compliant • Over-expectation...well, it's a machine, it should automate everything! • Frustration at not being able to "just do it“ the way they could on a file system • Giving up processes and tools that they developed or championed What are the solutions?
  7. 7. Begin at the beginning • Outline the problems you need to solve and the improvements you want to implement • Know your budget • Know your timeline • Know your technical requirements (OS, server platform, database, security, etc.)
  8. 8. Have a champion • Someone at the highest levels who believes in what you’re doing and will support and defend your effort
  9. 9. Select the CCMS democratically • Or at least neutrally  A third party to help you evaluate is helpful  Outline your requirements first  Evaluate all vendors using the same criteria  Evaluate both the software AND the people • Neutral/democratic process guards against “I told you so” later on
  10. 10. Have a plan • Before you present the CCMS to the team, cover all your bases  Anticipate every question and opposition  Be able to communicate exactly what will happen, when, and who will be responsible:  Installation/maintenance (IT support)  Training  Governance  Collaboration among authors (ownership)  Legacy content conversion  Pilot project
  11. 11. Be honest • The learning curve will be steep • There will be extra work in the short term • Be honest about what will change  Not just a move from one tool to another  Completely different approach to writing  No more Lone Rangers…writers must collaborate and follow same processes
  12. 12. Don’t get sidetracked by naysayers • Address their general concerns • Don’t get led down the garden path • Stress that all processes and procedures are up for reevaluation  Everything is on the table.  They must be prepared to offer solid justification for their wants.  “We’ve always done it that way” is not solid justification.
  13. 13. Enthusiasm is not necessarily contagious • Even though you explain the problems and how a CCMS will solve those problems, many people will still be unconvinced  Don’t let the resistance take you by surprise  Don’t get exasperated  Lots of uncertainty and doubt associated with change  Can I learn to do this?  Increased efficiency = staff reduction?
  14. 14. Talk to individuals • Completely open discussion • Get to the root of resistance  It might not be about the current situation at all  Previous negative experience  Ongoing life events • Set individual expectations and measurements  How will their work and responsibilities change?  How they will be measured? • Frame discussions in each person’s individual context
  15. 15. Create ownership • Identify key people and let them help you  Every team has natural leaders outside management … people other writers naturally look up to. Involve them at the earliest practical stage and get them to help you plan.  Have them lead teams as mentors or representatives so that decisions (where practical) are made collaboratively from within the ranks instead of coming down from “on high.”
  16. 16. Summary • Understand the problem • Have a champion • Select the CCMS based on your requirements • Have a plan • Be honest about the work involved • Don’t get sidetracked • Have discussions with individuals • Create ownership
  17. 17. Reality check • Understand that a CCMS is not your strategy...it is a tool to help you implement your strategy
  18. 18. Questions? Comments? Cabbages? leigh.white@ixiasoft.com

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