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20-Year Evolution with a 5-Year Strategic Plan

Megan Gilhooly

©2013 INVIDI ...
A little about me

Megan Gilhooly, Manager Technical Communication
INVIDI Technologies
• 80 employees and contractors
• So...
Summary

Strategic plan

Vision

Steps we took
(What worked, what didn’t)

©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Righ...
October 2010

Strategic Plan

©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @Lava...
Megan Gilhooly

What is a strategic plan?
•
•
•
•

Formal consideration of future course
Long term (3-5 years)
Consider cu...
Create Strategic Plan

• Current State of the Department
• The team (skillsets, personalities, opportunities)
• The delive...
External
Internal
Environment Environment

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

Weaknesses

 Highly Skilled Staff
 Strong Leadershi...
Where we started

Tools
Using MS Word, Framemaker 8, SVN repository
Problems:
• Losing support of Adobe for Framemaker 8
•...
Where we started

Tools
Needs:
• No more Framemaker
• Company-wide CMS mandate
• DITA XML authoring tool
• DITA CCMS
• Lan...
Where we started

Processes
Problems:
• No recorded processes for documentation or training
• No recorded processes in ent...
Where we started

Processes
Needs:
• Adopt a style guide
• Record the current process and refine for
the short term
• Move...
Where we started

People
Four employees: 1 manager, 2 technical writers,
1 trainer who could write
Problems:
• Team had be...
Where we started

People
Needs:
• More technical depth
• Re-engagement
• DITA skills and knowledge
• Editorial skills

©20...
What we needed

Tools, Processes, and People
• Content Management
System
• DITA Content Management
System
• Learning Manag...
Where we started

Budget

$0
©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaC...
©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
Vision
Develop strategic information management
that will drastically increase customer
satisfaction by providing the righ...
©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
7 Steps

©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
What we did

Step 1
Fix what we could
What worked

What didn’t work

• Hired a contract writer by writing a
compelling bus...
What we did

Step 2
Build relationships
What worked

What didn’t work

• People started to appreciate Tech
Comm
• My emplo...
What we did

Step 3
Find a CCMS that would also work as a company-wide CMS
What worked

What didn’t work

• We found one t...
What we did

Step 4
Transition to DITA
What worked

What didn’t work

• I learned from the mistakes of the
previous manage...
What we did

Step 5
Taxonomy, Personas, Scenarios
What worked

What didn’t work

• When dealing with VPs, we did all
• Peo...
What we did

Step 6
Create Learning Management System
What worked

What didn’t work

•
•
•
•

•
•
•
•
•

Hired e-learning ...
What we did

Step 7
Build Knowledge Base
What worked

What didn’t work

• Got budget approved

• As of two weeks ago, appr...
©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary & Confidential Information
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20-year evolution with a 5-year strategic plan

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Slides for LavaCon 2013 presentation. 10:30am Wednesday, October 23. Parlor room.

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20-year evolution with a 5-year strategic plan

  1. 1. Advatar® Addressable Television Advertising 20-Year Evolution with a 5-Year Strategic Plan Megan Gilhooly ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  2. 2. A little about me Megan Gilhooly, Manager Technical Communication INVIDI Technologies • 80 employees and contractors • Software for cable and satellite operators • 4 direct reports • Training and documentation MS Strategic Management MS Broadcast Journalism mgilhooly@invidi.com @megangilhooly ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  3. 3. Summary Strategic plan Vision Steps we took (What worked, what didn’t) ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  4. 4. October 2010 Strategic Plan ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  5. 5. Megan Gilhooly What is a strategic plan? • • • • Formal consideration of future course Long term (3-5 years) Consider current factors End with goals, not tactics Why do one? • • • • • Provide a base for measuring progress Clarify goals & objectives Communicate goals & objectives Increase awareness of risks and opportunities Encourage participation ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  6. 6. Create Strategic Plan • Current State of the Department • The team (skillsets, personalities, opportunities) • The deliverables (the good and the bad) • SWOT • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats • Analysis • What Customers Want • Customer surveys one month prior • Organized quotes into 4 themes • Getting There • Objective • Tools, processes, and people required ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  7. 7. External Internal Environment Environment SWOT Analysis Strengths Weaknesses  Highly Skilled Staff  Strong Leadership  Functional Process  Dysfunctional Process  Lacking Specific Skill  Not Using Latest Technology Threats Opportunities  New Technology  Alternative Resources  Expansion  Legislation  Lack of Support  Negative Publicity From www.businessballs.com 7 ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  8. 8. Where we started Tools Using MS Word, Framemaker 8, SVN repository Problems: • Losing support of Adobe for Framemaker 8 • Couldn’t collaborate with new writers on Framemaker 9 • Framemaker template had been “borrowed”, so no one knew how to fix the degradations • SVN wasn’t working as a company-wide CMS • No training tools ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  9. 9. Where we started Tools Needs: • No more Framemaker • Company-wide CMS mandate • DITA XML authoring tool • DITA CCMS • Language standardization software • Learning management tool ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  10. 10. Where we started Processes Problems: • No recorded processes for documentation or training • No recorded processes in entire company • Delivering documentation 6 weeks after release • Every SME has a unique perspective on what is the “accurate” answer • No sense of corporate strategy to align with • No corporate standards for style or terminology ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  11. 11. Where we started Processes Needs: • Adopt a style guide • Record the current process and refine for the short term • Move to DITA XML authoring and rewrite processes • Encourage others to look at companywide processes • Increase visibility of training processes ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  12. 12. Where we started People Four employees: 1 manager, 2 technical writers, 1 trainer who could write Problems: • Team had been mismanaged, so team members were angry • Other teams had no respect for Tech Comm • Customers had no faith in the documentation • One writer per customer model was not scalable ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  13. 13. Where we started People Needs: • More technical depth • Re-engagement • DITA skills and knowledge • Editorial skills ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  14. 14. What we needed Tools, Processes, and People • Content Management System • DITA Content Management System • Learning Management System • Knowledge Base • Styleguide ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon • • • • • • • • Drastically cut word count Standardize terminology Implement DITA Processes More technical depth Re-engagement DITA skills and knowledge Editorial skills
  15. 15. Where we started Budget $0 ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  16. 16. ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
  17. 17. Vision Develop strategic information management that will drastically increase customer satisfaction by providing the right information to the right people, when and where they need it. ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly @LavaCon
  18. 18. ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
  19. 19. 7 Steps ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
  20. 20. What we did Step 1 Fix what we could What worked What didn’t work • Hired a contract writer by writing a compelling business case • Caught up on schedule (deliver docs with release) • “Stole” a support guy who could write to improve the depth of product knowledge • Only brought us in line with expectations in 1995…we still had a long way to go! ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
  21. 21. What we did Step 2 Build relationships What worked What didn’t work • People started to appreciate Tech Comm • My employees were able to work with other teams more effectively • We were able to get a lot of information from other teams • Relationships overshadowed what’s best for the customer • The information didn’t jive because while I was building relationships, our SMEs were not ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
  22. 22. What we did Step 3 Find a CCMS that would also work as a company-wide CMS What worked What didn’t work • We found one the board would approve (great deal!) • We did numerous trainings • We predicted the push back and were ready for it • Created a cross-functional team • We succeeded in full adoption in 1.5 years • We got the value we paid for • No DITA expert on our team made it tougher to negotiate with vendor • We were using the tool outside of its intended scope ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
  23. 23. What we did Step 4 Transition to DITA What worked What didn’t work • I learned from the mistakes of the previous manager • I recognized our deficiencies • We planned for DITA when choosing our tools • Backfilled training position with a DITA expert • Started too early, wasted effort ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
  24. 24. What we did Step 5 Taxonomy, Personas, Scenarios What worked What didn’t work • When dealing with VPs, we did all • People didn’t understand the need the work and just had them provide for a taxonomy, so it took a lot of their opinion convincing that it wasn’t a waste of • Got buy-in of Support team so they time would help with personas/scenarios • It took a long time to get buy-in from the VP who “owns the customer relationship” ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
  25. 25. What we did Step 6 Create Learning Management System What worked What didn’t work • • • • • • • • • Hired e-learning experts Chose LMS carefully Effective business case Reviewed storyboards with entire company before prototype development ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon Overambitious schedule Impact of time off Turnover within consultant org Time differences are tough No dedicated resources
  26. 26. What we did Step 7 Build Knowledge Base What worked What didn’t work • Got budget approved • As of two weeks ago, approved budget items were frozen until next year ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
  27. 27. ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary @MeganGilhooly # @LavaCon
  28. 28. ©2013 INVIDI Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary & Confidential Information

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