How workflow metrics change for intelligent content by shawn prenzlow


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Content creation metrics are just as important as the metrics used in analyzing your published content’s reach and impact. Do you have consistent, trustworthy metrics for your content workflows? No matter where you are on the path from unstructured content toward Intelligent Content, metrics matter. Do you have any idea how your content creation metrics will change as you take up the challenge of creating Intelligent Content—and more importantly, how they will impact your budget and resource needs over time? For example, what is the difference in average number of pages per day when writing unstructured vs. well-structured content? Do the numbers vary significantly between generic web content and deep technical content? Do changes within the editing discipline track with changes within the writing discipline or with governance… or with neither of these? This session will address these questions—plus the fundamental tasks of creating baseline metrics and integrating changing metrics into your budget planning.

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  • About Shawn Prenzlow, The Reluctant Strategist
  • This presentation is targeted for people who are just starting, or who are in the midst of, moving from unstructured content to “Intelligent Content”; content that is semantically structured. But, anyone who creates plans or strategy for content projects may find useful nuggets in this presentation.
  • See Ann Rockley’s book “Managing Enterprise Content” for a great definition of Intelligent Content.
  • What is Intelligent Content?
  • Intelligent Content results in many efficiencies and savings. But they don’t come immediately or “for free.”
  • Workflow metrics are critical for your project planning, including all the items listed on this slide and more. As well, I’ve found them to be instrumental in making a case for budget and resource requests.
  • You don’t have to collect metrics as detailed as this.
  • Or this. But if your tools provide this level of detail, yay!
  • Even if you only capture this level of detail, you have started somewhere and can start making more informed decisions and requests.
  • If you go on LinkedIn, ListServ, or anywhere else people are talking about metrics: The conversations can get heated. People have strong opinions about collecting and using metrics. For good reasons.
  • But. If you don’t have metrics, how will you know how long it takes you or your team to do work? How will you know how many resources you need to reach your goals or commitments? If there is a huge discrepancy between what you’re being asked to do and the resources you’ve been given, metrics are some of the best ways to clearly show the gap; then you can start the conversation about how to resolve the discrepancy.
  • Metrics don’t have to be perfect to be meaningful. Look at the variance here – and this is work by the same team: same set editors across a variety of authors (some SMEs, some tech writers). And that variance in the results is fine. The important thing is to understand that you may sometimes have that variance. And if you can figure out when – well, even better.
  • Ok. So let’s go back to the progression of Intelligent Content. What changes as content authoring becomes more semantically structured?
  • Remember, your points of variance may be different from other teams. In fact, each product or project may vary.
  • A generic authoring workflow
  • A more comprehensive project workflow. Remember that metrics will shift for lanes 1 & 3 – not just for lane 2 (authoring) work.
  • Can we quantify the changes in the workflow processes?
  • It’s extremely difficult to make general predictions for how workflow metrics will change during the transition from unstructured to semantically structured content. As shown here, every tool or process used may result in different rates of efficiencies.
  • The numbers in the previous slide are all over the place. Other numbers you find may conflict or directly contradict each other. Yep. That’s the reality.So, what can you do? How can you plan? Let’s look at the big picture….
  • Remember, the changes for creating Intelligent Content don’t happen only in the authoring process. They happen in all phases of the project.
  • Here’s a simplification of the areas of the workflow on the previous slide.
  • Think about the workflow items, or phases, as changing in ways that impact reuse more or less. Changes in the planning phases will happen; it takes more Design and Model time for Intelligent Content. However, (generally, after the learning curve) work metrics for authoring get better. And Globalization and Production metrics are profoundly reduced for Intelligent Content.
  • Gather the metrics that are meaningful for your work and business. Then, using the understanding of where work will take more or less time (slide 29) and the practical steps here, you will have a stronger toolset for planning and strategy for your content projects.
  • Don’t hesitate to contact me! Let’s talk workflow metrics and content project planning! @RelStrategist and
  • How workflow metrics change for intelligent content by shawn prenzlow

    1. 1. How Workflow Metrics Change {For Intelligent Content Shawn Prenzlow The Reluctant Strategist Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist
    2. 2. { That’s me: Shawn Prenzlow { {@relstrategist 2
    3. 3. Strategists Anyone planning for the process of moving toward Intelligent Content { Planners Writers & editors Program/project managers Budgeters Today’s intended audience Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist
    4. 4. Semantically Structured Structured Unstructured Moving toward Intelligent Content {what does that even mean? Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 4
    5. 5.    Intelligent Content is content that is structurally rich and semantically categorized (structured) Content that is locked within a specific format takes a significant amount of effort, work, and cost to change Structure makes it possible to manipulate content. We can automatically determine how to publish content to multiple channels by mapping the structure of the content to a particular style in the output Ann Rockley “Managing Enterprise Content” Ch2. Intelligent. Structured. Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 {cool Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 5
    6. 6. But also…     Intelligent Content efficiencies do not happen in a vacuum There are costs associated with the changes in the process of moving toward IC – across planning, authoring, and publishing We know this because we pay attention to our metrics If we can understand and predict the changes in our metrics, we can plan for the work The reality, and why we’re here Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 6
    7. 7. Workflow metrics {boring! who cares?
    8. 8. Resource planning & allocation Budgets Timeframes { Reasonable commitments Estimating goals Determining ROI Communicating to C-levels ImgSrc: Sanity Why are metrics important? {de-mystify the costs of content Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 8
    9. 9. 9 Source:
    10. 10. 10 Source:
    11. 11. Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist
    12. 12. Using metrics {opinions vary
    13. 13. If metrics are the only goal, people may perform to them – instead of focusing on creating the best content { Conversely, metrics can be used to drive performance too hard, especially in “continuous improvement” environments Metrics are the “secret sauce” behind bids and profit margins Why metrics can be contentious Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 13
    14. 14. Know your critical metrics { Track & confirm Re-measure periodically Use your metrics for planning Metrics ≠ performance Metrics are critical for planning Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 14
    15. 15. Which metrics matter {measure all the things?
    16. 16. What is your workflow? { What’s meaningful? What do your tools automate? What will help you make a case? Where to start Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 {if you haven’t already Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 16
    17. 17. { Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 17
    18. 18. { {you can’t manage what you can’t measure Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 18
    19. 19. Metrics & IC Authoring {do metrics change?
    20. 20. Semantically Structured Structured Unstructured Moving toward Intelligent Content {what changes? When? Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 20
    21. 21. { In any change process, there is a delta Your “Period of Chaos” Find it – or pick one. Measure it. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Imgsrc: So, how do workflows change? {note: ymmv Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 21
    22. 22. Iterate as needed Create terminology lists (globalization & indexing) Build TOC structures, topic outlines Tech Review Initial draft, Subsequent drafts Dev Edit Bug Filing Revisions & rewrites Globalization Review Tech Edit Alignment Edit Bug fixes Legal / Marketing Review Copy edit Fixes Globalization, I18n Final Draft release Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Final content builds Handoff / Publish 22 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist
    23. 23. Design and Model Define (spec) and Author Production and Delivery Content Development Plan, Strategies, Audits, etc. CDP Reviews, modifications, vet against schedules Some Lane 2 work may begin Reviews Taxonomy Content Models Content Flows Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 I18N Resource planning and allocation Production environment, Templates build, Style guides (tech, legal, etc.) Writing & Editing Cycles Load Balancing (iterations) Alpha / Beta Production Integrations Integration testing Translation (one zillion other things) Distribution / Publish 23 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist
    24. 24. Where in the process Which tasks { How much When does it apply Repeatability Scalability Similarity How much do metrics change? {is it possible to quantify? Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 24
    25. 25. {is it possible to quantify? Acrolinx • Authoring efficiency improvements of 5% to 10% • Editing efficiency improvements of 50% to 75% Acrolinx WP: Your Content, Only Better RSuite • 50% reduction in labor and production costs • 2× increase in production throughput • 100% automation of content processing and distribution DITA Metrics 101 Author-IT • Writers save 95% of the time they usually spend formatting content. 25 Author-IT WP: Component Content Authoring Mark Lewis, DITA Metrics 101. © 2012, The Rockley Group Inc. and Mark Lewis.
    26. 26. { Cry Pass out Get dragged along the pavement So much inconsistency! What can we trust? {don’t give up! Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 26
    27. 27. Planning Taxonomy development Writing { Editing Review Globalization or I18n Publishing Other points in your workflow Let’s look at the workflow again {we’re smart; we can work this Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 27
    28. 28. Planning Taxonomy development Writing { Editing Review Globalization or I18n Publishing Other points in your workflow Simplification… {where are the efficiencies? Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 28
    29. 29. Area = anticipated change in impact on IC process & efficiency results Planning Most influence on IC results Design (Plan) Model (Build) Planning Processes, tools dev: • Least impact on continuous metrics • Most impact on “NRE” metrics • Not “no” impact on metrics for IC Define, Spec, Author, Review Globalization / I18n Most benefit from reuse Production Production & Delivery Authoring, globalization: • Impact on metrics increases with reuse • Globalization impact can be massive Publishing & content • Massive economies of scale Area = anticipated change in metrics from unstructured to structured content Expect metrics to change these ways Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 29
    30. 30. Gather metrics!!! Re-measure. Frequently. ALWAYS target reuse { DITA when it makes sense CCM/CMS as early as possible Invest in the taxonomy process Extrapolate metrics changes by amount of reuse and complexity of your process Understand the “efficiencies” graphic and use that to baseline your planning The big message: Optimize for how your metrics change {every business, every project, is unique Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 30
    31. 31. { Thank you! { Intelligent Content Conference 2014 #ICC2014 find more at {@relstrategist Shawn Prenzlow - @RelStrategist 31