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Rahel Anne Bailie: Pushing syrup through a straw: More content than capacity

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What happens when you have thousands of products ­ or maybe tens or hundreds of thousands ­ and not enough capacity to deal with them? In a play on „it takes a village to raise a child”, it takes a content ecosystem to produce content with any sort of efficiency. In the brief period of a presentation, I’ll share some basics of how to create product content to a publication­ready state.

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Rahel Anne Bailie: Pushing syrup through a straw: More content than capacity

  1. 1. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reservedScroll @ScrollUK @rahelab Pushing Syrup through a Straw When content exceeds capacity Scroll Photo credit for all photos: Rahel Anne Bailie
  2. 2. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab RAHEL ANNE BAILIE Chief Knowledge Officer Scroll (UK)
  3. 3. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab Capacity problems
  4. 4. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab Product changes A more complex product • Added features take more time to document More products in a line • Similar products, more variants to manage More products or product lines • Dissimilar products take more time to document Expansion into new markets • Additional languages to manage
  5. 5. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab Resource changes Decrease in staff • Team size shrinks as product matures Same number of staff, more content • Increase in the number of products or channels New staff • Less experience means less output during learning curve Different deliverables • New types of content that add time and complexity
  6. 6. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab Five possible solutions
  7. 7. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab @ScrollUK @rahelab Increase capacity1
  8. 8. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab Increase capacity Increase number of resources • Hire more staff • Outsource • Offload some tasks to adjacent roles (such as project management) Automate • Automate rote tasks • Adopt systems that help with automation
  9. 9. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab @ScrollUK @rahelab Decrease output2
  10. 10. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab Decrease content output Go minimalist • Document less features • Document more features but with less depth • Document for fewer user groups (such as admin panels) Change practices • Automate content re-use • Adopt systems that help with automation • Try some of the emerging trends in documentation
  11. 11. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab @ScrollUK @rahelab Change the conversation3
  12. 12. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab Change the conversation Decrease the need for content • Fix the product itself • Re-use content from other products • Improve content through the user community Look around for help • Get a benefits piece written – by someone else • Look closely at the user experience
  13. 13. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab @ScrollUK @rahelab Adjust the supply chain4
  14. 14. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab Adjust the supply chain Change delivery demand • Stay in step with the agile team • Work closer with the user experience group (if present) • Get a head start on content from elsewhere • Translate as you go
  15. 15. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab @ScrollUK @rahelab Work smarter4
  16. 16. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab Work smarter Instead of working harder, work smarter • Undertake constant content curation • Use translation management tools • Apply principles of intelligent content • Adapt from DocOps trends
  17. 17. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved Content Curation
  18. 18. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab Constant content curation Do a rolling ROT (Redundant, Outdated, Trivial) analysis Less to maintain in source language Less to maintain in multiple variants and other languages
  19. 19. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved Translation Management
  20. 20. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab Use translation management tools Use machine translation with post-editing Leverage your glossaries and translation memory Automate with a translation management system http://www.gala-global.org/
  21. 21. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved Intelligent Content
  22. 22. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab Use intelligent content principles Make the content structurally rich (schema) Provide rich semantics (meaningful attributes through tags) Provide semantic categorisation Map your content configuration Use a tool that helps leverage the power of content
  23. 23. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved DocOps
  24. 24. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab Adopt DocOps techniques Work collaboratively with other content stakeholders (such as customer support and training) Develop content in an agile method Fix as you go Use analytics to guide your focus Crowdsource (carefully) http://idratherbewriting.com/2014/10/21/docops-interview-with-jim-turcotte/
  25. 25. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved Questions?
  26. 26. www.scroll.co.uk © 2015 Scroll LLP All rights reserved @ScrollUK @rahelab London, UK By email: rahel.bailie@scroll.co.uk info@scroll.co.uk Twitter: @ScrollUK / @rahelab By telephone: UK +44 (0)7869 643 685 Speaking and workshops: bailie.com Scroll

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