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ContentOps
Connecting strategy and delivery
Robert Mills
Robert Mills
Head of Content
GatherContent
But enough about me, what
about you?
We’ll be covering…
Defining ContentOps1
We’ll be covering…
Three pillars of
ContentOps
2
Defining ContentOps1
We’ll be covering…
Elements of ContentOps3
Three pillars of ContentOps2
Defining ContentOps1
How would you define content
operations (ContentOps)?
Defining ContentOps
Deane Barker
Chief Strategy Officer, Blend Interactive
Content operations is concerned with everything between
content strategy and content management, and therefore is 

the “glue” between the (1) plan for content, and (2) the content
management system in which it’s managed and delivered.
Defining ContentOps
Colleen Jones
Author of The Content Advantage
Content operations is the behind-the-scenes work for
managing content activities as effectively and efficiently as
possible. Today, content operations often require a mix of
elements related to people, process, and technology.
Defining ContentOps
Rahel Bailie
Chief Knowledge Officer, Scroll
ContentOps is a set of principles that results in methodologies
intended to optimise production of content, and allow organisations
to scale their operations, whilst ensuring high quality in a
continuous delivery pipeline, to allow for the leveraging of content
as business assets to meet intended goals.
Three pillars of
ContentOps
2
Three pillars of ContentOps
People Process Technology
Strategy, operations
and delivery
Strategy Delivery
CONTENT

OPERATIONS
PROCESS TECHNOLOGY
PEOPLE
Who here is dealing with …
Multi-source

Everyone is now a
content producer

Multi-channel

Everyone is now a
multi-channel
publisher

Speed of delivery

The need to reactively
create content at
speed
Scale

The need to systemise
content in order to
automate and scale

Content governance

Regulations and
compliance workflows

Quality & consistency

High audience
expectations in a
competitive world
CMI 2019 Content Management and Strategy Survey
Subscribers to CMI who are organisations with 50+ employees
CMI 2019 Content Management and Strategy Survey
Subscribers to CMI who are organisations with 50+ employees
CMI 2019 Content Management and Strategy Survey
Subscribers to CMI who are organisations with 50+ employees
CMI 2019 Content Management and Strategy Survey
Subscribers to CMI who are organisations with 50+ employees
Content is considered a
business asset but requires lots
of manual effort, using ill-fitting
technology, that isn’t repeatable
or scalable.
Audiences expect content
84% of people expect
brands to create content
Havas Group’s 2017
Meaningful Brands study84%
Consuming content
The average person
consumes 11.4 pieces of
content before making
a purchase decision
Forrester
11.4
Annual content budget
53% of organisations
don’t know their annual
budget for content
Content Science Review:
Content Operations
Benchmark Study
53%
How much does your content
cost?
Producing content is expensive.
Imagine spending lots of money
on poor quality content.
The challenge is operational.
This puts pressure on
production.
Elements of ContentOps3
Elements of ContentOps
Clearly
defined
roles
Production
workflow
Content types
and templates
Content
style
guides
Clearly defined roles
Why clear roles are important for …
Multi-source

Accountability across
all requirements: no
gaps or overlap

Multi-channel

Bring in experts if
needed, leave no
stone unturned

Speed of delivery

Dedicated people so
content isn’t shoe-
horned or de-
prioritised
Scale
The right amount and
kind of people to
deliver at scale

Content governance

Avoid different teams
creating the same
content

Quality & consistency

Roles for checking
against different
criteria to ensure
high-quality
Are roles at your organization
clearly defined?
Dedicated roles
At GOV.UK they created
a Guidance Manager
role to improve their
ContentOps
Clearly defined roles
Identify gaps and over laps
No longer a swim lane mentality
Can’t afford to waste time or effort
Remove ambiguity, increase accountability
Production workflow
Why workflow is important for …
Multi-source

Workflow to connect
silos and bring teams
together

Multi-channel

One workflow, or
many, to deliver to
different channels

Speed of delivery

Make it clear how
content gets
produced
Scale

Define a workflow so
it is easier to scale up
(and back) content
production

Content governance

Stops review and
approval loops taking
too long

Quality & consistency

Ensures best practice
in QA, review and
approval and progress
is maintained
Approval
At GOV.UK, one
department had a 27-
step approval process
for content.
This wasn’t good!
27step approval
Production workflow
Connects silos and disciplines
Facilitates scalable and repeatable processes
Keeps content moving
Helps identify bottlenecks, who is overloaded
and where more resource is needed
Learning from Cornell University
Redesign of alumni.cornell.edu and
giving.cornell.edu
Successful cross-department
collaboration via a bespoke workflow
All content production and approval
achieved in 3 - 4 weeks
30 - 40 people involved in producing
and approving content
Learning from Cornell University
Five workflow stages:
Draft
Approval
Review
Publish
Push to CMS
Learning from Cornell University
Content types & templates
Why content templates are important for …
Multi-source

Every working from
the same template

Multi-channel

Clear and agreed
structure for delivery
to specific channels

Speed of delivery

Quicker to create
content within an
agreed structure and
formats
Scale

Easier to deliver
content across
different platforms
and devices

Content governance

Prepare content for
future formats and
allows content to be
reused

Quality & consistency

Consistency in
structure of different
content types and
remove duplication
Subscribers to CMI who are organisations with 50+ employees
CMI 2019 Content Management and Strategy Survey
Do you use content templates
to structure your content?
Padma Gillen
Author of Lead with Content
We need to stop seeing content as blocks of text and start seeing it as
components of data that can be used, reused and combined in
different ways to benefit users based on the channel. This makes it
easier to maintain websites and allows a higher level of quality and a
more efficient way of managing content on a site. It also means the
same content can be pushed out on different channels.
Content led digital transformation
The inefficient way
The efficient way
Content types and templates
Brings together content, design and development
Consideration given to the content experience
Technology decisions pro-active, not last minute
Content style guide
Why style guides are important for …
Multi-source

One source of truth
for many sources of
production

Multi-channel

Set rules and
guidelines for content
across various
channels

Speed of delivery

Guidelines make it
easier (and quicker)
for authors
Scale

Produce content at
scale with confidence
in style

Content governance

Part of a bigger
governance system

Quality & consistency

Consistency in style
and format of content
Content style guides
Provide a shared understanding of
language, style and rules
Empowers content creators
Facilitates successful cross-discipline
collaboration
Helps achieve consistency in content
quality, style, and format (so also saves
time!)
Does your organization have a
content style guide?
How do people actually use it?
Example 1- Mailchimp
Example 1- Mailchimp
A resource for non-content
teams
Has become a tool to scale as
the company has grown
Avoids subjective
interpretation with examples.
Tell, then show!
Written in the style it is
getting others to use
Written with different
internal and external
audiences in mind
Effective dissemination
through suitable techniques
Part of a bigger design
system
A tool for alignment
Example 2 - Dundee University
Example 2 - Dundee University
Catalyst: silos, different
styles, inconsistency
Negative impact on the
University’s brand!
Organizational restructure
and brand refresh were
opportunities for change
Informed by research, but not
dictated by it
Statement of intent and
vision for the future
Considers non-linear user
journeys, multi-device
behaviours and expectations
of immediacy
Improvement in content
quality
ContentOps maturity3
What level is your organization at?
Defined by Colleen Jones
CMI 2019 Content Management and Strategy Survey
Subscribers to CMI who are organisations with 50+ employees
The need to deliver effective
content isn’t going to go away.
It’s probably going to get more
challenging and complicated.
Three pillars of ContentOps
People Process Technology
ContentOps requires
organizational transformation
and cultural change.
An investment in ContentOps
can have an impact on the pace
at which organizations can
deliver value and innovate.
The focus must be on
establishing operational
processes, roles, and
technology required to achieve
efficient ContentOps.
Any final questions?

rob@gathercontent.com

@RobertMills

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Content Operations: Connecting strategy and delivery

  • 1. ContentOps Connecting strategy and delivery Robert Mills
  • 2. Robert Mills Head of Content GatherContent
  • 3. But enough about me, what about you?
  • 5. We’ll be covering… Three pillars of ContentOps 2 Defining ContentOps1
  • 6. We’ll be covering… Elements of ContentOps3 Three pillars of ContentOps2 Defining ContentOps1
  • 7. How would you define content operations (ContentOps)?
  • 8. Defining ContentOps Deane Barker Chief Strategy Officer, Blend Interactive Content operations is concerned with everything between content strategy and content management, and therefore is 
 the “glue” between the (1) plan for content, and (2) the content management system in which it’s managed and delivered.
  • 9. Defining ContentOps Colleen Jones Author of The Content Advantage Content operations is the behind-the-scenes work for managing content activities as effectively and efficiently as possible. Today, content operations often require a mix of elements related to people, process, and technology.
  • 10. Defining ContentOps Rahel Bailie Chief Knowledge Officer, Scroll ContentOps is a set of principles that results in methodologies intended to optimise production of content, and allow organisations to scale their operations, whilst ensuring high quality in a continuous delivery pipeline, to allow for the leveraging of content as business assets to meet intended goals.
  • 12. Three pillars of ContentOps People Process Technology
  • 13. Strategy, operations and delivery Strategy Delivery CONTENT
 OPERATIONS PROCESS TECHNOLOGY PEOPLE
  • 14. Who here is dealing with … Multi-source
 Everyone is now a content producer
 Multi-channel
 Everyone is now a multi-channel publisher
 Speed of delivery
 The need to reactively create content at speed Scale
 The need to systemise content in order to automate and scale
 Content governance
 Regulations and compliance workflows
 Quality & consistency
 High audience expectations in a competitive world
  • 15. CMI 2019 Content Management and Strategy Survey Subscribers to CMI who are organisations with 50+ employees
  • 16. CMI 2019 Content Management and Strategy Survey Subscribers to CMI who are organisations with 50+ employees
  • 17. CMI 2019 Content Management and Strategy Survey Subscribers to CMI who are organisations with 50+ employees
  • 18. CMI 2019 Content Management and Strategy Survey Subscribers to CMI who are organisations with 50+ employees
  • 19. Content is considered a business asset but requires lots of manual effort, using ill-fitting technology, that isn’t repeatable or scalable.
  • 20. Audiences expect content 84% of people expect brands to create content Havas Group’s 2017 Meaningful Brands study84%
  • 21. Consuming content The average person consumes 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchase decision Forrester 11.4
  • 22. Annual content budget 53% of organisations don’t know their annual budget for content Content Science Review: Content Operations Benchmark Study 53%
  • 23.
  • 24. How much does your content cost?
  • 25. Producing content is expensive.
  • 26. Imagine spending lots of money on poor quality content.
  • 27. The challenge is operational.
  • 28. This puts pressure on production.
  • 32. Why clear roles are important for … Multi-source
 Accountability across all requirements: no gaps or overlap
 Multi-channel
 Bring in experts if needed, leave no stone unturned
 Speed of delivery
 Dedicated people so content isn’t shoe- horned or de- prioritised Scale The right amount and kind of people to deliver at scale
 Content governance
 Avoid different teams creating the same content
 Quality & consistency
 Roles for checking against different criteria to ensure high-quality
  • 33. Are roles at your organization clearly defined?
  • 34. Dedicated roles At GOV.UK they created a Guidance Manager role to improve their ContentOps
  • 35. Clearly defined roles Identify gaps and over laps No longer a swim lane mentality Can’t afford to waste time or effort Remove ambiguity, increase accountability
  • 37. Why workflow is important for … Multi-source
 Workflow to connect silos and bring teams together
 Multi-channel
 One workflow, or many, to deliver to different channels
 Speed of delivery
 Make it clear how content gets produced Scale
 Define a workflow so it is easier to scale up (and back) content production
 Content governance
 Stops review and approval loops taking too long
 Quality & consistency
 Ensures best practice in QA, review and approval and progress is maintained
  • 38. Approval At GOV.UK, one department had a 27- step approval process for content. This wasn’t good! 27step approval
  • 39. Production workflow Connects silos and disciplines Facilitates scalable and repeatable processes Keeps content moving Helps identify bottlenecks, who is overloaded and where more resource is needed
  • 40. Learning from Cornell University Redesign of alumni.cornell.edu and giving.cornell.edu Successful cross-department collaboration via a bespoke workflow All content production and approval achieved in 3 - 4 weeks 30 - 40 people involved in producing and approving content
  • 41. Learning from Cornell University Five workflow stages: Draft Approval Review Publish Push to CMS
  • 42. Learning from Cornell University
  • 43. Content types & templates
  • 44. Why content templates are important for … Multi-source
 Every working from the same template
 Multi-channel
 Clear and agreed structure for delivery to specific channels
 Speed of delivery
 Quicker to create content within an agreed structure and formats Scale
 Easier to deliver content across different platforms and devices
 Content governance
 Prepare content for future formats and allows content to be reused
 Quality & consistency
 Consistency in structure of different content types and remove duplication
  • 45. Subscribers to CMI who are organisations with 50+ employees CMI 2019 Content Management and Strategy Survey
  • 46. Do you use content templates to structure your content?
  • 47. Padma Gillen Author of Lead with Content We need to stop seeing content as blocks of text and start seeing it as components of data that can be used, reused and combined in different ways to benefit users based on the channel. This makes it easier to maintain websites and allows a higher level of quality and a more efficient way of managing content on a site. It also means the same content can be pushed out on different channels. Content led digital transformation
  • 50. Content types and templates Brings together content, design and development Consideration given to the content experience Technology decisions pro-active, not last minute
  • 52. Why style guides are important for … Multi-source
 One source of truth for many sources of production
 Multi-channel
 Set rules and guidelines for content across various channels
 Speed of delivery
 Guidelines make it easier (and quicker) for authors Scale
 Produce content at scale with confidence in style
 Content governance
 Part of a bigger governance system
 Quality & consistency
 Consistency in style and format of content
  • 53. Content style guides Provide a shared understanding of language, style and rules Empowers content creators Facilitates successful cross-discipline collaboration Helps achieve consistency in content quality, style, and format (so also saves time!)
  • 54. Does your organization have a content style guide?
  • 55. How do people actually use it?
  • 57. Example 1- Mailchimp A resource for non-content teams Has become a tool to scale as the company has grown Avoids subjective interpretation with examples. Tell, then show! Written in the style it is getting others to use Written with different internal and external audiences in mind Effective dissemination through suitable techniques Part of a bigger design system A tool for alignment
  • 58. Example 2 - Dundee University
  • 59. Example 2 - Dundee University Catalyst: silos, different styles, inconsistency Negative impact on the University’s brand! Organizational restructure and brand refresh were opportunities for change Informed by research, but not dictated by it Statement of intent and vision for the future Considers non-linear user journeys, multi-device behaviours and expectations of immediacy Improvement in content quality
  • 61. What level is your organization at? Defined by Colleen Jones
  • 62. CMI 2019 Content Management and Strategy Survey Subscribers to CMI who are organisations with 50+ employees
  • 63. The need to deliver effective content isn’t going to go away.
  • 64. It’s probably going to get more challenging and complicated.
  • 65. Three pillars of ContentOps People Process Technology
  • 67. An investment in ContentOps can have an impact on the pace at which organizations can deliver value and innovate.
  • 68. The focus must be on establishing operational processes, roles, and technology required to achieve efficient ContentOps.