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We don't need no education - Web governance through on-demand online training

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We don't need no education - Web governance through on-demand online training

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One of the biggest web problems we have in higher education is the number of cooks in the kitchen. We’ve got SMEs and HIPPOs and the immeasurable plethora of “non-web” people making changes to web content throughout the institution. Since there are as many ways to do things as there are people to do them, it all comes out a big mess over time. All the content strategies, web governance plans, and communications policies in the world won’t help if people in the trenches (and often their bosses) don’t understand what’s expected, why, and how exactly they can accomplish their goals. Enter training. In this presentation, I’ll talk about our content strategy journey, the redevelopment of a brand new .edu website, and how we used this process to both make the case for mandatory training and develop training beyond using the CMS. I’ll even make available lesson plans, scripts, and talk about the actual tools used for development of the on-demand delivery system and content.

One of the biggest web problems we have in higher education is the number of cooks in the kitchen. We’ve got SMEs and HIPPOs and the immeasurable plethora of “non-web” people making changes to web content throughout the institution. Since there are as many ways to do things as there are people to do them, it all comes out a big mess over time. All the content strategies, web governance plans, and communications policies in the world won’t help if people in the trenches (and often their bosses) don’t understand what’s expected, why, and how exactly they can accomplish their goals. Enter training. In this presentation, I’ll talk about our content strategy journey, the redevelopment of a brand new .edu website, and how we used this process to both make the case for mandatory training and develop training beyond using the CMS. I’ll even make available lesson plans, scripts, and talk about the actual tools used for development of the on-demand delivery system and content.

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We don't need no education - Web governance through on-demand online training

  1. 1. WE DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION Web Governance Through On-Demand Online Training @shelleykeith - WPCampus 2016
  2. 2. SUR VEY SAYS… • Governance journey and making the case?! • Training plans and materials?
  3. 3. STATUS CHECK • ~150k pages! • ~250 site managers - no training! • political navigation! • high exit rates and 90%+ bounce at key decision points! • poor search results! • accessibility problems, broken links, spelling errors! • lots and lots and lots of old files and outdates pages! • no funnel, no goals, no success measures, very little signal
  4. 4. Noel-Levitz E-Expectations Report - 2014 77%said the web was influential in college search 97%said web was the most reliable resource for researching colleges 94%Indicated a preference for the school website over the Facebook page
  5. 5. CONTENT AUDIT FINDINGS • Content not focused on audience, hindering readability and findability.! • Content difficult to find. Problems with information architecture, navigation, search, labeling, and on-page content hierarchy.! • Content off-brand, painting an inconsistent and inaccurate picture of UMW.! • Content not written for the web. Long, dense copy; non-descriptive link text; non-optimized digital assets.
  6. 6. People who “said web was the most reliable resource for researching colleges” (97%) are entering the funnel where “content is off-brand, painting an inconsistent and inaccurate picture of UMW.” Approximately 75% of new, off-campus traffic 
 does not come through the homepage. This has direct and quantifiable revenue implications.
  7. 7. USE STORYTELLING TO GAIN BUY-IN
  8. 8. GOVERNANCE GOAL Create good stewards of a mission critical institutional resource.
  9. 9. GOVERNANCE BILL OF RIGHTS • Stewards (Managers)! • Help with and training on tools and best practices! • Clear interpretation and supported implementation of regulatory requirements! • Assistance establishing goals and success metrics! • Access to data and analysis •Site Users! • Accessible content and navigation! • Current information supporting their ability to perform necessary tasks! • Usable interfaces! • Access to support they should never need
  10. 10. Qu[lity Fit for use Accurate Curr_n]y Informa2on Tools & Technology Compli[n]_ Usability & Accessibility Style & Iden2ty User Admin
  11. 11. HOW CAN YOU HAVE ANY PUDDING IF YOU DON’T EAT YOUR MEAT?!?!
  12. 12. REALITY CHECK • other duties as assigned! • manage expectations - including yours! • culture change is hard
  13. 13. 2016-2017 Website AdministratorTraining Lesson Topic Completion Intro Planning for Change Getting Started Quiz What to Expect The UMW Web Toolbox Shared Vocabulary Getting Help Content Basics Intro to Content Strategy Content QuizWriting for the Web Search Engine Optimization Compliance Issues Accessibility Compliance QuizCopyright Basics Expectations & Best Practices WordPress 101 Logging in WordPress Quiz Getting Started Creating & Editing Content Managing Media
  14. 14. AdvancedTraining *in development Course Material Advanced WordPress Gravity Forms TablePress Advisories Homepage Content Grid Tabs & Accordions Siteimprove Introduction Using the Quality Assurance Tools The Dictionary Department Specific Training Residence Life - Managing Residence Halls Great Lives - Managing Lectures Admissions - Graduate Admissions Pages
  15. 15. CHALLENGE Build on the starter kit. Create and share your own versions of lesson plans and materials. STARTER KIT • Lesson plans! • Scripts & Slides! • Video Links! • Resources (sources)! • Quizzes
  16. 16. GO! https://www.facebook.com/groups/webgovernance/

Editor's Notes

  • When I got the job I was all about making iterative changes based on data and best practices, not coming in like a wrecking ball and being all EVERYTHING MUST GO. Pretty quickly I realized I’d inherited a house from Hoarders. My predecessor did a lot of great work bringing the site as far as she did, but her service model left some lingering issues.
  • Order takers vs. strategic resource
  • Notice that these are all essentially content & governance problems. Much of this can be trained and at least improved.
  • So as we built the case for Siteimprove, Optimal Workshop, content strategy, and governed processes, I was taking our data and industry reports, and weaving narratives.
  • I was making a case for real change - not just landscaping a hoarder house, which would literally solve none of our problems.
  • Other case-making tools:
    Quality search engine results is something they can wrap their heads around. I made improving them a matter of training and governance, not a “fixable” thing we could do in my office.
    Same with a11y issues, quality assurance issues, etc.
    I was also talking about how those 250 site managers hadn’t had adequate training or support - they’d just been handed the keys and told good luck - leading to the mess we were in.

    People want to do good work. You just have to give them an accessible way to do it.
  • Reinforcement: during the content strategy stakeholder interviews the #1 most consistent comment was about the need for training and clear expectations.
  • I’d spent a year researching, fixing low hanging fruit (tangible things like some nav updates and mobile responsive launch), making the case for systemic strategic change, using words like “mandatory” when talking about training, and talking about how the current system was unsustainable. We had infrastructure problems exacerbated by content management processes. I knew it was a matter of when, not if. I didn’t know “when” would come quite so soon. As we were working toward iterative improvements the system was cracking under the strain. First day of fall semester 2014 the site crashed. It spent most of the rest of the semester crashing pretty consistently.
  • But in the “turn that frown upside down” column, it put the website at the forefront - and resources we’d previously been trying to build a case for just magically appeared. Magically. So we moved to an enterprise host provider to shore up the supports and slapped some duct tape on that baby and started working on next steps. All that iterative talk was out the window. We couldn’t iterate with the whole thing crashing down around us.
  • So, in January 2015 with a crumbling infrastructure in one hand and shiny new content strategy documents in the other, we dove headfirst into strategic redevelopment initiative. We launched phase 1 of the new website August 15, 2015 with zero idea how we were really going to govern this new implementation. Training was obvious, but accountability and authority were less so. I’d spent enough time saying “mandatory training” with no push back that I was confident I could make that fly.
  • Instead of focusing on roles and and accountability and processes, we focused on the core goal: building a stewardship model. It’s the only way we’re going to make this work. We needed site managers clear on their responsibilities, invested in WHY they were responsibilities, and able to meet those requirements.

    All the process documents and approvals and administrative buy-in mean nothing if they can’t be enforced. Whatever we do needs to be practical. There are 2 of us. We cannot be the web police.
  • But what we can do is identify how to support our users, all of them, in ways that also feed the stewardship model and institutional goals.

    In short: We want to be enabling, not disabling.
  • This is the framework we used to build out training. The compliance pieces, understanding of user needs, and clear expectations for those responsible for managing UMW web properties all needed to be included - not just use of tools.
  • the “why”
    what are your goals, how do you measure success
    who are you talking to & why
    what are the compliance requirements & how do you meet them
    expectations for site managers
    the how
    using the tools
    getting help & the role of digital comms
    Resources
  • Most site administrators are “other duties as assigned” and don’t have web in their EWP.
    I am not going to be able to make everyone care about doing great work - most just want to get their supervisor off their back. You can’t make them experts.
    We’re facilitating a culture change not only in how the institution views and manages the web presence, but also in how my unit provides support and expertise to the campus community. It’s important to take advantage of every opportunity to further that effort.
  • 3 years in and a lot of progress has been made. We’ve completed a content strategy initiative, launched and successfully landed phase 1 of a redevelopment effort based on our content strategy efforts, and really made headway in the move toward a strategic web leadership model vs. the service model. With the introduction of the online training system we hope to move from this…
  • …to this.
  • ×