Content Management Plans – the Components

Please read the first post in this series.

A Content Management Plan consists of the following parts:

  • People
  • Culture
  • Systems
  • Process
  • Audit and Control

There are also other considerations and I usually include a summary when I present to a client. The above are the main components. The parts interlock and affect each other, but are also important in and of themselves.

In my work, I like to use the existing data repositories and systems and overlay them with different user interfaces, where possible. This makes for a smoother transition to new processes even knowing that new systems may be coming soon. This idea is based on allowing workflow to continue as uninterrupted as possible. This idea may not be possible or it may be only possible in part or it may be possible as a long term plan. Based on the information gleaned from the process I will outline over a series of posts this idea can adjust and change to become a valuable content management system that works for the organization.

It should also be noted that planning is great, but triage and content crisis management will have to happen simultaneously. Triage consists of calming ruffled feathered and developing interim solutions to facilitate smooth workflow to run the business of the organization while longer term content management issues are resolved and implemented. This element of the process will also provide additional knowledge that will inform the process.

Existing Data Repositories

Many companies have grown up with a fluid approach to content management. Tech companies allow their employees to save content on Box or DropBox or other systems. The policy, if you can call it that, supports other tech companies and allows employees to be comfortable with at least one aspect of their work.

In small companies, this works fine because someone can yell across the room and ask where to find a document. As companies get larger, this doesn’t work as well. Searching these systems isn’t always successful and searching multiple systems, assuming access is granted is time consuming.

I suggest that an information manager or enterprise content manager be brought in early on to begin to build a foundation on which a content management plan can be implemented. Decisions about document lifecycle and versioning can be made not just decided upon by default. Box and DropBox can be connected to a larger system to facilitate searching and findability.

Running the Business

The reality is that most start-ups won’t do this even when they get to 200+ employees. Content Management isn’t their business, funds are often tight. Decisions have to be made. The challenges come to the fore when a company is starting to get its ducks in a row for an IPO. Documents can’t be found, or take a Herculean effort. Nobody knows whether this is the most recent version or if Joe, who left last week kept the most recent version in his DropBox.

What is your content management policy? Content Management has been hijacked by Marketing people and often deals with content creation. There is a whole other layer to which business owners and managers need to pay attention. Information is an asset and should be treated as such.