People need the right information at the right time for the right price. The people in your organization are the most important part of your company. They do the work. They save the documents. They look for documents. People can make or break a system, product or process. People are messy, as my friend CR likes to say. People are also smart, funny, intelligent, hardworking, hard playing and usually want to get their work done. A poor content management policy allows people to use their intelligence to get their work done while engaging in poor CM practices.
It is critically important to work with people by taking their thoughts and ideas into consideration. I aim to incorporate as many of the ideas and thoughts as possible into a content management policy. If employees take the time to voice their concerns, carefully considering their thoughts is money well spent. The morale boost the staff will get when they see their ideas in action is gold.
Feedback in the Process
As I said, it is important that people are heard and that their specific needs are noted and addressed at the process moves along.
- Talk to major stakeholders
- Identify different needs based on the function of different departments
Major stakeholders are people, too. People will have different perceptions of the value of different systems. For example, systems someone does not use may have little value unless it is the payroll system which issues their paycheck. The thoughts of major stakeholders from a strategy perspective are important to guide the process. It is also important to discern biases, especially in terms of products. Do they have an interest in XYZ Cloud Storage company? If so, it is important to know early whether XYZ Cloud Storage must be a component in the Content Management Plan.
Departments are different and function differently. I have to identify the critical needs each department has related to CM in order to create a system that works for all. Making a system work for all departments could hinge on different implementations of the same product. It could be buying and implementing different systems that are symbiotic. Regardless of the system, the foundation of policies is the most important component.
Content Management is iterative. There is a no “one and done”. It has to change and evolve as the organization changes and evolves.
Locations and Location
Location has different meanings in the context of Content Management.Where people save their documents, both drives and services (such as cloud storage services) and where employees are located are important to consider.
Consider what people are saving to different locations, especially if they are using tools in different ways. If Finance is saving to Box and the C-Suite does not have access, there needs to be a bridge.
Consider the effects of location on content management
- What are different sites doing that works/doesn’t work? Learn from people who are in a different office culture
- Is there informal training going on in different offices that creates trends in use of tools? Could this training be incorporated into overall onboarding?
- How is culture affecting content management?
- How is the local language affecting content management
- different alphabets
- The Enterprise Content Manager should have an open door policy. It takes people time to get to know the “Boss of Saving and Finding”. If the ECM has an open door policy and really listens when people come in, then s/he will glean a lot of informal information
- Listening is key. If people don’t think the ECM is listening they will stop talking
- Build trust by meeting with each group. The first meeting should introduce the enterprise content manager. Later meetings can be centered around CM successes and frustrations. Wish lists and desires cannot be ignored.
- Survey, survey, survey. I like to survey regularly, but also like to find a pace that does not create survey fatigue. Surveys should be targeted and broad, quick and long as well as department-based. Company-wide surveys should relate to overall policy. Some HR topics are good for company-wide surveys.
- Be open in your work. Keep people updated via regular news flashes, blog posts or other culturally appropriate method. Make sure readers can provide feedback to these missives. Some word or turn of phrase or topic may spark an idea. It is important to get the thought at the moment the reader thinks it, because making feedback difficult to provide will reduce the number of ideas.
- Work with a third party moderator/graphic facilitator to lead productive information gathering meetings
There is more where this came from! Contact me for a consultation.