Complete guide to running a content technology and process transformation project

If your content strategy is no longer delivering, it may be time to re-engineer your workflows. Read on to find out how to identify and prioritise opportunities, select the right technology, get business buy-in, and steer clear of project pitfalls.

By ANDREW LOMAS

Download a free copy of our "Accelerate Your Content Transformation" checklist

  • Reduce content production timeframes by 60%
  • Produce 50% more content with the same staff resources
  • Increase productivity by 80% through automation
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Design a content process that delivers

When creating, managing and delivering great content is central to your marketing efforts, you can’t afford a sub-standard production process. And although rebuilding your content process may seem like a daunting prospect, it doesn’t need to be.

Here we lay out some simple steps you can take to, first, do the groundwork needed to understand the causes of your workflow problems and begin building a strong case for action. We also outline guidelines for getting buy-in from stakeholders and setting expectations, demonstrate the importance of establishing clear requirements, show you how to select the right vendor, and explore the keys to successful solution deployment.

Eyes on the future: preparing for content process transformation

Whether you think you need to make minor adjustments to your workflow or rebuild things from the ground up, content process transformation can be a daunting prospect. Start transforming your content process today by following these 5 simple steps.

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There’s no better time than now...

Trying to get people to accept the need for change can be challenging, but if you’re certain that you need to transform your content process to meet business demands then you simply need to build a convincing case. Plan for success and get the ball rolling on your transformation project today.

Understand what you need to do before doing it

Most change projects fail because of lack of planning. Content process transformation projects are no different – that’s what 60% of your project effort must go into discussing, validating, testing and scheduling the “doing”, before the doing even begins.

Five steps to building a case for change

Understand your root causes and build a case for change by investing up-front effort, mapping the workflows, identifying and ranking opportunities, sharing your findings and winning allies and collecting intelligence.

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Arm in arm: turn your stakeholders into true believers

Your content process transformation project may have been green-lit by the business, but successful delivery will be unlikely without universal buy-in. Find out how to build momentum, set expectations and convert mere stakeholders into passionate advocates.

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Know who you’re dealing with

Stakeholder analysis is critical to project success. Not only do you need to know the who and the how, but you need to use that information to tailor your messaging and change management efforts.

Establish and reiterate a clear vision

If you can’t capture in one sentence what the project is and why you’re doing it, it’s going to be hard to win people over. A simple, positive and truthful vision is essential for building momentum, and helping to turn people into project champions.

Don’t fear feedback

No one likes to be told they’re wrong, but If you want your stakeholders to feel genuine ownership of this content process transformation, you must invite, listen to and – above all – respond to their feedback.

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Nail your content process needs before choosing the tech

If you fail to establish your content needs accurately and fully before plunging into technology decisions, you may find yourself stumbling at the first hurdle. Find out why good requirements-gathering is critical to the successful completion of your transformation project.

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Tech alone is no solution

It would be great if the answer to your content woes was as simple as installing some new software. But with proper discovery and analysis you’ll soon find that people (training, time management, task allocation) and process (who does what in what order) will need as much of a refresh as your application stack.

Don’t set yourself up to fail

If you don’t address the weaknesses within your people and processes before making a decision about which software solution is the right one for your content production needs, then you’re destined for trouble, no matter how sophisticated the technology is.

A path to success

By establishing clear and complete requirements you’ll fix the right workflow problems and avoid creating new ones, reduce unnecessary business impact and customisation costs, and you’ll be better placed to win the change management battle.

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Building partnerships: choosing a vendor that’s right for you

Now that you’ve built a case for change, generated momentum and established your requirements, it’s time to put the company’s money where your mouth is. Discover how to choose the best vendor for your content process transformation project.

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It’s a collaboration, not a transaction

Building a strong and productive working partnership – a sustainable collaboration based on a shared vision and mutual obligation – is critical to the success of your content process transformation project. If the product is great but the vendor isn’t, think very carefully before signing on the dotted line.

Keep an open mind

You may already have a vendor in mind before you begin the selection process, but you should still cast your net wide. As tempting as it is to go with your instincts, effective vendor selection requires that you do a full market review and compile a longlist before whittling it down.

Establish clear rules of engagement

Who’s doing what? What are the costs and payment milestones? What’s the chain of command and escalation procedures? How is communication to be managed? Where and in what format are documents to be stored? Get it all in writing at the outset to avoid confusion and conflict down the line.

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On target: how to ensure successful project deployment

A project’s success can often hinge on maintaining the vision as the real business of deployment begins. Lose sight of the finishing line and you run the risk of crashing into those last few hurdles. Discover our seven keys to successfully deploying the new content tools and processes.

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Change management is not optional

Consultation and momentum-building are great change management foundations, but now that you’re at the point end it’s time to put a dedicated change expert in place to manage expectations, handle messaging and deal with feedback. Make them central to all project activities, and watch out for cost-cutters who start labelling change management as merely a “nice to have”. It’s not.

Walk before you run

Before you begin the full deployment, run a pilot phase on a small, self-contained, low-risk group. Use real content in an end-to-end workflow, validate with test cases and document all bugs and feedback. Conduct an honest assessment of its success and present results to the sponsor.

Look beyond the finish line

The project is never really over. You should undertake a post-implementation review to provide an assessment of its overall success, which then feeds into a dedicated continuous improvement program. Change can be hard to bed in, so reinforcement is paramount. If you treat the end of the project as the end of the change itself, you risk undoing everything.

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FIND OUT MORE

Download a free copy of our "Accelerate Your Content Transformation" checklist

  • Reduce content production timeframes by 60%
  • Produce 50% more content with the same staff resources
  • Increase productivity by 80% through automation

Get it in your inbox ;)