While content management may seem as simple as creating your content and using a content management system (CMS) to publish online, in reality the process is far more complex when managing your content operations at scale.
At every stage of the process there are a host of factors that need to be considered in order to make your project or ongoing activities a success. Even before an article, product page, or post is ready for publication for instance, you must consider and take things like business requirements, the content’s objective, tone of voice, audience, and target profile into account.
There are also multiple considerations at the operational level as well, such as the way in which aspects of your operations like resourcing, stakeholders, risk, quality and teams are managed can easily make or break a project, or throw a wrench into your content operations.
Below we consider a few essentials to consider when managing your content operations at scale:
Essential #1: Understanding the needs and connecting the dots
Do you have the visibility you need on factors like required languages and markets? Do you know the process for approvals? Are you in contact with the right stakeholders? Are you in the loop? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then—rather than waiting around for a miracle to happen—perhaps it’s time to try leading the communication stream yourself. After all, clients will usually appreciate any help they can get. A good place to start understanding a project’s needs is by defining the scope, evaluating the required effort and identifying the material.
It’s also important to keep in mind which content management system the project will be using. By collaborating closely with the design team you will be able to tailor the content specifically to the webpage design which can be especially useful when it comes to formatting translations. When determining whether the content needs to be multilingual, consider the impact of the character limit when translating to different languages, for example, a single character in Chinese might represent a word with multiple characters in English. Content migration and translation has such a significant impact on the project plan that it needs to be considered very early on in the process.
Essential #2: Develop the right process for each need
While existing operational models are a good place to start, they won’t necessarily be efficient in every case. Being a part of an Agile-based process on the other hand, ensures that the team is being utilised to their fullest through prioritised, incremental deliveries and continued cooperation with the larger team so that everybody remains on the same page when it comes to development progress, monitoring the project’s status, and addressing issues as quickly as possible. To develop the right process, you must create a project plan, define the workflow and establish a timeline based on a complete understanding of both scope and requirements.
Essential #3: Make sure you get the right team
The first step in creating a successful project or running an ongoing operation is finding the right people to work with. Professional skills are essential factors in choosing team members, but they are not the only indicator of a good worker. Communication skills, flexibility, initiative and eagerness to learn, share knowledge and take on new challenges are all invaluable qualities that you should look for in potential team members.
Essential #4: Create a structure that reassures and empowers the team
Put clear processes and structures in place that provide a solid operational model for everybody to follow, whether they are working as part of a group or individually.
It is also fundamental to have transparent communication within the team. You must set out what is expected, delegate responsibilities and then have trust in your team’s ability to deliver. Try to avoid micromanaging, and instead rely on your team members’ abilities and commitment to producing quality work.
Essential #5: Provide visibility to the project team and stakeholders
The client and business stakeholders need to know the project’s status no matter what it is. Timely access to relevant information will help reduce risk and increase efficiency, make sure to:
- Use online tools (like Jira, Slack and Smartsheet) to collaborate, share and ensure instant visibility on latest status updates.
- Avoid email communications for formal approvals (its messy and wastes time when many people are involved).
- Always document decisions and never depend on verbal agreements (a reference will always come in handy at some point, believe me).
- Streamline the workflow internally and externally to expedite delivery by using software like Workfront, Asana and Monday.
- Don’t waste time on arranging and attending meetings unless they are meaningful, efficient and purposeful e.g. Scrum, sprint planning or sprint retrospective meetings.
Conclusion - the importance of content and simplification
The aim should always be to establish a simple, efficient and reliable process. Content management is a tricky part of the content lifecycle because of the involvement of so many stakeholders, tools and platforms.
Determine a solid foundation for the process and allow room for flexibility and adjustment within limits for any unforeseen changes so that you are able to customise the process to meet everyone’s requirements and needs.
We hope these pointers will help keep your content management tasks as simple as possible. At Luxus, identifying the simplest, most effective route to success is what we do. If you need any assistance managing your content, don’t hesitate to reach out!