In Managing Enterprise Content, Ann Rockley argues for the planning of content reuse through four stages: create, review, manage, and deliver. A stage can have sub-stages; for example, the "create" stage has three sub-stages: planning, design, and authoring and revision. She notes that content is often created by individuals working in isolation inside an enterprise (the coined term is the Content Silo Trap). To counter this content silo effect, she recommends using a "unified content strategy," "a repeatable method of identifying all content requirements up front, creating consistently structured content for reuse, managing that content in a definitive source, and assembling content on demand to meet your customers' needs." Web Content Lifecycle — Wikipedia
Why manage content?
Managing the creation of content is nuanced. Content is created, reviewed, revised, reviewed and revised again, versioned, scheduled for publishing, published.
In addition, there are a number of stakeholders in the content creation process — designers, copy writers, managers, social media teams, and more. Therefore, this process can become very complex. Micro-managing this process to a tee — with technology — is impossible. Macro-managing the dynamics of content creation without technology — balancing personalities and progress — is impossible.
The sweet spot between management styles is to use a process to advance our efforts and coordinate responsibility and communication. We are moving to a content lifecycle framework to provide us the freedom to breathe (avoid the need to micromanage), but also helps us achieve progress (provide the support to macromanage).
How is this framework applied?
To achieve this balance, we are using a pragmatic approach: Asana as a broader management tool supplemented by more precise technical tools (e.g. word processor, analytics platform, content versioning tools as necessary). The glue that holds all of this together is in-person discussion and dialogue.
To make sure we get the most out of each tool and empower the content team, the status of content and other pertinent information lives with the management tool. As the discussion narrows in participation, so does the tool.
What does it look like?
In Asana, we're tagging each piece of content with:
- create (or, as necessary)
- create / plan
- create / design
- create / author
For any level of precision greater than these tags, communication is free-form and in the notes associated with the Asana task.
At any point, a piece of content — an Asana task — can be tagged with one or many of the tags in the framework. Like any good tool, the team decides how to use the tool best.
By using a content lifecycle framework, we're striving to overcome the challenges we've had with coordination of web page, white paper, and blog post creation. By using broader strokes, we're reducing the energy needed for the team to buy-in to this effort, and avoiding the pitfalls of concerns around future-proofing.