So, if you remember, I asked for the minimal components needed to help steer my company towards a content management strategy and true content repository rather than the MOSS “content dump” we had 18 months ago.
Here is the list we (the “discuss.list.rmc” respondents) came up with:
- 1. Adequate Storage Space
- 2. Change Management/Versioning (and a strategy for both)
- 3. Consistent Naming Conventions
- 4. Consistent Terminology
- 5. Content Chunks/Units
- 6. Content Owners
- 7. Editing
- 8. QA (I am assuming that this means policing. I am a firm believer in content management by force, OK, well, how about benevolent dictatorship—can we agree there?)
- 9. Strategy. Strategy. Strategy.
- 10. Style Guide
- 11. Training
We did not mention the pre-requisite, did we? Resources/funding. As we learned at the April 21st chapter meeting, it takes resources. To paraphrase our speaker Scott Abel , “You have $15.00. Forget it. You’re done. No content management.”
I am going to tell you that our company has come so FAR! It is so wonderful to see it. We went from that versioning by filename (e.x. ABC_11_01_2010.doc, ABC_11_29_2010.doc, ABC_12_01_2010.doc., and so on) strategy to some good practices.
We have a ways to go. Some in the company said, “They won’t do what you’re asking.” “You cannot make them.” “They won’t get it.” “They don’t care.”
They were wrong.
“They are doing it.” “I did make them. (hehehehe)” “They get it.” “They care.”
Our employees are realizing the value. They are realizing the savings in time, cost, and frustration by stopping unchecked proliferation of content. (I actually tracked the proliferation of one piece of marketing content from 10/2009 to present. It grew from one document to of 7 different flavors of the same. I did a diff on the content. I eliminated four of them and updated the remaining three to all be consistent. That cost the company one day of my time. But I did not solve that problem, did I? Now there are just 3 of the same, but a little bit different documents now. Again…waiting to procreate once again.)
I am rambling. It’s Saturday and floors need swept and so on around here. . .
Thanks, as always, for all your help discuss.list.rmc!
(if you are not sure what the discuss.list.rmc is, see
STC RMC Discussion List
Joel A. Meier
Senior Technical Writer/Vice President STC RMC
User Manuals, Technical Specs, Process and Procedure, Help Solutions
Specializing in Single-sourcing, Reuse, Software Help Solutions