Content Scenarios for exploring new Information Products

Every day technical communication teams are being asked to do something new. Given the rate of change that is apparent in the marketplace, and the expanding array of new devices and venues that will need to be supported, this trend will only accelerate. One question that comes up is how do teams explore the new publishing pathways so that they can determine what changes they will need to their overall content creation and publishing process. Intelligent Content thought leader Joe Gollner recentlly guided us through some proven steps in exploring new information products and refining content processes in our recorded webinar, “Content Scenarios for exploring new Information Products.”

You may review the slides below. This blog provides a brief overview of the insights share in this dynamic webinar.

Content Scenarios New Information Products

Stark Reality of CM Projects vs. “the Promise”

Content Management is of obvious value, but in many instances, ambitious CMS projects can take 18-24 months for productivity gains to become evident. This is one of many reasons that a sound strategy is so critical.

In an ideal world, with “preferred content management investment curve”, reduced expenditures and accelerated gains should become evident in 12 months or sooner.

Ingredient for success: introduce meaningful business scenarios into the SW development process as early as possible.

Content Scenario defined

According to Gollner, a content scenario is a functionally realistic “demonstration” of an end-to-end business activity that is facilitated by ideal content resources and process steps that can be used throughout the content solution lifecycle, to maximize CM investment effectiveness. (Obviously, this involves a “demo” or some type of pilot project.)

Key point: content scenarios must be completely oriented towards the needs and interests of business stakeholders at the executive level and must be:

  • based on real business activities
  • use real business data

Anatomy of a Content Scenario

  • Functionally realistic content examples
    • Assembled from real documentation
    • Sensitive details removed
      • Should be in a form that can be shared with technology providers (e.g. third party vendors) and others
    • Support a coherent and compelling story
  • Content and process models
  • Background info about:
    • business context
    • key users & stakeholders
    • critical requirements
  • Demonstration scripts for key process steps
  • Reference implementations (components) for key process steps

Actual case studies

Gollner shared several compelling examples from a variety of real life caste studies in which he has used the recommended components listed above.
You may find more information on Gollner’s theories and methods in a blog he authored earlier: See: www.gollner.ca/2011/11/ introducing-content-scenarios.html

Summary

Planning and use of realistic workflow components is key. Be sure to watch for further presentations by Joe Gollner, whether hosted by Adobe, or at upcoming conferences. Gollner will be presenting at TCUK in Newcastle in October 2012.