Content management: drivers of effectiveness
Part 1: Building the strategy and getting the right people involved
In analyzing this data it became clear that, the more stakeholders an organization involved in managing its content, the more likely it was to be successful. Only 21 percent of firms with one engaged stakeholder rated their content management as effective, whereas every participant with eight engaged stakeholders said it was effective (see Figure 5, page 10,KMWorld Vol 23, Issue 7 or download PDF). Organizations where communities of practice actively curate content were more than three times more likely to have effective approaches, whereas probability of effectiveness doubled when subject matter experts were involved.
The message is that, regardless of how many employees have content management-specific titles, organizations need broad networks to provide input and feedback. Different voices add value at different stages of the content lifecycle, from deciding what content should be created to reviewing submissions and assessing whether existing content should be updated or retired. Discipline-focused communities of practice and subject matter experts are especially important to the process because they can ensure content is current, correct and designed with the target audience in mind.
The right way to structure and staff a content management program varies based on the organization’s objectives, culture and technology. However, most firms can improve their approaches by paying closer attention to how employees create content along with when, where and how they need to access it. A central KM group guided by a clear strategy is often an effective vehicle to think through these scenarios and design approaches in line with organizational goals and employee preferences. KM teams are also well equipped to provide the support required to engage users and build buy-in at all levels of the organization.
However, content management is useless without high-quality content, so it is vital to get the right extended network of stakeholders involved. For this, organizations need people with subject matter knowledge as well as an understanding of the people who will be using the content. To put the right extended team in place, firms may need to enhance their cross-functional communities and create meaningful incentives for managers, process owners and experts to participate.