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Three Projects One Lesson (April 2017)

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Three case studies that showcase the central importance in Content Management projects of jumping in with both feet, getting up close and personal with your content, and adding new value.

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Three Projects One Lesson (April 2017)

  1. 1. Joe Gollner | @joegollner Managing Director Gnostyx Research Inc. info@gnostyx.com Three Projects – One Important Lesson
  2. 2. Three Projects - One Important Lesson Two Case Studies Software Documentation under pressure Breaking the mold for construction learning content Key Lesson Learned Third Case Study Digital Humanities project reinforces key lesson Review Key Lesson Compare with Recent Research Findings Conclusion: A lesson too important to forget @joegollner 2
  3. 3. CMS or Die Software Documentation under Pressure @joegollner 3
  4. 4. Software Docs under Pressure Global Leader in specialized, integrated real-time environments Enjoying escalating success as the field becomes HOT Moving quickly into new markets Expanding rapidly to address new integration opportunities Software Documentation Needed to be localized into many languages (20+) Needed to keep up with rapid changes in the software @joegollner 4
  5. 5. CMS or Die Starting Assumption was that a CMS was needed DITA was also needed Accelerated project DITA design DITA authoring DITA processing DITA CMS Pilot Quick & Dirty Strategy Dynamic delivery portal @joegollner 5
  6. 6. Trouble comes knocking Trouble in paradise Complexity of the integration environments catches up with engineering Competitors up their game Sales take a hit Everything is scrutinized CMS does not fit in Authors find it an obstacle @joegollner 6
  7. 7. A Ray of Hope Two things go very well Team dives into DITA • Established good practices • New DITA processes improve productivity • Localization costs controlled • Leveraged a source control system & Kanban methods just like the Engineering teams Dynamic Delivery Portal • Deemed vital to improving service to partner integrators • Docs receive more resources @joegollner 7
  8. 8. Breaking the Publishing Mold Breaking the mold for construction learning content @joegollner 8
  9. 9. Construction Education & Certification Global Leader in Construction Education curricula & resources Assessment & certification Delivers content through a long-standing partnership Major publisher Publisher-specified processes • One size fits all approach @joegollner 9
  10. 10. Charting their own Path Partner-focus was getting in the way Distracted from customers & sponsors Introduced cost & complexity Restricted what they could do - with their own content! New Plan DITA embraced as basis of their own content specification CMS piloted as basis of new processes @joegollner 10
  11. 11. Trouble on the Construction Site Parallel Project runs into trouble Becomes a money sinkhole Places pressure on content project Demands on team skyrocket Publishing partner changes the standard used for submissions CMS does not fit in Authors find it an obstacle as they adapt to new demands @joegollner 11 Ottawa Downtown Sinkhole 2016
  12. 12. Teamwork Prevails in the End A Focus on Quality Outcomes Team dives into DITA Sidelines the CMS • Deploys content management practices Realizes significant productivity gains • Automating as many tasks as possible • Production team reported that they were producing three times the number of publications and doing it on a significantly reduced budget [Note: this drives revenues] @joegollner 12
  13. 13. Important Lesson Learned Precision beats Power & Timing Beats Speed Investing in what gets noticed is key @joegollner 13
  14. 14. The Wisdom of the Ring Precision beats power and Timing beats speed - Conor McGregor UFC Lightweight Champion Finding exactly the right way to be noticed & dedicating yourself to doing it Delivering something of value to customers / stakeholders @joegollner 14
  15. 15. The Important Takeaway Nothing beats jumping in with both feet Focus on the team Focus on the content Focus on doing something new & valuable The price is high – asks a lot of the team But the benefits are great the knowledge gained is invaluable • The team becomes a very savvy buyer of tools & services the points gained with powerful stakeholders is gold @joegollner 15 Athena holding Nike
  16. 16. Bringing Research Data Online Digital Humanities project showcases an important lesson @joegollner 16
  17. 17. Digital Miscellanies Index @joegollner 17 Project to capture the publishing history of 18th Century English Poetry Miscellanies (anthologies) & to make the data openly accessible
  18. 18. A Familiar Pattern Project started with an energetic investment in a database system Consumed the technology budget Struggled to handle the real data Quickly became unusable Student Researchers Found ways to keep working Captured mountains of data @joegollner 18
  19. 19. A Bridge was Needed The project still had to make the data accessible A central commitment to the funding sponsors XML to the rescue A short-term expedient solution Data would be migrated to XML then cleaned & organized A dynamic delivery portal would make the data accessible @joegollner 19
  20. 20. Smooth Punting Thereafter On the strength of hitting its release deadlines DMI received a second round of funding Were able to design a new database & delivery interface based on the experience with, and feedback on, the initial solution @joegollner 20
  21. 21. Recent Research Inquiries How does this lesson line up with recent research findings? @joegollner 21
  22. 22. @joegollnerA Study of the Usefulness of Deploying a Questionnaire to Identify Cultural Dynamics Potentially Affecting a Content- Management Project - IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7393886/ CMS Project Cultural Dynamics Survey of CMS Project Team Members From the First Two Project Case Studies • Generally positive outlook & openness to change • Willingness to learn & expectations of positive outcomes • Concerns about transition burden given workload • Impacts on delivery schedules • Possible constraints being introduced by new system • See center square where negative codes spike • Prescient given the challenges that arose • Prescient given the teamwork that prevailed The results align with key lesson • Transition concerns plus strong focus on positive impacts 22 Work Group Worth Transition Challenges Expected Outcomes Reactionsto OrganizationalChange Reactionsto TechnologyandProcesses Anticipated OrganizationalChange +5 +10 4 2 -2 -2 -2 +10 +3 6 5 -5 5 +4 +4 16 6 1 -9 -3 +1 10 8 -3 +10 +1 7 11 -4 TechnoCorp EduOrgPositive, Neutral, Negative codes applied to: -12-11 +16 +12
  23. 23. @joegollner Playing your way to better content management and collaboration – Nolwenn Kerzreho & Joe Gollner, TCWorld Magazine http://www.tcworld.info/e-magazine/content-strategies/article/playing-your-way-to-better-content-management-and-collaboration/ CMS Project Risks & Responses Standard Set of Snakes Selected Emphasized Standard Set of Ladders Selected Emphasized Collaborators too busy 14 3 Engage IT early 3 Collaborators competing 1 Align with policies 1 Collaborators too possessive 3 Emphasize customer benefits 6 2 Collaborators weak communicators 7 Conduct stakeholder briefings 5 Collaborators question value 4 Prototype collaboration tools 1 Collaborators reject tool 10 1 Pilot collaboration tools 5 Collaborators resist change 4 2 Demonstrate customer benefits 8 1 Management questions ROI 1 Engage collaborators early 9 1 Inadequate budget set 1 1 Engage executive champion 14 5 Unrealistic schedule set 3 Publicize project successes 3 Crisis changes priorities 10 5 Engage Management on issues 8 1 Weak PM Overwhelmed 2 Ensure Win-Win for Collaborators 11 1 Legacy practices overemphasized 6 Involve users in tool selection 8 IT blocks project 2 Train power users 9 1 Incomplete tool requirements 5 Provide user support 6 Deliver ongoing training 4 New Snakes Added & Emphasized New Ladders Added & Emphasized No Executive Sponsorship 1 1 Incentivized participation 1 1 Loss of stakeholder engagement 1 1 Use Standards 1 1 Acquired by Different Company 1 1 Define clear stakeholder roles 1 1 Tool problems 1 1 Treat SMEs as Customers 2 1 SME Training Inadequate 1 1 Formalize new skills 1 1 Fail operational testing 1 1 Assign SME responsibilities 1 1 Losing Executive Champion 1 1 Build relationships 1 1 Expectations change 1 1 23 Snakes & Ladders Workshop by Nolwenn Kerzreho (@NolwennIXIASOFT) Workshop run at several conferences in 2015 including • CIDM Best Practices St Petersburg Participants identified • risks to their content collaboration projects (snakes) • Possible responses (ladders) Results aggregated • They align with key lesson Workload / Tool Mismatch / Big Changes Engage & Energize Stakeholders  X X X   
  24. 24. A lesson too important to forget It’s the impact of investments that matters Content Modernization projects need to be tactical about this Emphasis falls onto Working as a team with the content in a new way • Being ready to adapt to whatever challenges emerge (and they will) Prioritizing the delivery of new value • Something that customers & executive stakeholders will notice N.B. This is not an anti-CMS position • It’s about choosing the right CMS at the right time & then using it well @joegollner 24 Joe Gollner | @joegollner | www.gollner.ca Managing Director | Gnostyx Research Inc. @gnostyx | www.gnostyx.com | info@gnostyx.com