Across multiple business improvement projects, I regularly come across executives who see little value in the type of information we call ‘content’. Their organisation has invested time and money in developing documents and great expense in managing them, yet they are just not seeing the return.
They may not readily say it, yet it shows in where the focus is drawn. In most cases, I agree with them. I regularly see business cases that don’t spell out how the value will be returned.
Here are some tips to help organisations squeeze the most value out of their content.
1. Let the right people make decisions about your information.
The people generating value for your business – like operations managers, asset managers and sales managers – need to be the ones making decisions about the information. Most records managers will see the greatest value in keeping, and safely and appropriately disposing of records. They can find it difficult to convert the information into real value by improving search and accessibility.
It’s not in most project managers’ interests to make difficult decisions about information. So make sure they’re not the final decision maker when it comes to how accessible your information is.
2. Apply context to your content.
Content can only deliver value if you apply some context to it. I regularly see organisations trying to fit too much into a name, taking good information about content and locking it up into a name rather than setting it free into metadata. Not all content is the same, so you wouldn’t treat images the same as CAD drawings or financial records.
3. Ensure people own the content.
When people don’t own things, or have a pride of responsibility, they often don’t look after them properly. Content, and the processes behind it, needs to be owned. Not by departments, but by people. When people in an organisation are not taking ownership of content, take the time to make sure they know how to convert the information into real value for the business.