Change can be hard, scary, or something most would rather run away from. But somehow, the need for change will remain regardless of how you might feel about it. The less time you give yourself, the more chaotic things can get. Stuff can get lost, or falls through the cracks. That important update to the manual … Oops, it only went out to your English, Greek and Korean language customers, and you’re not really sure if the updated file ever made it to the other language translators.
We’ve talked a lot about the importance of quality technical documentation in blogs and two recent reports, Measuring the Increasing Impact of Technical Product Information and Making Your Content Connect with the Next Generation, but how do you go about meeting those marketplace demands and adapting to change?
That is of course one way to do it. Keep doing what you’ve been doing as the demand for quality content continues to grow and your systems are having more trouble working seamlessly after every software upgrade. Ultimately, though, that will end in the two things that will make your superiors sit up and take notice: Higher costs and lost revenue.
It’s time for a change
We recently had the pleasure of hosting Stacey Meggs, Master Quality Program Manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, for a webinar on how HPE managed the changeover to SDL Tridion Docs. In this engaging webinar, Stacey explains some the challenges her team faced over the past year in taking a scattered system and implementing a content management system that would bring all elements into one system using a robust technology with the necessary connectors, and room to grow.
Smooth sailing, maybe?
As with all change there will be bumps in the road. And changing your existing system over to a whole new one will require careful planning. Having the CFO enthusiastically say ‘yes’ to your request for a big new software package that will make everything shiny and awesome across all webpages, technical documents, marketing materials, and will even save money on translations, is all well and good, but if it’s your job to implement it you’ll want to sit down and take notes.
Breaking it down into components
What are all the disparate elements that will need to be merged into this fancy new system?
- Technical documents.
- Marketing collateral.
- Version control tracking.
- Subject matter expert review permissions.
- Scheduling and push out of new material to the website, mobile platforms and other forms of media.
How are you going to get there?
- Make a roadmap.
- Set priorities and take the time needed.
- Build in time to test new processes and make course corrections when needed.
- Enlist experts from each department.
- Bring in outside experts specifically trained in this kind of implementation.
- Set up training for the people who will be using the shiny new CMS and make them your evangelists within the company:
- Tech writers
- Marketing content creators
- Social media content creators
- HR (if they are going to be pulling information from the system for employee training materials)
Take a deep breath
Change can be managed with planning and forethought so that you can meet all content demands while connecting to your customers in meaningful ways, across devices and languages.
Future proof your content management system and come out on top.