Live from Congility: Findable, usable, reusable

Findable, usable, reusable: IBM’s enterprise content strategy for smart content, by Michael Priestley

Congility2014Michael is an Enterprise Content Technology Strategist for IBM

He has so far learned:

  • Content matters
  • We all want the same thing
  • We have to work together to get it

His team has dealt with a lot of scope creep.

    • Began as just product docs
    • Then moved into embedded assistance and help
    • Then added strategy across support, training, etc
    • Then added marketing

We say content matters. What we mean…

  • IBM clients say it’s impactful
  • Technical content improves sales and product satisfaction
  • We can’t afford to ignore it
  • We can view it as a strategic asset
    • Multiple channels and sources
    • Part of a complex ecosystem
    • Using a complex ecosystem requires a map to understand the complexity across multiple user journeys and content types, sources, and channels

They’re not trying to force people to do content in any one way

  • They’re driving agreement on strategies
  • They invest to fill gaps and meet content needs
  • They find that there are overlaps in the content requirements across many departments
    • That doesn’t mean one size fits all
    • It means a component may be valuable for more than one person
  • They work with everyone from engineering to marketing to HR
    • Even though many people need the same things, they all use different words
  • Michael’s team helps them to understand one another

Content needs to be:

  • Findable
    • I search based on what I need, not where the content came from
    • I want to find it without needing to search
  • Usable
    • Does it help me with my goals?
    • Is unnecessary content cluttering my screen?
  • Reusable
    • I want to share easily with others
    • I want to create my own views and collections based off this content
  • In order to be all three, we need:
    • Common standards
    • Processes
    • Tools
  • When it’s reused (and I “make it mine”) is that new addition:
    • Findable
    • Usable
    • Reusable
    • (and the cycle continues)

Major challenges:

  • Providing adaptive content delivery
  • Ensuring reused content doesn’t confuse the finability of other content
  • Get colleagues to reuse content rather than reinventing the wheel
    • Findable: they need to find relevant content to what they’re trying to create
    • Usable: they need to share assets (and terms) across disciplines
    • Reusable: common standards and sharing ability
  • Managing content lifecycle
  • Changing requirements

How can we solve it?

  • Build a bigger silo
    • Make it permeable
  • Make content a platform
  • Make content a service
  • Make content smart/free/chunks

If you love your content, set it free

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