Sparks from a sparkler

The Anatomy of a Content Solution Team

Business challenges today have one thing in common: Content that needs to be produced. An organization delivering a new product would need to produce content for marketing, product documentation, and training. Or the company might need to produce training manuals faster while also reducing costs. Just like other challenges, a content-specific project requires that several disciplines engage for a successful solution. Sometimes the blend of resources is difficult to determine, subject matter expertise is hard to find, and existing delivery models make the solution difficult to implement.

To start to unravel these complexities, it is important to understand the components needed to deliver a content-based solution. The first component is subject matter expertise across two “links” of the content supply chain. The content supply chain represents the logical flow of content through an organization. If your solution leader (project manager, vendor, or other) doesn’t have specific expertise in two links, you may be in trouble. If you’re doing a content redesign project, do you have experience in content strategy and design? If you are considering a content production problem, do you have experience in authoring and technology? These are questions to answer.

The second component is a blend of correct resources. All content solutions require domain expertise, content strategy, user experience, and/or technology support. Your team will need to fill these roles and disciplines. You may have different percentages of these roles based on size, scope, and complexity of your project. The functional team model brings a multidisciplined content-related team to a solution. This might include a content project manager, a content strategist, a customer experience professional, and several technologists or developers.

The final component is an appropriate delivery model that fits your organization and project scope. Often organizations will overreach with a methodology to adds unnecessary cycles to a project or will adopt a methodology when the correct understanding of the daily delivery expectations aren’t understood.

A content-based solution could cross internal organizational silos. Consider a large enterprise content management solution where an organization is deploying a new technology. You first need the specific technology expertise. You will need resources that understand the upstream content and how it needs to fit in the new technology. You may need user experience and usability support for the rollout. You will also need a team of developers and an implementation specialist. Your functional team would include positions and roles that work across several disciplines.

If you approach your functional team with the right criteria in mind, you will bring the right expertise to your project and deliver that project more efficiently.