In this continuation of parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the “Using CMS Technologies for Streamlined L&D Operations” series, this blog post highlights areas that affect your content management strategies when streamlining your organization’s learning and development (L&D) operations.
Efficiencies in Pre- and Post-Development (or Redevelopment) Through to Delivery
● How can the CMS capabilities and distribution channels reduce time to market?
○ Consider current distribution channels, both public and authenticated, that can be replaced with direct publication mechanisms to reduce administrative tasks.
● How can your CMS content, whether single-sourced or not, be used to reduce production time for operations that occur outside the CMS environment?
○ Can you publish to parts of your website?
○ Can you publish to parts of your learning management system?
○ Can you publish to internal company systems to share information?
○ Can you export content in a way that instructional designers can use?
○ Can you export content or data for project or business insights?
● Collaborate with cross-functional teams to identify how the CMS can benefit others too.
○ Consider internal practices such as branding requirements that can be adopted.
○ Consider style guides, reports, and dashboards that can improve effectiveness.
○ Consider where silos may exist in the organization and assist to overcome them.
○ Consider sales and marketing expectations for efficient publication or updates to ensure they have the most accurate information to drive new and returning business.
Streamlined (New) Content Development
● How can the CMS capabilities improve or streamline content development?
○ Consider ways to focus on content management over design management.
○ Consider whether the CMS has project management or reporting capabilities.
○ Consider how defined project plans for new, updated, or redesigned content can help establish the content architecture, mapping, metadata, and reuse potential.
○ Leverage graphic designers, subject matter experts, and multimedia specialists that already create content that relates or can be reused by the CMS.
○ Consider translation vendors that work and produce native CMS outputs versus vendors that require cross-platform processing that increases cost, operations, engineering and project management hours, as well as time to market.
● How can the CMS capabilities streamline content updates and changes?
○ Consider ways content writers can quickly and easily update existing information.
○ Consider ways to automate distribution and reduce manual updating tasks.
○ Consider ways to update in one place while affecting many outputs.
○ Consider ways to update in one place while affecting cross-functional teams.
○ Consider ingesting content writers that can support the CMS ecosystem.
○ Consider project management needs that the CMS can facilitate, if any.
○ Consider new ideas and markets that otherwise require too much overhead.
● Consider digital asset management (DAM) or repository-sharing options.
○ Support the training team, directly or indirectly, by bridging other team assets.
○ Eliminate silos that eat into revenue, overhead costs, and operational efficiency.
○ Support new content developers with the ability to search a front-facing library of multimedia assets such as graphics, screenshots, logos, audio, video, and so on.
○ Support instructional design teams by giving them access to multimedia and not the CMS, which may be out of scope for their needs.
○ Support external vendors and developers with what they need while keeping the information (intellectual property) secure.
○ Connect multiple assets repositories safely and securely, while reducing the need to change currently established workflows.
Effective and Engaging Delivery Tailored to Your Target Audience(s)
When you examine each of the other areas, you can identify the elements most important to your organization and you as the intellectual property authority. Once you identify those pieces, you can then use the knowledge stored within or connected to the CMS to create user-centered experiences that are tailored to your target audiences’ specific needs and use cases.
Last, perform a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis and prioritize which elements to pursue first based on immediate needs. Determine which elements are achievable based on the status of your implementation. For example, if you know that your organization needs multiple versions of the same type of output, it may be in your team’s best interest to focus on creating a page layout that can be used for each of those outputs. As a result, you will have not only produced the required content but also streamlined and defined the end-to-end production process.
Once you determine what to address, you can determine what elements to handle over time. This process will help you to outline your CMS implementation or expansion roadmap. A CMS implementation has various moving parts, an upfront investment, and a commitment to change; however, the long-term returns and benefits are infinitely worth it. Not only will you reduce inefficiencies, but you will set yourself up with an operation that can scale for many years and be much better at pivoting to the needs of your audience.
About the Authors
Christina “Christy” Freire is an accomplished project manager, learning systems architect, educational technologist, and instructional designer with over 15 years of experience working in a variety of training and education environments. Christy is currently the Global Program Manager of Curriculum at Cellebrite Inc., digital intelligence and forensic company.
Jessica Johnston is a CMS admin at Cellebrite, a digital intelligence and forensics company. She has an extensive background in technical writing and editing and has designed and implemented Flare projects in the areas of legal technology, public safety, and financial services.