One of the most important jobs of a Content Manager is making sure writers can find the right answers when completing RFx projects. It is imperative that RFx writers are able to quickly and easily search the content library to locate the most up-to-date answer specific to their needs. This becomes especially critical in large, complex organizations where there are multiple variations of each response specific to each question. Here are a few tips for organizing your content!
1. Walk a Mile in Their Shoes
Before you redefine the content library structure, take a few days to speak with the different stakeholders. Ask questions and shadow both RFx writers and content managers 1-on-1 to learn what is working and what could use improvement.
- What are the current content management structures and processes?
- Where is content stored? How is access to the content shared?
- What about your content management system is working and what could use improvement?
- Can you identify pain points for anyone trying to find or utilize content?
- How do you identify your most frequently used content?
- How can you find who is responsible for maintaining content or providing updates?
Seeing how each team member currently works may expose areas of opportunity you didn’t know about. Atlassian has an incredible article on the importance of building a content management structure with practical applications regardless of your organization’s size and industry.
If you try to implement new ideas before fully understanding what issues you are trying to solve, it may cause more headaches in the long run. Take the time to do research upfront, and your team will thank you for it!
2. Meeting of the Minds
Bring everyone together! Once you have done some research on the problems your team is facing, pull together a task force and start to build solutions.
When you are deciding on how to organize your content library, your goal should be to reduce pain points for each stakeholder and eliminate redundancy. The organization of your library helps to establish that solid foundation for new opportunities your colleagues uncover. Utilize unique filters, tags, and identifiers to appropriately bifurcate your content across key variables – such as the associated industry, proposal type, modification date, approval status, or requesting party.
3. Start Small!
However, you don’t have to make all the changes at once. Start with a few changes and check back with the team in a few weeks to see how things are working.
If you find writers are constantly having to ask the same questions of Subject Matter Experts (SME), start to identify better tagging practices to help make that content easier to find. Collaborate alongside your writers and uncover the ways in which they are conducting their search for information: does their approach coincide with the tagging practices that have been established?
Likewise, if you find content managers are not able to stay up-to-date on their content, then reiterate your focus on defining a reasonable maintenance schedule instead of trying to update content ad-hoc. In establishing a reasonable maintenance schedule, it is key to assign content updates to specific colleagues or teams that are best suited to edit the content on a timely basis. As your firm begins managing increasingly complex content and handling more opportunities, there is often a tipping point in which your team will benefit from a content management system that automates assignment, approval, and expiration dates for content so that your team is always putting its best foot forward. Once your team has hit its stride in this new, proactive approach, the entire RFx process will become smoother.
4. Committee for Change
Change management is a critical part of ensuring you have team buy-in to any new process or procedure in an organization. Find a few Change Champions and task them with planning and implementing the new content management structure.
There are many approaches to a content management system that works. Catapult can help consult with your team to find a plan that sets your team up for success. Contact our Customer Excellence team today for a complimentary content management consultation.