Make Content Your First Priority in a Digital Workplace Launch
Eloquor Consulting, Inc.
It was just four weeks before their scheduled launch and our client’s project lead hadn’t made any progress on wrangling thousands of pieces of content for a new HR site on their digital workplace. How would they be ready for launch?
It’s a classic example of why you should never leave content until the last. Particularly HR content, which has legal requirements. If you remember nothing else from the story I’m about to tell, remember this: start your content work in earnest at least 6 months prior to launch.
Our client’s new HR site involved more than 20 countries and HR content from areas such as benefits, retirement, payroll, learning and development, and policy. Across the many HR sites we’ve worked on, most come out with about 300 web pages and several thousand documents, and this site would be no exception. Organizations that prefer pages to documents will have more pages. In the case of our recent project, some of the content was provided in multiple languages.
To further complicate the situation, the client was working to integrate a recent acquisition, however many of the HR elements hadn’t been integrated. This meant multiple plans.
HR content doesn’t typically change but once a year, so it’s the type of content that can be worked on early to prepare for a launch. Here are the steps we recommend taking to prepare:
- Figure out what you have: Inventory everything already posted. Delete or archive what you can. Develop a list of everything that must migrate and determine which of those require improvement (e.g., rewritten, edited). Identify pieces of content that are missing. Lean on content owners to make these decisions as they know best.
- Prioritize and make assignments: You won’t be able to work on everything at once, so prioritize the content list and determine who is responsible for improvements.
- Make the improvements: This is where most organizations get bogged down. It’s difficult for a small communication team to take on this type of project on top of their regular commitments. It’s even harder to get content owners in HR to clean up their content. It requires a really well organized project manager to chase and keep track of the many different pieces and parts. See my thoughts on the project manager – along with some other tips – in a related post on my blog.
- Plan ahead to deploy a quality user experience: Think through the best way to post different types of content. See my related blog post with more details.
- Migrate and post: If you cannot do this with an automation tool, you’ll have significant hours in posting and linking everything manually.
- Quality assurance and approvals: Have content owners and a QA team or small user team review prior to launch to make sure everything is working correctly.
Why It’s Bad to Leave Content Until the End
If you leave content until right before launch:
- You’re more likely to post old, outdated, or inaccurate content
- You’re less likely to take proper advantage of your technology to deliver a great user experience
When it comes to HR sites, content is definitely king. Do it right by starting early.
Learn more at February’s Transitioning Your Intranet to a Digital Workplace conference in Atlanta.
Stacy Wilson, ABC, Eloquor Consulting, helps companies communicate more effectively with employees in the digital workplace. Her specialty is supporting governance, usability, content and adoption for digital workplaces/intranets, along with change communication for technology change such as ERP implementations. Connect with Stacy at LinkedIn or on Twitter, or with Eloquor on Facebook.
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