Enterprise content management (ECM) isn’t about software. As a technical communication agency, we often work with the Enterprise Content Management team. Sometimes we’re even part of it. We find ourselves at the crossroads of the three dimensions of ECM: people, content, and system.
People and system
Negotiating between system and people, for example, we train content owners and information managers to use the ECM software to their advantage. ECM editing software and content management tools have become more user-friendly over the years. However, they still have a hard time striking a balance between a simple user interface and features-flogging toolbars.
Talking about features, for IT departments we act as functional analysts in this matter. We also develop governance guidelines for content selection, page ownership, and approval workflows.
People and content
But content owners may also need help creating content. What does the audience need to know? What do you put on the intranet? What content goes in a work instruction? What should I insert into the user manual or publish onto the video channel? What about images? How do I make sure that I can easily update content?
Coaching will help a content owner on the right track. If content and system are well-aligned, that is. To make sure, we help adapt the system to its users and its content.
System and content
All begins with an information architecture that is both as future-proof as they come and easy to understand. An organization may be complex, but an information product shouldn’t add to that complexity. One level below the information architecture, we create templates. People create the ‘what’ and ‘why’, the ‘how’ is provided by the system’s templates.
About ECM: Enterprise content management (ECM) is a formalized means of organizing and storing an organization’s documents and other content, that relate to the organization’s processes. The term encompasses strategies, methods, and tools used throughout the lifecycle of the content.