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Content Rationalization: How You Determine Which Content is Important

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In this Podcast, Content Rationalization: How You Determine Which Content is Important, we discuss…

MinTopic
1:01Content Rationalization Overview
3:24Life Cycle of Content
6:59Archiving Information
8:25How You Put Value To Content
9:05Inventory Process


Danny Ryan:It’s Thursday, April 9th, and today I talk with Chris Edwards about content rationalization. Chris and I talk about how do we get the most important high value content over and into Microsoft 365. Enjoy.

 

Today I’m here with Chris Edwards to talk about Content Rationalization. You excited about this Chris? It’s an exciting topic, right?

 

Chris:Why not? Let’s talk about it.

 

Danny Ryan:Everybody. Welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone Podcast. Chris is sporting a new look to his hair. You’re looking good. I like it. I like it a lot.

 

Chris:I’m a simulated brother for the day. I’ll mix in.

 

Danny Ryan:You got bored in quarantine, huh?

 

Chris:It’s like, I can’t really do anything else with my hair. It’s nothing. It’s just growing in weird places. It’s like, I’m just going to take care of this myself and be done with it.

 

Danny Ryan:Well, you got a nice looking melon. So no problem. Let’s jump into this. What is… 10,000 foot level, what are we talking about when we’re talking about content rationalization?

 

Chris:So when we’re talking about content rationalization, what we’re really getting into is more of this process methodology to really focus in on content that’s in your infrastructure, in your organization, that’s truly important, that needs to be retained.

 

And it’s also content in whatever environment you’re talking to. Maybe it’s a SharePoint environment, maybe it’s a Jive environment, maybe it’s something else. It’s also important to identify content that’s not so much important. Maybe things that could be archived, things that could be kind of put aside, if you will.

 

Danny Ryan:So temporary conversations that might not last over a longer period of time and all that sort of stuff. So this probably comes into play with us looking at a lot of our transformations over into Microsoft 365, looking at, if we’re moving from some other platform, what do we need to move over? Where’s the value in the content, of moving that content over.

 

Chris:Right, exactly. From the pure looking at an Microsoft 365, let’s say you’re moving stuff into that environment. Let’s say a Jive migration is a good example. You might have a ton of content that’s old, just purely way out of date, maybe three, four or five years old and may just be a lot of status notifications or status updates, things like that.

 

It’s very important to clearly delineate what is relevant content that’s going to add value going forward. And it’s just one of those things that, when you’re doing say a migration, that’s typically where we start talking about content rationalization. You’re trying to move from one platform to another. So it’s important to identify what is valuable, what is not valuable so that you don’t move over stuff that’s not valuable.

 

It costs money to move stuff, and exceptions to the rules are generated from that. It’s just we don’t want any of that. We want to streamline the process. We want to make sure that high value content is maintained, retained, and we could actually make that content that is valuable shine. We want to make sure it’s highlighted.

 

Danny Ryan:This gets into, we’ve had for many years, I mean this gets back into the good old knowledge management stuff. The stuff that we’ve been having these conversations for many years. And what I think this plays back into as well is the fact that content has a life cycle. So it’s sort of like… let’s take an example because I think that might be best to sort of capture what we’re talking about here. So you and I have an idea, you and I want to work on a webinar together. And so we’ll start having some conversations about it and we’ll start saying, “Well, what do we want to do? Here’s what we have, here’s some things,” and we’ll start sort of like formulating the ideas and that might be a couple of conversations.

 

And then we might start drafting out a PowerPoint deck that has this is what we want to have for the structure for this. And so that gets created, and then there might be other people we start to pull in and then there might be some other assets that come into this. And then we might be storing some notes on how do we produce a webinar. So it’s sort of like internally, what’s our process for producing a webinar?

 

I sort of see this like you’ve got these conversations that need to happen that. Do you need them long term? Probably not because they were a working process part of making things. And then you have, it’s usually in some format, I think of a file format, something that is more permanent instructure. And then I also think there’s this idea of knowledge getting captured in a Wiki style thing where it’s something that’s repeatable. So describing a process that’s repeatable.

 

And you need to think about what’s the value in that document? Well that document, yeah, we want that. What’s the value in that conversation? Well, I mean it might be good to know some things about how we came to the conclusions, but not really that important. What’s important is the process for creating a webinar. Yeah. We need to have that because we don’t want to reinvent that. And so I just sort of see it as like there’s different areas and there’s sort of a life cycle to this stuff as well.

 

Chris:Absolutely. I like to think of it more towards, this is a good analogy? If you’re moving into a new house, you’re downsizing your life into a new house. You kind of your content is all your stuff. You’ve lived in this place for a long time. And now it’s all this stuff you don’t need. You collected a lot of stuff. You don’t need this stuff anymore. And when you move, you realize how much you have. It’s amazing. I’ve gone through that a few times.

 

Danny Ryan:You look like you’re talking from experience right now.

 

Chris:Yeah. I moved enough. And that’s painful, moving that content. Why do you want to keep carrying it around? Especially stuff that’s just not valuable. You need some help. So the other example aspect of it, you need some help prioritizing. How do you know what is valuable? If I was given the task to move, I wouldn’t know what’s valuable for my wife or my kids or anything. They need their help, right? People need help from other people in the organization, if you want to compare it back to the physical content. You need help from others to say what is important, what’s not.

 

So another part of the example of the analogy, you’re moving to a new place. Well there’s new rooms that you didn’t have before. There’s new things, there’s new capabilities, new functionality that you have now. How does that play into that? Does this content move into those new areas. Maybe. Maybe it makes sense, maybe it allows them to shine that way. I don’t know-

 

Danny Ryan:The other thing I think comes into this as well is the archiving. When you’re moving into the new house, what do you put up into the attic that you know you need to have just in case, and then what stuff can you throw away? What stuff can you get rid of? And I’m seeing that a lot with people is, we just need an archive of this site just in case we need to see it in the future. And I think that comes into play as well with this.

 

Chris:Well another example, going back to the kind of moving example, you move into a smaller place. Maybe you need a storage unit. How long do you want to keep that storage unit? That cost money to do that. You’re paying for something you probably may or may not need. So really content rationalization is the act of kind of going through, and doing that work up front and making sure that you really vetted out that content. And now let’s take appropriate action with it. Whether we’re migrating it, whether we’re putting an archive plan, whether we’re putting things around it. We’ve cleared out the cruft and we know exactly what we have and what we’re dealing with.

 

Danny Ryan:How do you put a value to content? And I’m a assume this, and I’m asking this because I wrote a blog post many years ago about trying to figure out how to do this. Is each word document worth X amount of… how do you value the content? And a part of it, I think, that whenever you’re modeling something, the model has to come from the customer because the customer, it’s in their mind what is the value of something? To me it could be completely different than you. And it’s not only an individual, but it has to be an organization’s thought of what the value is of that content. And I don’t have the answer to this, but I just pose the question to you. How do you figure that out?

 

Chris:Well, a lot of times when we’re working with the organization, especially for a migration or something like that, we talk about those things. We try and take inventory. First thing we do, typically, is take inventory of the content. What is the holistic view of all the stuff that’s out there, the stuff that really matters. Do we have a good picture of all of that first? So that’s the first step into feeding this whole process.

 

But then you start looking at things, and you typically we’ll talk through with the customers, like, are the last view dates on a particular piece of content, is that important? Maybe something hasn’t been viewed in two years, three years. If we can easily tell that, if it’s hitting that kind of threshold, maybe that’s an important metric to say it’s not that valuable. People aren’t looking at it, aren’t using it.

 

And also maybe there is something that has been flagged as an answer to something. Typically, we have discussions. Discussions are a very kind of key pieces of content that typically have a question and answer type flavor to them. So let’s say someone’s marked a question and an answer as very important as a published answer. Well that’s probably going to be valuable content to keep. That’s that FAQ. That’s that thing that someone’s vetted out. That’s probably important to keep regardless of how old it is. But then that may come into play too. So there’s all kinds of things, dates, statuses, is it published, is it in draft state? If it’s in draft state then it’s probably not valuable anymore. It may require some additional discussion, may require other…

 

And that’s one thing we do as part of the inventory process, typically, as well when we’re looking at content in general, is it who owns this content? So we could ask these questions. This hasn’t been viewed in two years, but it seems to be a high priority, has some sort of interesting status to it. Let’s go talk to these people. So you have to consider all those things.

 

And one important aspect with migrations in general, because we’re kind of on the edge of that topic, is exceptions. There’s always an exception to the rule. So let’s say we apply certain rules throughout all the inventory content we have. Everything older than two years is considered not important anymore. Well, there may be 10 sites within all of that content that that’s not applicable. That doesn’t make sense.

 

We have to be able to kind of clearly say these are important no matter what. So it’s the whole pattern of practice of going through that process, and making sure we are putting the right rules in place and looking at it through the right lenses without overdoing it, and also accounting for the exceptions. Hopefully that makes sense.

 

Danny Ryan:Absolutely. I think this all fits in fairly well with Rob’s vision the transformation practice, building your digital estate. So I think your analogy of moving is probably a good one. And I don’t think there’s one that’s out there that… it doesn’t all have to be in Microsoft 365, but I think for the people who do need help with that, this is an important subject to them.

 

I know you’re busy so I’m going to let you run back to projects. I appreciate your time here. If folks are hearing this, and you’re asking these questions about content rationalizations, how can you make sure that you’re not losing the value of your content as you, perhaps, move onto Microsoft 365, we’d love to talk to you about that. Chris has done some great stuff with some of the tools we’ve created. He’s the Bazooka. We can still call you the Bazooka. Right?

 

Chris:I’m good with that.

 

Danny Ryan:That’s awesome. So thank you Chris for your time. I’ll let you get back at it. Thank you so much. Thank you everybody for listening and have a wonderful day. Thank you. Bye-bye.

 

Chris:Thanks.

 

Danny Ryan:Thank you for listening to the Work Together Better Podcast. We’re available on SoundCloud, iTunes, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re looking for a partner to help you craft a modern digital workplace in the Microsoft cloud, please come by and see us at threewill.com. That’s the number three spelled out, W-I-L-L.com. Thank you and have a great day.

 

Danny RyanContent Rationalization: How You Determine Which Content is Important

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