With the exception of (very) early-stage startups, most companies already have content and content development processes. A thorough assessment of these information products is in order to ensure that you can avoid repeating any mistakes made in the past. It is also helpful to understand the gap between the strategy you need and the strategy currently in place. The burden of converting existing content over to a new system may affect your choices.
- Existing information products
- Information development process
- Output requirements (old and new)
- Reuse opportunities
- Extremely outdated tools (WordPerfect, anyone?), which indicate that nobody has given the content development process any attention in at least a decade.
- Information products that do not have a clear purpose or audience, such as a user guide that alternates between beginner content and deep technical content.
- Incoherent instructions, such as procedures with dozens of steps or instructions embedded in paragraphs (rather than steps).
- Terrible writing with poor grammar, run-on sentences, and bad word choice, usually in a single sentence.
- Repetitive, mind-numbing details instead of useful technical information.