Using pilot projects


Responding to feedback gains you converts who can win over others in a department adopting a new workflow. These converts are also an invaluable resource for explaining the benefits of change when new content processes are implemented across a company.

This is particularly true if you start with a pilot project that affects just one department (or a smaller segment of a big department). The pilot project enables a core group to develop a process and work out any kinks before expanding the changes across the organization. The participants in the pilot then act as “evangelists” who explain process change to other employees as the new workflow is rolled out to other groups.

These evangelists can gather feedback from the new groups and work with the process implementers to address department-specific challenges and any newly identified deficiencies in the overall process. Feedback from those who were not involved in the pilot can sometimes uncover issues the primary participants missed.

Generally, employees facing changes to their workflow are more receptive to hearing another employee explain how an updated process made things better (“To create PDF and HTML versions of content, I press two buttons. That’s it!”) than listening to management talk about process change in less specific terms. However, when employees from one department are sharing information about new content workflows with another department, they need to be diplomatic and sensitive in their approach (particularly if there is a history of tension between the departments).

It would not be wise, for example, to have employees from the tech comm department go to the marcom group and tell those employees they must use the tech comm methodology. Instead, the tech comm employees should explain the benefits the tech comm department reaped from the new workflow and then talk with the marcom group about how to apply and adapt the processes for marketing content. A good content strategy can accommodate differences in content while still enabling content collaboration and streamlining the development and distribution of information.



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