Identifying and interviewing stakeholders


To ensure that your content strategy succeeds in the organization, you need to build momentum and support for the project. One proven way to do this is to identify the people who have the most to gain (or lose) from the new process. These are your stakeholders. You must involve the stakeholders early on in the project so that they have an opportunity to understand what is going to happen, and to ensure that their requirements are addressed in the content strategy plan.

At a minimum, your stakeholders must include the following:

Table 1. Content stakeholders
Functional area Role
Content creators (authors, graphic designers, instructional designers, technical communicators, copywriters, and more) Work in the new system to create content
Product management Provide information about requirements for content products
Engineering Provide support for integrating content into software or hardware; may review content
Information technology (IT) Provide resources to manage and maintain the software systems
Information security Sign off on security of chosen system
Executive management Approve strategic direction and business case; decide whether to provide funding
Legal Review legal implications, which may include the scope of audit trails, ability to roll back content to earlier versions, and how to ensure that a new system meets existing contractual obligations
Localization Provide information about requirements for efficient localization; coordinate with localization vendors to ensure that new content strategy will be supported during translation

During the initial content strategy analysis, you should meet with these and other stakeholders to ensure that their input shapes the final recommendation. It is critical to identify legitimate constraints (“Our software runs on XYZ, so we must deliver in a specific format”) and separate them from obstacles (“I don’t like Windows”). Remember that the difference between an obstacle and a constraint may be the seniority of the person raising the issue.



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