Sunday, October 7, 2012

KPIs and Metrics for Managing Content Development

Bernard Aschwanden is a tremendously dynamic speaker. So although I've never been a big metrics guy, I decided to attend. Besides, understanding metrics when they can be usefully applied is a very valuable thing.

Metrics are calculated measurements, and have to be planned and devised. They can have value as it pertains to particular projects. You have to consider all parts of a project, even if the parts do apply specifically to the metrics you track.

What to measure: time, cost, resources, productivity, quality, efficiency, customer satisfaction, and and other items you may value.

Some of the benefits from understanding and using metrics include you can create more accurate project estimates, you can speak clearly, numerically, and with authority why a project took longer, you can say "no" to increased project scope, you can present information that is easily consumed by management, and you can estimate the benefits of moving content to a CMS. (For the latter, you can show the business reasons for making your decisions.)

Are your FAQs the same from release to release? If your customers are having the same problems, fix the problems! Fix the software!

To start, you have to review your existing state. You need a baseline. What are your known costs? As you move forward, your metrics become more and more established.

Asset reorganization includes content, processes, people, and tools. If you have people who have specific skillsets, take advantage of that.

Moving to an XML-based content system can drastically reduce your content storage space, and can reduce content production costs as well. 

If you need 10 percent of your time to publish to the web and another 10 percent for publishing to PDF, how much can you save by automating the publishing process.

Once you've gotten your estimates, don't touch them. Track actual elsewhere, and then you can compare when you are done.

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