Apathetic leaders, change-resistant employees and lack of training can put the kibosh on your implementation plans.
You and your team worked hard to develop your organization’s new corporate content standard. It’s optimized for the information your audiences need. Users who tested it love its look and feel. It’s compatible with your CMS technologies, too. You’re justifiably proud of what your team has accomplished. But don’t relax quite yet—you still have a long way to go.
Developing a good content standard is only half the battle. Your next challenge will be to implement it throughout the enterprise. As you begin, be prepared to deal with 3 potential obstacles that can lead to failure. Let’s examine each of them.
In most organizations, the support of top leaders who endorse—and mandate—use of the new standard is an absolute requirement for success. Just “getting the green light” from the C levels won’t be enough. Convince your leaders to enthusiastically champion the standard: it’s the best way to ensure that everyone in the organization gets the memo.
A new standard represents change, and as a change agent you can expect to encounter at least some resistance. There may be lawyers who don’t want to untangle the gobbledygook of legalese, or technical teams worried that you’re trying to “dumb down” their documentation. Security professionals may resist clarifying certain processes. Pushback can also come from employees who simply dislike change of any kind. Capture hearts and minds by selling the benefits of the standard where you can, while relying on leadership’s enthusiasm and influence to convert the hard cases.
Even with strong leadership support and with everyone else on board, your new content standard won’t work for very long unless everyone who writes understands how to apply it. Your implementation plan should include training that gives writers the skills they’ll need. Non-writers who contribute to documentation will need at least some training, too.
Don’t let implementation issues deprive your organization of the benefits of a corporate content standard. Recognizing the obstacles and being prepared to deal with them will help ensure your success.
Read our white paper “Do you need a corporate content standard?” to learn more about creating and implementing a corporate content standard in your organization.
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