How to implement content reuse
Why recycle content?
Recycling and reuse of content enable a deeper understanding of costs and lead times for new projects and provide opportunities to estimate possibilities to upscale content production and distribution. In addition, technical writers don´t need to spend their time on repetitive tasks.
Reusing content enables several possibilities besides the obvious reduction of repetitive tasks for writers. Among other things, reusing content enables estimation of the business´ capacity to up-scale content and provides a clear overview of costs and lead times for existing and new projects.
The definition of reusing content is to write something once, store it in one place and then share to several channels at the same time. A first step, towards reusing content, is to investigate and perform an inventory of how much and which organizational content that are identical or similar.
Recycling revolutionizes the development of your content
Recycling is a timesaver that streamlines the development of your content. The challenge is often to perform the research and figure out how and where the benefits from recycling are obvious and pays off from implementation day one. Another thing is to dare take it slow, thoroughly implementing the new way of work, understanding that sharpening the tools, takes both time and effort, knowing that reusing content save resources.
The obvious reasons to recycling content are often based on common business goals such as knowing that:
- Reusing saves time
- Reusing saves money
AFRY Zert CLM enables an agile process for implementing structured reuse of content reuse and the benefits are immediately apparent.
Lack of anchoring tend to impair results of change and might even cause additional difficulties. We recommend to set a solid plan before the work begins. And also to take small steps and don’t rush. Markus Eriksson, Section Manager and product owner AFRY Zert RM
Where to begin?
Showing fast results facilitates a smooth transition. By identifying obvious problems and start with a handful, the positive effects will be felt and immediate, which often motivates taking the next step in the process.
We have identified some recurrent issues that the writers face when not reusing content. One of them is updating a text that occurs in several places. If one should miss changing the text in a publication and continue to copy past the wrong text, the problem will just grow.
This is where AFRY Zert CLM steps in and erase the root cause. With single sourcing in AFRY Zert CLM a phrase will always have the same source despite where it is used. Using the version management make it easy to view the changing history and translations if the phrase needs to change.
Change costs energy- participation and milestones are important for the persistence.
As already mentioned, solving the most obvious problems, that leads to quick improvements, shows the value of reusing. As in all change management, a first convincing step creates momentum for the implementation. To succeed with the next phase, perpetuate maintenance and uphold the everyday routine we believe in encouraged engagement and the power to influence from the very beginning.
The writers have the best perception of their work and are daily involved in content development, hence they sit on the answers to many of the initial questions. A writher are fully aware of which parts of the content that are copy/pasted most often and where changes are frequent. Start with collecting the team and identify some of these issues.
Identifiy, Implement, Evaluate, Celebrate - repeat!
It is impossible to implement reusing in a whole company during just one day. Make sure not to start with too much changes at once. Dare to limit! One change is better than none. Another way of lowering the threshold is to set a time limit to the changes, a test period. That also gives a natural opportunity to evaluate the work. When effects of reusing are starting to show, the time that used to be used for repetitive work can instead be used for more creative work and produces more valuable information.
AFRY Zert CLM – a web service with built-in reuse of content in all levels
We are aware of the challenges writers and their managers are facing and have in order to meet the needs developed AFRY Zert CLM during a time. This has resulted in ready to go solution to a lot of the challenges. If your company has a multilingual content, it is preferable to work with reusing, since translations also are reused instead of repeating the translation over and over again.
With AFRY Zert CLM you can save up to 70% in translation costs.
That little extra
Zert CLM is AFRY´s web based system used to produce technical information and contains all you need to create, collect, maintain and publish multilingual technical documentation and aftermarket material. The program is powerful, user-friendly and easy to adapt to your needs.
Taking recycling one step further reusing any component. With AFRY Zert CLM any component may be reused, phrases as well as chapters, subjects, tables and other building blocks forming a publication. The programs´ single source content based process make this possible as well as other advantages compared to traditional CMS and CCMS.