Donuts, Content Management, and Information Governance
I was on vacation for two weeks, which was awesome. My girls mainly wanted to do two things:
- Eat great homemade food (Beehive Cake, a Scandinavian classic, was on the list of 10 recipes)
- Do crafts (from designing and making their own shirts to making sun jars)
I had my own list of projects, too. The big one was installing glass tile on the kitchen backsplash. (Grout everywhere. That’s all I’m saying.)
After two weeks of glorious holiday, I sat down to take stock. The old technical writer in me came creeping out, and I began to count how many sets of instructions we followed over the course of the two weeks—more than 15, definitely. And the amazing thing? They were all right. Every. Last. One. From proper application of fabric paint to proper frying temperature for homemade donuts, to putting together a shoe rack that came in 20 pieces.
I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have happened five years ago. The difference comes from an increased awareness in the important of great user assistance. Without successful *use*, who is going to evangelize your product?
In EIM, we have a well-seasoned group of Information Developers. They apply information governance principles every day:
- Create a single source of master information (in this case, product step-by-step instructions)
- Manage versioning of master information (as product updates happen)
- Survey end-users of the information to gauge quality, freshness, and applicability of master information
- Establish master information RACI models for owners, reviewers, and informed stakeholders.
Sometimes we group this knowledge management work into other categories, like Content Management. However, information governance needs to also be inclusive of these activities. Otherwise, how will you be successful? No one can live on donuts alone!