When it comes to rolling out any major changes in the workplace, you should aim for a gradual roll-out of integrations and automations – no-one likes a high-risk big bang approach and not all of them are needed to return value from day 1.
We recommend you select one functional area or, even better, one end-to-end workflow, and build up from there. You will undoubtedly learn as you go along, uncovering edge cases and solutions. You will also start realising value early on and your overall organisational efficiency should continuously increase.
During roll-out, to some users it might seem like you are adding friction into the workflow, without adding much value.
This might just be a perception issue: not all users embrace change with the same ease. Those users should feel heard — and loved! They should be able to express their concerns. They should be trained and supported. A good user interface is key to winning them over. With the right support, they will find that the new tools are giving them greater control and efficiency over their jobs. They should even become advocates.
However, in some cases, this may not just be perception. In rare instances, it is possible that a particular user’s job will become harder. Imagine someone used to doing their job in Excel. Unstructured data and no business logic means they can enter whatever they want with zero friction. They can, for instance, schedule episode 13 of a season with only 12 episodes, and Excel will let them do it. However, this poor quality data will create huge operational headaches downstream — when the materials for episode 13 are nowhere to be found. For this particular user, introducing to their job a new system with data validation might feel like introducing new friction. This should prompt a conversation across multiple stakeholders at many levels in the organisation, as the impact of the changes may cross reporting lines. A clear workflow mapping demonstrating the overall value to the business of the new approach will be crucial to these conversations.
It’s About People
Finally, rationalising content ops is not a tiny endeavour. You will spend a lot of time with your users and vendors, to design, implement, integrate, train… And, guess what — they are people!
So you should pay close attention to the quality of the people your vendors assign to the project, and how they engage with your teams. Evaluating a vendor should not consist solely of asking them to fill in hundreds of tick boxes on an RFP matrix of requirements. While this may be a useful exercise — particularly to identify functional gaps — this by no means tells the whole story. You also need confidence that, in practice, you will work smoothly with your vendor’s team: do they understand your business? Can you communicate with them simply and effectively? Are your discussions candid and transparent? The answers to these questions don’t usually shine through in an RFP process. So you should spend a bit of time getting to know the teams more personally before selecting a vendor.
And, of course, you should pay close attention to the users and stakeholders in your organisation. The journey you’re embarking on will affect systems, processes and people, right across the organisation. This is about business transformation — not just technology. Make sure your project is recognised and treated as such. You will need to assign resources to the project and you will need to set up the right forums to gather input, share status, hear concerns and address them. You’re transforming the way people in your company work, and you need to take them along on the journey.
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