Creating fantastic content often involves hours of meticulous planning, research, and creation. Whether your content production team has three members or 50, you need to have a consistent, efficient workflow to stay on top of your projects.
In her book entitled “Content Strategy for the Web,” Kristina Halvorson says that content workflow defines how content is requested, sourced, produced, evaluated, accepted, and distributed. And the secret to effective content workflow is documentation.
Document Your Workflow
Everything that you don’t document gets lost. Even if you don’t already have a documented workflow, your team already has it. What you have to do is to identify who does what and when they do it.
For example, a workflow for writing blog posts can start with the content strategist who creates the brief. The brief is then given to the copywriter/content writer who proceeds to research, ideate, create an outline, and write a draft.
With the draft at hand, the graphic designer will then create fantastic images to accompany the blog post. Then, a subject matter expert will review the blog post and request for revisions when needed. When the blog post is finalized, it will be uploaded to the CMS for further review and approval.
To identify the actors and tasks of your workflow, get a paper and pencil and create a diagram or table clearly showing the actor, the task, and the progression of tasks.
Documenting your workflow has two main benefits. It serves as a guide that your team can reference so that they’ll know their tasks when it’s their turn and who does what overall. It also highlights inefficient processes that need to be eliminated or changed.
Stay on Top with Project Management Tools
It’s shocking how many file exchanges, revisions, and notes change hands before a piece of content gets done. It’s a war zone, and you have to be equipped with the best tools to win.
A project management platform will let you manage every part of your workflow with ease. The content strategist can give the creative brief to the content writer, the content writer can upload the draft, the graphic designer can upload the images, and the subject matter expert can request revisions all in one software. It’s also helpful to know at a glance whether a task is in progress, finished, or for review. Having this kind of platform significantly cuts production time and keeps the project manager sane.
If you’re going to introduce a new piece of software to the team, it’s essential to train them properly on how to use it correctly. You also need to ensure that they understand why the software is vital and how it will benefit the entire team. You should be available whenever they have questions or issues with the platform so as not to halt the progress of the tasks.
It’s hard to stay agile when the workflow is inconsistent and unclear. Make sure to orient everyone on the team about their roles and make the visual representation of the workflow available to everybody for easy reference.