Deputy head of digital comms Alex Pardoe on how our newly-formed content team has transformed the way we deliver content.
This post is about the new way of working for the Digital Officers. Where previously we assigned project work to individual staff members through the project framework, now we’re assigning projects to the newly-formed “content team” and they’re using a modified version of Agile Scrum to get them not just done, but done-done.
Scrum for content?
Scrum has been used for years in software development, and we liked it for its simplicity and open-ended application. We felt it could work well for discovery and content design work as a team activity. Jeff Sutherland’s wife, Arline, adopted Scrum practices to improve communication and productivity in local churches. It’s not just for coding.
Jeremy Torrance, head of digital comms, reflects on our recent two-day content design workshop.
If you’re producing content for websites and you haven’t heard of content design you really should take a long hard look in the mirror. Content design – creating content that’s focused on what the user needs to know rather than what publishers want to tell them – is a skill every content producer needs to have.
It’s not easy and does require something of a change in mindset. So to get our content folk on the path to enlightenment we brought in Hinrich von Haaren from Content Design London for a content design workshop.
After the session I asked all the attendees to share one or two things they learned from it. Here they are.
- Does your content strictly cover a user need? If not, bin it.
- Business needs and user needs do not need to be in conflict with one another. It’s tempting to start a project with the business needs in mind, but you won’t necessarily reach those objectives and targets if you can’t engage and help the user. By putting the user needs at the core of the project you are more likely to meet your business needs as well.
- During content planning, explore the acceptance criteria which underpin user needs. (more…)
Digital Manager Antony Theobald on how improving our internal support processes will ultimately benefit users of our website.
Here at the University of Bristol, we operate a devolved publishing model for web content.
‘Devolved’ publishing for us means we have nearly 2,000 web publishers creating and updating content across hundreds of sub-sites and pages under bristol.ac.uk.
For us as a digital team, this has some pros and many cons.
Without going into all of those here, we’ve recently started addressing one of the major cons: one small team supporting a vast community of publishers.
Digital never stays still. Consultant web developer Rich Higgins looks at how we’ve been prototyping to ensure we don’t get left behind.
There’s a lot of content to publish at a university. Course information, research stories, news, events… the list goes on. On top of that, media consumption and audiences are increasingly varied and global. Digital is more important than ever, but what do we mean by digital?
“Applying the culture, practices, processes & technologies of the Internet-era to respond to people’s raised expectations.”
Tom Loosemore’s oft-quoted definition suggests more than just reading from a computer screen instead of a printed article. It suggests we need to raise our game to meet the ever-evolving user needs of our time. And at Bristol we’ve been looking at doing precisely this. (more…)