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Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy (Voices That Matter) Paperback – 17 Oct 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (17 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735713065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735713062
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,054,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Back Cover


About the Author

Ann Rockley is President of The Rockley Group, Inc. Ann has an international reputation in the single sourcing movement and in the fields of content management, e-content, and e-learning. Ann is doing ground-breaking work in the field of information design for content reuse and enterprise content management. She regularly speaks at dozens of conferences around the world on the topics of single sourcing, content management, and e-content. Ann is an Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication and has a Master of Information Science from the University of Toronto. She teaches Enterprise Content Management at the University of Toronto.

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Content management has become a hot topic as organizations have struggled to manage their content. Read the first page
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Ament on 8 July 2003
Format: Paperback
In "Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy," Ann Rockley explains a very complex subject in refreshingly human terms. Like a physician, she believes that pain is information. Acute problems in your content management and authoring processes cause pain. "Deadlines are missed, content is inconsistent, content is missing ... and customers complain." Rockley helps you systematically identify "where it hurts," then walks you through the recovery process. This process leads you to a unified content strategy, which ensures that "information is created, managed, and delivered consistently, in the way that users need it, without duplicating your efforts."
Rockley succeeds in making a very complex subject appear simple. She clearly commands her material. Despite the encyclopedic level of detail found in the book, it is obvious that Rockley is not reaching for information. Rather than pointing to abstract paradigms from a safe distance, she matter-of-factly breaks them into bite-sized scenarios that can easily be understood by readers new to the subject. Rockley drives each point home with concrete example and case studies from the real world. Many readers will recognize their own companies and departments in her examples. Rockley does not present a "one size fits all" content strategy. Instead, she shows you how to ask and answer the right questions for your organization. And she provides straightforward checklists that make it easy for you to implement each step of the process. In so doing, she presents you with a flexible and scalable framework you can use to solve your own problems.
Before you spend a lot of money on content management systems or consulting fees, buy this book. Rockley provides you with the kind of expert consulting that results from decades of experience, and normally comes at a very high price. In effect, she gives away the store.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 23 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Authoritative Study in Content Mgt but Reads like a Thesis 11 Mar. 2003
By Casting Stones - Published on
Format: Paperback
Managing Enterprise Content covers content management strategies from A to Z. It is an authoritative guide on the subject. With that stated, this book assumes the readers have very little knowledge in content management. It is written into 6 parts and follows a "unified" content strategy approach. It initially describes the pitfalls within content management, namely content silos.
As an architect for content management systems, I have a vested interest with increasing my experiences and knowledge in content management. It would have been nice to see real life examples and situations throughout this book. Chapter 10 did provide some mocked up scenerios for content design. Furthermore, the writing style was too dry. Without the real life examples, it was more like the theory of enterprise content management.
It's an excellent study in content management, but I prefer a first person writing style and some solid real life examples.
58 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Misleading title...really unifed content creation 26 Nov. 2003
By dww - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was disappointed that the book was really focused on how to create reusable elements that go into product information such as data sheets, marketing collateral, technical support, etc. It focused on auditing the content, finding the reusability elements across departments, then designing an appropriate hierarchy on top of a content management system. It assumed that content drives the information architecture when in most applications it is the business processes that drive the architecture. It ignored the majority of enterprise content like email, word docs, design specs, forms, etc. that make up the real information content of the enterprise.
If you are someone who creates lots of documentation deliverables in paper, electronic and web formats and need to get costs under control, this is probably a good book. If you are considering a Content Management System to better manage a number of business processes and all the documents that make them go, this is a poor choice for those efforts.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Should be required reading for all content creators 29 Jan. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy delivers on the title's promise--it provides a solid overview of content management including analysis, design, development, implementation, tool selection, and maintenance. The book is strongest in addressing big-picture issues--calculating a return on investment (ROI) for a project, what questions to ask in information modeling, and how to make a transition into content management.
The introductory chapters describe the basic content-management challenge--ensuring that content is consistent and accurate across an enterprise. Rockley et al. do an excellent job of describing typical departmental content "silos," where content is hoarded by each department and little or no reuse occurs. They describe how reuse can break down the silos, reduce the amount of content creation that needs to occur, and ensure that content is consistent across the enterprise. The chapter that describes how to calculate ROI on a content-management strategy is particularly strong. Several examples show the factors that go into such an analysis, and most readers will be able to perform their own assessments based on the examples provided.
In Part II, the book describes how to analyze an existing workflow and determine how best to establish a content-management strategy that replaces or modifies the current workflow. This is interesting reading, but suffers from a lack of illustrations. Many of the workflow proposals are outlined in lengthy, difficult-to-follow tables; they would have been much more effective with accompanying illustrations.
Part III focuses on design of an enterprise content-management system. There is good information here about information modeling, metadata, and the like, and this part will provide a useful overview to readers who are not familiar with these concepts.
The Tools and Technologies section (Part IV) of the book is problematic mainly because the information is too general. The authors provide lists of criteria and evaluation methods for tools, but they shy away from making specific recommendations. A series of case studies that describe best practices and implementation decisions given specific project scenarios would make the information presented here much more relevant. Furthermore, the book stumbles in discussing the rationale for XML as an underlying storage format. XML is emerging as the de facto standard for shared, reusable content. Managing Enterprise Content does a good job of describing how XML fits into content management efforts. But the authors overstate the case at the beginning of the chapter, when they attempt to differentiate between XML solutions and other solutions based on the idea that non-XML solutions require complicated scripting and XML does not. A cursory review of an XSL file would tend to debunk that statement. Nonetheless, an XML/XSL-based approach makes a lot of sense for other reasons, and the authors go on to describe its advantages in some detail.
Part V describes how to make the transition to a unified content management strategy. Here, the real-world experience of the authors becomes apparent as they describe implementation plans, likely problem areas, points of resistance, and strategies for avoiding and overcoming the inevitable problems. The chapter on collaboration does an excellent job of describing collaborative authoring and the required changed in mindset.
The publisher, not the authors, are to blame for some editorial and production problems in the book. There are numerous lengthy, complex tables that are poorly executed. The publisher should have made adjustments to the tables to make them more readable. The text itself reads as though it has not been copy edited--there are numerous grammatical errors, typographical errors, and awkward sentences. No writer produces error-free prose on the first (or fifth) draft; it is the publisher's responsibility to edit and polish manuscript text to produce final copy. Especially in books written for professional writers, it's disappointing to see this lack of quality control from the publisher.
Managing Enterprise Content: A United Content Strategy delivers the first comprehensive overview of enterprise content management concepts. It should be required reading for anyone involved in creating, managing, or publishing content.
-Sarah O'Keefe
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Content reuse, not Enterprise Content Management..., 4 Nov. 2006
By ewomack - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book's title has probably attracted those interested in Enterprise Content Management. ECM has increasingly become a major buzz in business strategy circles as the information age tidal wave spills over into organizations and floods them with content. We're literally drowning. "Managing Enterprise Content" does not discuss ECM in broad terms, such as structured and unstructured content, email, scanned documents, OCR, ICR, etc. Instead, it focuses on content reuse. To take a simple example, a product brochure, a website, and a press release all include descriptions of a product. Why, the book argues, rewrite that description three separate times for each medium? Why not write it just once, store it in a content management system, and then reuse it over and over again? "Content Modularization" or "Content Reuse" probably describe the goals of this book less confusingly than "Managing Enterprise Content." But, in fairness to the authors, the current title isn't inaccurate, it just lends itself easily to misunderstanding. To reiterate: those looking for a course in Enterprise Content Management conforming to the Association for Information and Image Management's (AIIM) guidelines should look elsewhere.

Nonetheless, those looking for a strategy to manage distributable content throughout an organization should take a look at "Managing Enterprise Content." The focus remains on implementing a "unified content strategy," which translates essentially to an efficient reuse of content. Here the word "content" has a specific sense relating to verbiage authored for a specific use. Product descriptions, mission and vision statements, disclaimers, compliance and regulatory announcements, anything widely distributable qualifies. How does one efficiently manage the creation and the evolution of such content across an organization? This obviously implies some form of centralization (although this pregnant term gets strategically avoided for obvious reasons). And this further implies a software system. But prior to purchasing an expensive application, the business must align itself process-wise to enable content reuse. Otherwise the costly program will sit and rot. The first three parts of the book (I - III), comprising its first twelve chapters, discuss these necessary preparations and walk the reader through to implementation. This progression mirrors, for good reasons, the project management and software development life cycle processes. First, determine the concept or the "why?" of the project (Chapters 1 & 2). Then perform cost benefit analysis (Chapter 3 discusses ROI for content reuse), analyze and prioritize the current content infrastructure, the "As-Is" (Chapters 4 through 6), look to the future by modeling and designing the elements of the system the "To-Be" (Chapters 7 through 11), and finally implement the reusable content infrastructure (Chapter 12). Evaluation of software tools and technology should come before implementation, but the book instead covers these topics in Part IV (Chapters 13 to 18). So it's that easy to implement a unified content strategy? Well, no, not really.

Part V, the book's final section, outlines the inevitable issues that face organizational restructuring. Implementation of a unified content strategy will probably necessitate fundamental changes. Roles will get changes, people moved around, departments will get realigned or reorganized. All of this can sap morale or cause anxiety amongst employees. The author is not an authority on such issues, so this section of the book remains somewhat cursory and high-level. Conflict management gets deferred to a website (the book contains an out of date URL, but the book's website[...] has an updated address), and the advice presented here will probably not surprise anyone. Still, managing change remains an important part of any new implementation and this section, though rudimentary, will at least raise awareness.

Lastly, the appendices contain a grab bag of information. Appendix C, on vendors, has probably suffered from age (these days, a lot can happen in three years), but it may provide some good leads. Appendix B, "Writing for Multiple Media," probably could have appeared in the main body of the book; it contains important details not covered elsewhere.

Overall, the book does give a plausible outline for implementing the proposed strategy. Some of the chapters may seem overly simplistic or overlong to those experienced with system implementations or business process management. At the very least, "Managing Enterprise Content" may introduce some readers to the concept of enterprise content reuse. That concept remains a challenging one that will likely mean different things to different organizations. So this book does not provide the final word on the subject, nor does it intend to. An organization can only use this book as a blueprint or a guidepost for implementing its own unified content strategy.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Roadmap for CM Success 28 Jan. 2003
By Robert H. Wallace - Published on
Format: Paperback
Pundits have guesstimated that, depending on the industry, anywhere from 75 percent to 90 percent of a company's information assets are stored in monolithic documents. And as recently as five years ago, most company executives and technical administrators would've said, "so what?" After all, Microsoft Word was (and still is) ubiquitous, the dominant paradigm had always been to store content in an unstructured manner, and most companies saw little value in managing content any other way. Some of the larger software development companies were exceptions because they had to create online help files consistent with training manuals or computer-based training systems. Except for these environments, managing information assets on a sizable scale wasn't common.
Then in 1998 the World Wide Web Consortium released its specification for the Extensible Markup Language (XML), a technology that opened the doors for pulling enterprise content out of proprietary formats and converting it into manageable data. Nearly five years later, it seems that every mid- to large-sized company is scrambling to put its information assets into a structured content-management environment before its competition does.
If you're wondering what all the hoopla is about, check out Ann Rockley's new book, Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy. This book contains more than 500 pages describing a systemic method for defining, evaluating, and preparing for an enterprise-wide content management program that actually benefits a company's bottom line.
Note that I said "content management program"; this book outlines a business development process, not a "one size fits all" IT project or "buy and try" software implementation. And even though Ann owns The Rockley Group and her two contributing authors are company employees, Managing Enterprise Content isn't a thinly disguised sales pitch in book form. This book outlines how to analyze corporate information assets, develop business processes to better leverage these assets, build technology systems for managing the assets, and prepare employees to recognize assets, follow the processes, and use the technology.
The book's sections contain chapters related to the section topic. Section I defines the fundamentals of a unified content strategy. Sections II and III are excellent, detailed descriptions of the content auditing and modeling processes -- the keys to success in any content management solution. Section IV is an overview of tools and technologies that support a large-scale content management implementation, and Section V describes how to manage the implementation. Section VI contains valuable resources such as strategy and tools checklists and an informative segment on how to pick the vendor or vendors that are right for your organization.
Don't let the book's structure fool you, however. Managing Enterprise Content isn't a high-level introduction to content management for a senior vice-president. The book reads as a road map for implementing a content management solution. It's not a book expressly for IT managers, although I think most would benefit from reading it. It's also not just for the business manager. Managing Enterprise Content is for the person who manages both the technologies and the processes for developing and distributing the information assets of an organization, because the book deals with the technical and business challenges in an implementation.
This duality of business and technology is part of the underlying theme of the whole book: A content management solution cannot be successful if it is approached as simply a "technology problem" or a "business problem." The business people have to begin by understanding how the content they create is reused elsewhere within the corporation, and they have to change the way they write to support reusing the content. Likewise, the technologists can't just interview two or three business experts and then go off to create a viable content management solution.
But many books on this subject have this same theme. These other books state that it takes a concerted effort from the business community to identify reusable content, create a usable workflow, and define the lifecycle for various content types, and it takes IT resources to evaluate the tools and delivery systems to support the effective creation, management, and archiving of content assets. What differentiates Rockley's book from the rest is that she describes the intersection of business and IT in creating a viable solution, and the bulk of her book defines this middle ground.
As I said earlier, the keys to success in content management are the content audit and the content model. The audit and model together define the essential components of the knowledge assets managed within a company, and taken together they're the foundation for every other process in developing a solution, including the evaluation of tools and vendors. In Chapters 4 through 12, Rockley takes the reader through the steps and products of the audit and modeling exercises, and then describes how information from these exercises define the metadata, workflow, and systematic requirements of a comprehensive, robust implementation. It requires business acumen and technological expertise to navigate this "no man's land" in creating a content management solution, and Rockley proves she's up to the challenge.
Personally, I found the passages described above and the resources in Section VI to be the most valuable parts of the entire book. If you understand the potential value of a unified content-management solution for your organization but are having trouble selling it to management, Chapter 3, "Assessing return on investment for a unified content strategy," and Chapter 4, "Where does it really hurt?" are worth the cover price. Those chapters describe a methodology for determining the ROI for implementing a content management solution within an organization and the ways to uncover "hidden" opportunities and challenges addressed by a unified solution.
If you're currently involved in bringing content management to your enterprise, or if you're getting ready to implement soon, you'll certainly want to pick up a copy of Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy. And if you're just starting to think about what an unified content solution could mean for your company, this book is an essential resource for understanding the entire process from conceptualization to implementation.
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