Step 6: Look for reusable information
Creating content in small, modular units allows you to easily reuse the content for multiple purposes without losing the integrity of the information.
Installation instructions you developed for a user manual can be repurposed for technical guides, training documents, and sales and marketing materials. Similarly, key concepts surrounding the necessity for Anti-Money Laundering Act compliance can be used in training, customer service, security, and IT. Reusing information in a consistent way from one document to the next helps ensure compliance and reduce corporate risk.
Research has shown that creating content in small, well-defined units also makes information easier to find and remember, aids comprehension, and significantly reduces the time it takes to update and revise documents. If your documents aren't structured into small, well-defined information modules that are grouped together into meaningful topics, it will be difficult to ensure compliance and productivity.
Think of your modules of information as “building blocks” that can be reused to assemble other documents.
Ask these questions:
- Have you created small, well-defined units of information?
- Have you grouped information into meaningful, relevant topics?
- Can your units of information easily be reused for multiple purposes?