“You’re a unique individual, just like everyone else.” I’m not sure who said this first, but it neatly summarizes why you need to think about developing an enterprise-wide strategy for content management. When different areas within organizations ignore the commonalities they share, the result is inconsistent content, unnecessary duplication of effort, and impaired efficiency.

It’s easy to believe that your situation is unique, your challenges are different from everyone else’s, and your solutions are the only ones that will work. Unfortunately, thinking that way can keep you from realizing the benefits of collaborating with others who face the same challenges.

Overlapping content, but no sharing = inefficiency and risk for an oil company

Not long ago, we helped a large oil company standardize their operations documentation across four refineries. These refineries all operated in many of the same ways, but they’d never recognized their similarities. Each one had independently developed its own processes, policies and procedures. Documentation was written differently at each refinery, and each stored and managed its content as it saw fit.

This represented a huge amount of wasted effort, and more significantly, lost opportunity for sharing best practices and minimizing risk around safety, security and compliance.

An Information Mapping Content Audit reveals the overlap

When an Information Mapping team’s Content Audit of the documentation of all four refineries revealed a content overlap of 70% to 80%, managers were amazed—and intrigued by the potential benefits of developing a standardized content management strategy.

CMS, standardized content and shared best practices benefit everyone

The Information Mapping team implemented a CMS that gave all four refineries access to the overlapping content. We helped them standardize and structure this content, eliminating the confusion caused by differences in terminology and formats.

Changes in response to regulations or evolving practices are now quickly and easily made, because the content is centrally controlled. Review processes are streamlined and brief. Managers report that their training costs are lower and their audit processes are quick and easy. Perhaps the greatest benefit is that sharing content made it possible to identify and implement best practices that have improved operational efficiency at all four refineries.

How much overlap would be revealed by a Content Audit within your organization? Can you identify departments or groups whose operations are similar or whose functions overlap, but don’t share content? If you want more information about what’s involved in a Content Audit, contact us.