Five guidelines

In the spirit of writing about things that work, I thought I'd spend this week on a handful of lessons learned by doing things in publishing.

I've touched upon some related themes before. The three inter-related components of overall workflow, questions to ask when considering workflow improvements, and the value of feedback loops have all been subjects of posts this year.

There are at least five other things worth keeping in mind when designing (or redesigning) content-related workflows:

  1. Data collection and process checking should be used to identify and resolve problems, not find a function or person to blame.
  2. Quality is best supported by processes with fewer handoffs (and over time, fewer inspections to maintain quality).
  3. If you're mapping workflows, start by clearly identifying the functions involved (“swim lanes”).
  4. Change processes to take advantage of software design, more than the opposite.
  5. Form follows function: create structures that reflect discrete functions, not functions that fit a legacy structure.

In the next few posts, I'll take each of these in turn.

Edited July 8 to add: As I posted about each of these five lessons learned, I added a direct link in the numbered items shown above.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.