Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Identify Barriers (Give staff a voice! Part 7 of 10)

There is a fine line between excuses and barriers. Often our role is to know the difference without pointing fingers.

Sometimes the reasons staff give about why they can't use the technology are very real, other times they are just perception or defense mechanisms.  It is easy to sit back and say "I don't know how", "I am too busy" or "That isn't my job." 

These barriers are real to them though, so you need to address them either way. The difference is what you will change. People are quick to blame the tools, but we need to pay attention to the culture, policies, procedures, knowledge, priorities and experience that surrounds our digital content.

So what are the barriers between your program staff and content creation?

Time was the most common barrier that I heard in the form of "I am too busy" or "that isn't my job." But what I usually heard under that was:
"Content won't be a part of my review, so why bother."
"I really don't see the value in creating that content, why does it matter to me?"
"My supervisor doesn't seem to think this is too important either...."
"I don't want to learn another new tool, don't I already do enough around here."
And many others.

But you need to cut through the perception and excuses to find the real barriers and start to break them down.

I would not start with asking everyone what the barriers are. This may encourage them to dig in their heels and stick to their excuses.

I would look to do a content channel inventory, author\owner org chart,  tool catalog and content creation process map before getting opinions.

Content Channel Inventory - First gather a list of all of the different channels of content that need to be maintained. (Website, Blog, Email blast, Newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Intranet, etc.)

Author\Owner Org Chart - For each of the channels above you should document who the primary owner is and list all of the authors that have access.

Tool Catalog - Create a list of all of the tools that are used to manage, create and share the content.

Content Creation Process Map - Break down the steps, authors and tools that are needed to manage each channel and then try to give the all of the channels some sort of overall structure.

This is just a beginning to the type of inventory and process map that you should have, but it is a good start to help you identify what the real barriers are.

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