Achieving Better Project Outcomes

Apr 29, 2015

Projects are risky 

As any project manager will attest, managing risk is one of the biggest challenges they face. Keeping a project on time, on budget, and in scope is the very definition of good project management.

Content is messy

But content projects can be extra challenging because content is messy. In many companies, no one person knows how much of it there is, where it’s all stored, who created it, who—if anyone—is responsible for it, why it was created in the first place, and what purpose it’s currently serving. So when it’s time to redesign the website, move it into a new content management system, rebrand, or generally take stock and clean up, where do you even begin?

Benefits and outcomes of the inventory and audit

The content inventory and audit are the antidote to content project risk. Conducting a comprehensive inventory and audit of content against business and user goals offers several important benefits. The inventory and audit

  • Inform better decision making—A good decision is an informed decision. With an inventory and audit completed, you can base decisions on knowing what you have, what its current state is, how that differs from the desired future state.
  • Lower risk—When you have specific data about size and scope of the project, when you can accurately estimate resources needed to do the work, when you know what problems exist so they don’t surprise you down the road (when they’re more expensive to fix), you can minimize the risk of going over budget or over time.
  • Help get organizational buy-in—If you’re trying to get buy-in to do a project, coming to the decision makers with an obviously well-planned and conducted audit and inventory with specific numbers, well-illustrated examples of the issues, and specific asks of them gives you credibility and helps make the case.

If you’re planning a content improvement project, start with a CAT-powered inventory and use it as the foundation of your qualitative content audit before you begin. Going into project planning with a content analysis that is based on data, addresses the issues that can create project risk, and ensures that you have organizational support creates a more predictable and more successful outcome.

Category: Content Audit Tips

Paula Land


Paula Land is co-founder and CEO of Content Insight and author of Content Audits and Inventories: A Handbook.

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