posted 25 May 2010 in Volume 13 Issue 7
Power to the people
How an enterprise content management programme has enabled The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development to maximise its knowledge business
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) embarked upon a three-year enterprise content management (ECM) strategy to maximise the value and speed to market of its intellectual property. Working with its strategic ECM partner, The Content Group (TCG), CIPD has prioritised its online activity to provide customers with rapid access to new online products using content management tools from EMC Documentum, Just Systems and SDL Tridion.
TCG is now working with CIPD to expand the productivity gains achieved within its publishing activity, to create a single repository of information that can be shared, reused and repurposed by individuals across the organisation – from creating training course material to event management to new legislation.
By consolidating all intellectual property into a single repository of information, CIPD expects to significantly improve productivity, streamline the creation of content and bring new products to its market more rapidly.
Throughout the programme TCG has leveraged its ECM Expert methodology to ensure business objectives are aligned with CIPD’s ECM initiative and underpin the change management process required for CIPD to achieve its goals.
A knowledge business
CIPD is the professional body for those involved in the management and deployment of people. With more than 135,000 individual members, CIPD’s aim is to lead in the development and promotion of good practice in the field of people management.
The institute delivers a range of services, from subscription-based information resources to training materials, as well as events. However, according to Eileen Pevreall, IT director at CIPD, the organisation’s traditional departmental and manual approach to content creation had resulted in multiple information silos, which constrained opportunities for information sharing, reuse and repurpose.
“CIPD is a knowledge business, but the organisation had not been maximising its intellectual property,” she says.
As a result, in June 2008, CIPD embarked upon a strategic ECM programme to improve information resources and enable more effective content sharing, reuse and repurposing across the organisation.
First, the institute focused on its online content delivery. “Like most organisations, CIPD was looking to exploit the web to deliver a more innovative and interactive range of products,” says Pevreall. The first phase of this strategy was to move subscription products, which include Employment Law guidance, from the traditional paper format to an online service.
“Replacing paper manuals containing information on policies and employment law with an online subscription service would offer customers a far more usable service with automatically updated information resources,” she adds.
The key challenges facing CIPD in making this transition were assessing and implementing the right underpinning ECM technology solutions, which would enable the practices necessary to achieve such aims. As Pevreall explains, “An effective ECM infrastructure leverages a single repository of information to enable anyone across the organisation to search for content and improve collaboration between authors. To make this work effectively requires changes to content structure, authoring processes and collaborative workflow.”
Having considered these challenges, CIPD turned to TCG for advice on the strategic direction and management of the ECM programme. “Our research identified TCG as experts in the ECM field – the company has been in the market for a long time, has a first-class customer base and a strong pedigree in realising the benefits of ECM programmes,” says Pevreall.
In addition, CIPD was keen to exploit TCG’s pioneering of ECM standards and its ECM Expert methodology. “TCG has been at the forefront of developing ECM best practice,” she says. “The company has a clear methodology that demonstrates how ECM should be approached, how technologies should be implemented within the organisation and how to deliver on an ECM initiative. We felt this was key to ensuring the programme retained momentum to meet the end goals and clearly mitigated risk from the programme.” Subsequently, TCG was confirmed as the Strategic ECM Programme Partner in June 2008, for the duration of the programme.
Working closely with CIPD, TCG compiled the organisation’s three-year ECM strategy, setting budgets and timelines before embarking upon a review of enabling technology solutions. Focusing initially on the delivery of subscription products, TCG reviewed a number of authoring and collaborative tools before providing CIPD with a shortlist.
In August 2008, CIPD opted to purchase EMC Documentum Xhive and Just Systems XMetal to facilitate content authoring, initially for the new online subscription services. This was followed in December 2008 with a decision to purchase web content management from SDL Tridion.
TCG also managed the relationships with these organisations to provide CIPD with a single point of contact throughout the development and implementation process. TCG has provided additional implementation services where required and has worked closely with CIPD to create an information architecture to ensure consistent information management both on and offline with the underlying data format being XML.
“TCG’s advice was invaluable in helping CIPD to understand business requirements, streamlining the product selection, architecting the solutions chosen and really working with the organisation to get an infrastructure in place that will enable rapid product delivery to the market,” says Pevreall. “From product requirements through the tender process to contract management, TCG is supporting CIPD throughout the entire ECM lifecycle.”
CIPD’s internal staff now use EMC Documentum Xhive and Just Systems XMetal to author subscription products for online delivery. This number will grow rapidly as the solutions are made available to the external freelance authors, who also create the organisation’s valuable intellectual property.
The team uses SDL Tridion to deliver new subscription products to the market via the web, once the new content is developed. “There are clear opportunities to streamline processes and become far more productive,” says Pevreall.
CIPD is now benefiting from improved productivity, better workflow, more effective sharing, reuse and repurposing of content. “The entire process of creating content for online subscriptions is far more effective using these tools,” says Pevreall.
Replacing the paper-based subscription service with an online product will dramatically improve customer service. Currently, customers subscribe annually for key products and receive monthly updates in loose leaf to add to the core product binder. The online version will be updated as and when appropriate, providing the customers with immediate access to the latest information.
Maximising knowledge value
CIPD is now into the second year of the programme and is working closely with TCG on the next key area of development in the transition towards a single repository of all information. As part of this process, TCG is collaborating with a group of programme stakeholders across the organisation to help spread the message about ECM, gain buy-in to the change management process and demonstrate the value of the tools to the business to date.
Critically, leveraging the tools now in place and a single repository of information will enable CIPD to significantly improve its time to market with a range of products both online and offline. “The reuse functionality will enable the authors to replicate existing content into a new product easily and quickly,” says Pevreall.
Indeed, rather than commissioning new content for new products, the organisation now expects upwards of 75 per cent of a new product to be based on existing intellectual property, which has simply not been possible before due to the information silos around the organisation. “This ECM infrastructure will make it far more effective to develop and get products out to market quickly across the whole of the organisation,” says Pevreall.
By the end of the programme, CIPD anticipates that all staff will use the ECM tools for all aspects of managing their content.
“In terms of return on investment, bringing together content silos from around the organisation into a single repository that can be accessed and used by everyone from developers of training material to event planners will be incredibly valuable,” she says. “CIPD is a knowledge business, developing research, outputting learning and training materials. It will make a massive difference to be able to redevelop our intellectual property so quickly and easily.”
Eileen Pevreall is IT director at CIPD. For more information visit http://www.cipd.co.uk/default.cipd