You Need Metrics
Changing the Conversation, Part II: Making a business case for component content management
When you’re making your business case, measurement builds credibility and supports your case. Having metrics can help you understand the tradeoffs between alternative paths and can support your case for moving to structured content.
The metrics you collect need to help you understand and show value. Don’t collect only activity metrics; you need to show results. For example, the number of people taking a class doesn’t tell you if the class made a difference in job performance—it may indicate something else. Productivity metrics such as number of pages written are often collected as a productivity measure. What if people can’t find the information they need? And if they can find the information, what difference does that make? And can you measure the difference? Use metrics that help you make the case.
Metrics are helpful for communicating with your team—both up and down. They build credibility and show the results you want to achieve. They also build a common vocabulary so that both your management team and direct reports can communicate on an equal footing. When you move to structured content, it’s a major change: It goes beyond adopting a new technology. To get support for moving you need to be able to communicate. Metrics that show the results you want to achieve will help everyone buy in.
The metrics you collect align to the business case. For example, if you want to lower the cost of translation, you need to know how much you are paying for translation and how the costs break down—how much is for actual translation of the text and how much is for formatting and project management. Will formatting costs be eliminated? Will the project management costs go down? If you want to make the case that through component content management you will be able to support simultaneous releases in multiple geographies, then you need to capture metrics related to the time it takes you currently as well as estimating lost revenue. The metrics you capture will be used in the baseline that you will use to create your ROI.