Let Simplification in Content Globalization Deliver Simplicity

Oct 04, 2016

Digital globalization has plenty of challenges and pitfalls ahead. Logically, simplification surfaces as an immediate concern. Therefore, it is crucial to gauge and prioritize efforts to keep digital globalization under control by simplifying costs and time for the sake of audiences around the world.

Simplification in global content operations creates value as long as ad hoc experiences are delivered to local customers. Otherwise, it becomes useless or counterproductive. This seems to be common sense, but leveraging best practices to craft great digital experiences based on simplicity does not go without saying. Let's keep in mind that simplicity enables customer centricity.

Global content insights should be made a priority to tame complexity and tackle diversity in content operations. The more content requirements and experience drivers are ?understood up front, the simpler digital globalization value and supply chains are going to be. It helps avoid time-consuming and repeat discussions and corrections while staying focused on what matters, speaks, and sells to customers. It also breaks myths and keeps up with evolving demands and ecosystems into which content must fit nicely. These insights should allow content operations leaders to make the right decisions before stewarding readiness, effectiveness, and performance.

Global content readiness requires a great deal of operational simplification. Some original content may be created without international customers in mind. Adapting design and development processes and synchronizing them with global product lifecycles holistically are obvious actions. New practices must be enforced, and content flows must be streamlined to do the right thing according to global business objectives and international experiences.

Content creators and owners should be guided by behavioral and performance data in a smart way, so that they shape or re-engineer processes within a fact-based framework. They should also review all existing guidelines and align them with global standards and targets (such as regions, countries, markets, and customer segments). Finally, they should embrace Lean, Six Sigma, and Agile concepts, incorporating them into creative and production processes whenever it empowers them to optimize simplicity through agility.

All international customers expect effectiveness according to their standards as an umbrella for quality, accuracy, relevance, and actionability. Localizing content at scale, on time, and on budget is paramount for delighting customers. As localization may be dispersed and diluted in content operations without knowing who does what and how it is done, simplifying all related tasks through central leadership, distributed execution, and well-assigned roles and responsibilities brings clarity and efficiency for all team members. In addition to organizational changes, technology should help as a key effectiveness accelerator. Automation does not only generate benefits in terms of enhanced workflows and speed. It also supports process simplification when it is used to reduce the number of iterations, increase levels of content reusability, and assist localization experts without replacing them. It also creates content assets that can be leveraged to structure and refine localization activities as needed by customers. This approach should also be adopted by language services providers.

Global content performance should be focused on what counts and why. Rather than a large number of metrics that are captured and aggregated on-the-fly, it pays to instill simplicity via well-selected indicators and analytics that are tied to global business objectives. Global stakeholders and leaders may be confused about how global content operations are really connected to other parts of the business. So they should see clearly how content creation, production, localization, maintenance, and deployment contribute to actual marketing, sales, satisfaction, or innovation performance. More or fewer metrics might help. Better metrics do help.

It all boils down to walking in the shoes of customers who do not even suspect that content globalization is complex and challenging. Being able to demonstrate the simplicity that results is one of the most important signs of success.   

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