Develop Content Globalization by Engaging Content Developers

Feb 23, 2018

Article ImageLeading any digital content value chain requires a cross-functional and cross-disciplinary approach, especially when you need to coordinate with multiple content supply chains across the globe. From this perspective, effective alignment between technical and non-technical leaders is imperative as it has to bolster collaboration to drive and sustain content creation.

To begin, you have to make all of the stakeholders aware of the role they play in content production and accountable for deliverables in terms of individual and collective management. Before bringing up the question of where global content leadership should reside – which may turn out to be a long-lasting debate – you should focus on the actual engagement of all parties and secure their commitment. Although it sounds obvious, as your stakeholders and colleagues are partners in global business, it does not go without saying when it comes to making it happen in times of digital transformation.

Next, you must define linkages and possibly adapt existing roles and responsibilities in order to solidify all tasks that are tied to each phase of content globalization. In a number of cases, these tasks are scattered across various places and sometimes duplicated without notice. With that in mind, making developers feel truly engaged is important, considering their key role in the seamless and timely delivery of global content. Here are a few tips to address both the technical and organizational facet of it, whether developers are part of a dedicated globalization group or if they work in an IT department.

  • Make sure that developers are definitely developers. Logically, this step shouldn’t be necessary, however, the “developer” job title might be a generic job label rather than actual reflection capabilities. That happens with other job titles too. Do developers code? Are they involved in testing? Do they participate in product architecture as well? In any case, it is crucial to understand and bear in mind what their actual jobs are. It may start in a high-level fashion but it should not be overlooked.
  • Train developers on global content readiness to lift them up as content engineers. Effective engagement is rooted in mutual understanding. Creating content and developing it with international clients requires knowledge and experience to avoid assuming the process is the same as working on a local or domestic product. Training sessions and workshops are great forums to build awareness around global content standards, rules, conventions, and requirements. These are also great opportunities to look at both sides of the globalization coin. In the digital age, technology enables globalizing businesses to deploy content more safely and quickly than ever around the world. So the point of view and feedback of developers matters a lot to better leverage this enabler in the interest of content leaders, owners, or designers. There is no better way to initiate such meetings and discussions than to scan global products and break their cycles down into phases that are in sync with customer journeys.
  • Highlight the cultural and linguistic dependencies and challenges of global content development. Developers tend to focus on the functional aspects in order to make well-designed content. Broadening the scope of development and pinpointing its cultural and linguistic impact leads to a win-win partnership with developers. On the one hand, it raises the bar of global content effectiveness by incorporating all experience drivers to delight customers. On the other hand, it speeds up the implementation of tweaks and corrections by identifying the root cause of a defect. There are plenty of examples showing that a functional bug had to be solved by fixing a linguistic bug first--or the fixing of a cultural glitch generated a functional bug.
  • Engage developers in continued efforts to capture and measure global content and product performance. Global business leaders know that they cannot manage something that is not measured--and vice versa. Useful global indicators and metrics include a variety of content effectiveness areas depending on content development to some extent. For instance, well-developed content helps boost memorability and learnability, which may be categorized as simplicity indicators. Content development mistakes and weaknesses may translate into poor readability and meaningful metrics, knowing that mistakes are as important as achievements to learn lessons.

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