Enterprise Content Management: The Next Frontier -WebReference- | 4
Creating unified processes
A unified content strategy also involves people and unified (collaborative) processes. The unified processes must create a collaborative environment in which authors throughout the organization can contribute to and draw content from a definitive source of information. Collaboration ensures that the content elements, such as product descriptions, are consistent and can be reused wherever theyÂ’re required...in a printed brochure, on the web, on the intranet, in user guides, and so on. Processes should be redesigned to match the unified content strategy and support the way the authors work. Workflow can be used to support these processes.
Authors create structured content that is separate from format. Structured content relies on content standards rather than format standards. Content standards refer to the type of content in each element, and how it must be structured in order to be reused. Format standards refer to how the information must look, in the published outputs. While format is critical in helping users to read and comprehend information, it is addressed separately from content. This allows writers to focus on the contentÂ—ensuring the content is accurate and contains the necessary elements for comprehension and for reuse. Format is addressed through information design, and is normally attached to content elements through stylesheets (e.g., XSL or cascading style sheets).
For example, once the content is written, it is published to each information product; the format is applied based on the contentÂ’s use. The following illustrations  show how the same product description for the Reo Tsai is reused effectively, in each medium.
Created: April 21, 2003
Revised: April 21, 2003