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by Emerson Welch  |  September 1, 2022

Automated Workflows in Content Collaboration

Modular content

An Enabler of Successful Content Lifecycle Management

Our second episode of Quark’s “Close the Content Loop” webinar series Do Automated Workflows Enhance Content Collaboration? discussed the value of automated workflows and the role it plays in boosting content collaboration across the enterprise. This topic followed our first episode’s discussion on modular content, and as such reinforces there are many aspects organizations must think about when it comes to implementing a successful content management strategy.

So let’s dig into how automating workflows contributes to full lifecycle content management success. One thing we learned here at Quark from market experience is that most organizations don’t have specific workflows defined for reviewing and approving their content. Interestingly, even some of the world’s largest companies don’t have a collaboration workflow tool of any kind.

However, many organizations are not practicing a 100% manual process and have automated parts of the content ecosystem with built-in content management or work management systems. Yet to be successful, organizations can’t take a take a ‘pick and choose’ approach to automation. They must adopt an end-to-end workflow automation strategy.

The maturity factor

Many organizations are at different points on the spectrum of content management maturity.

Organizations have said their content infrastructure lacks maturity because their employees argue that a new workflow system will impact their productivity, slow them down or create unnecessary steps. It’s the opposite and organizations must educate all employees on how automation dramatically improves productivity, eliminates error prone redundancies and time-consuming manual processes. Workflow automation particularly plays a huge role in streamlining review and approval processes and supporting version control and gives more time back to SMEs and others involved in the content lifecycle team to focus on strategic opportunities.

Any doubt to the value of automation is often disproved when organizations see automated workflows in action as there are benefits to workflows across all levels of content maturity, particularly when publishing to more than one output channel.

Why automate content workflows?

The reasons to automate don’t need to be complex. For example, a simple web-based workflow for content review and approval with just a few automated statuses improves quality control from the get-go.

Workflows centralized on the web make it simple to connect individuals or groups of users into the same workflow from one place, eliminating fragmentation issues that arise with a manual process. Multiple stakeholders get concurrent access and can easily make comments, edits, change requests and replacement assets from a single, centralized pane of glass view. Importantly, a centralized, automated workflow helps to ensure critical risk management, compliance or corporate copyright information and branding is accurately enforced, is tagged to document versions as part of a version history and is easily accessible. This is particularly valuable for audits as audit logging to version history is critical and can be a downfall for a company in a highly regulated industry.

Increase team productivity and optimize resources with Statuses

Statuses, or stages, in content workflows are the intermediary tasks performed by users during a workflow lifecycle where action occurs by users. These tasks can be simple or rigorous, but the user or users will be acting as the mechanism to modify the content in some matter to prepare it for the next status in the workflow lifecycle.

For example, Quark Publishing Platform allows organizations to choose from workflow examples or create a custom workflow. There are several options to control the workflow behavior including the use of redlining during the status, which is the ability to track changes made by the users to the content. Content can also be processed through workflows at the full document level or “component” level. The component level allows content to be reviewed and approved at the modular level, giving organizations confidence that only approved content is being reused. Additionally, statuses give clarity and ensure accountability with role-based responsibility which accelerate the time to market.

Moving content reviews through statuses also eliminates bottlenecks and reduces time for users to complete tasks. Content can be assigned for reviews and users can add metadata tags to the content for updates for any status. This allows for metrics to be captured during the workflow steps for analysis and reporting – streamlining the review lifecycle and creating an auditable trail that simplifies the collaboration experience for content authors, collaborators and stakeholders alike.

Version control

Version history and comparison is critical for optimal workflow management. Particularly when it comes to audit purposes, justification for the edits and the ability to revert to previous versions are mandatory for governance and risk management. It’s important to have easy access to any version of a document, not only the original content submission but also insight into a specific user who made changes and the date and time of those changes at any given time. And the flexibility to compare the version to any other version or revert to the entire content set for that version, which also creates a new entry in the history log.

Automated workflows in action

A government entity leverages QPP to automate their review and knowledge sharing processes for making critical government decisions. Prior to automating their digital processes, all documentation was paper-based and distributed manually. It made collaboration hugely time-consuming, delaying national decisions from being made and maintaining a high level of security risk due to the print-first nature of their operations.

Now with their workflows and processes automated, they can do instantaneous, personalized, and dynamic publishing of content which is flexible to meet different users’ roles and responsibilities.

This has delivered a more efficient, digital-first way to create, distribute and manage sensitive cabinet information and document all comments and feedback throughout the entire process.

Automating workflows is critical to successfully transforming your content management strategies. It connects all content stakeholders with a single source-of-truth, creating transparency in tracking the progress and deadlines of content with complete accuracy – delivering customizable statuses, and safeguarding an accurate audit trail that is critical for successful version control, particularly in highly regulated industries.

The new release of Quark Publishing Platform (QPP) NexGen gets you on your path to content automation success.

See for yourself. Request a demo of QPP NextGen.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our next episode of “Close the Content Loop” series on September 28, 12pm ET that will focus on the critical issue of how life sciences companies keep their content compliant under extreme regulatory pressure.

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